in the initial years. But, the company compensatedthrough brisker sales of its other products like cushionseats and bare blocks. During those days, the company’s business came largely from supplying bare blocks of rubberized coir to the furnishing and automobile manu-facturers who could finish the products according totheir requirements. For nearly two decades, KCPL movedon contently supplying bare blocks of rubberized cush-ioning material to the industrial buyers like PremierAutomobiles, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Nissan. Italso started supplying the rubberized coir mattress blocksto other mattress manufacturers who slowly startedaccepting the concept of rubberized mattress which wasradically different from the traditional cotton mattress.In 1983, the company decided to revive the manu-facturing of its own range of finished rubberized coirmattress for the end user. By 1985, the company had thecapacity to produce 800 tonnes of rubberized coir outof which 60 per cent was being sold as bare blocks andthe rest as finished mattresses. But, in 1987, the companystopped its line of bare blocks business and concentratedmainly on finished mattresses. In the 90s, KCPL addedpillows, bolsters, and cushion seats to its product port-folio. The company’s entire product portfolio consistedof mattresses, pillows, towels, doormats, and bedsheetsunder the Kurlon brand name . Rubberized coir mattresscontributed to 92 per cent of its sales. In 1995, the companychanged its name from Karnataka Consumer ProductsLtd. to Kurlon Ltd.
Kurlon Ltd. is a public limited company promoted byone of the highly successful entrepreneurs in South India.It is managed by a group of well-qualified professionalmanagers. Over the years, it has become a leader in theIndian comfort mattress industry. In 2001-2002, thecompany had a sales of Rs. 1,174.0 million with a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 44.0 million (Table 1). But, forthe year 2002-2003, with the report of a drastic drop insales and profitability, the company had chalked out asales of Rs.1,172.50 million with a PBT of Rs. 10.2 million.Kurlon also exported its products to West Asia,Singapore, Australia, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Maldives,etc. Even though there were complaints from some of the countries regarding the product, the export sales had been reasonably satisfactory contributing to 10 per centof its total mattress sales. The company realized that itssales in some of these countries were getting saturatedas customers in these countries were developing a strongpreference for full foam or spring-based mattresses. Thecompany’s profit and loss account for the years 2001 and2002 is shown in Table 2.
Rubberized coir mattress was an evolution from thetraditional cotton mattress. Kurlon mattress was madeof millions of coir fibres bonded with latex and com-pressed to form rubberized coir block. A reinforced high-density centre part supported extra body weight andprevented sagging while a person rested or slept on it.
Sales Performance of the Company (1987-2002)
YearSales (Rs. million)
Table 2: Profit and Loss Account for 2001 and 2002
Cost of sales including selling and administrative expenses
Raw materials549.26533.05Manufacturing expenses61.9946.17Wages and salaries39.2837.39Transport and freight102.0599.03Commission on sales82.5475.31Sales promotion13.3619.49Advertising40.9743.20Other expenses165.96196.17
Bank and other interest49.0755.87Depreciation22.8922.36
Prior year item(-)2.586.84
Less: Provision for tax10.501.30
Profit after tax33.5010.33