1.1 THE FIRST GENERATION (1933-1947)
The history of our Company goes as far back as 1933 when Mr. Khanchand Kalachand, came to Mauritius to start a textile business.
As the business expanded, he was joined by his two sons, Mr. Kishinchand Kalachand and Mr. Jayramdas Kalachand (father of our Managing Director).
During World War II, between 1939 and 1945, economic activities declined. So, Mr. Khanchand Kalachand and his sons decided to close shop and return to India.
In 1945, Mr. Khanchand Kalachand died.
1.2 THE SECOND GENERATION (1947-1968)
In 1947, the two sons left India to settle in Mauritius. They restarted the textile business and within a matter of years they opened 3 textile shops in the main centres of the island.
By the mid 1960s, the Kalachand brothers became the leading importers of textile in Mauritius.
During one of his business trips to Osaka, Japan, in 1964, Mr. Jayramdas Kalachand met the representatives of Sanyo Electric Company and negotiated agency rights for the Mauritian market.
By 1968, 3 electronic shops had opened, again in the main centres of the island.
To manage the 6 shops (3 textile and 3 electronic), the two brothers separated - Mr. Kishinchand Kalachand took the management of the textile shops and Mr. Jayramdas Kalachand that of the electronic shops.
1.3 THE THIRD GENERATION
In April 1967, Mr Jayramdas Kalachand suffered a stroke. His son, Mr Ramesh Kalachand, then aged only 17, stepped in to manage the business.
In December 1968, J.Kalachand & Co Ltd. was formed.
In 1976, a rise in the export price of sugar caused an improvement in the purchasing power of Mauritians as salaries went up by 30-40%. This was beneficial to business and Kalachand Building (Lord Kitchener St.) was erected and opened at Port Louis, the capital, in November 1977. It was, in fact, the biggest shop at that time in Port Louis.
In 1985, the founding father of the Company died.
Mr. Ramesh Kalachand was later joined by his brother, Mr. Ashok Kalachand (the Financial Director) and Mr Gilbert Chavry (the Executive Director). The fourth generation is already in place as, a few years back, Mr. Ravi Kalachand, the Managing Director's son joined the business. Recently Mr Aakash Kalachand, the Finance Director’s son in turn came on board. Both hold the post of Executive Directors of the Company.
1987 and 1988 were particularly beneficial to the Company owing to the full employment situation created by the expansion of the industrial sector leading to the remarkable economic growth of the country. Meanwhile the Company had already started to expand. A first branch was already opened in December 1986. It was followed in the following years by the opening of numerous other branches in the main towns and villages. To date, J. Kalachand & Co. Ltd. possesses a network of 25 sales outlets representing a formidable distributive force at the service of our suppliers and of our customers alike.
In 1992, the Head Office was transferred from Kalachand Building in Port Louis to Plaine Lauzun, in an Industrial Estate in the South of the capital. The service centre, which comprises a workshop for electronic goods as well as a workshop for mechanical products (motorcycles, generators, water pumps, outboard motors, bush cutters, pressure cleaners etc.) is also situated here.
In April 2011, the Head Office moved to our new Company's Headquarters Building. Situated on one of the main thoroughfares of Mauritius (Motorway M1), it can be seen from afar and from several directions. In addition to our offices, this state of the art building also houses 10000 square metres of commercial space and the largest furniture showroom in Mauritius.
J.Kalachand & Co Ltd., today, is a Company, which employs a workforce of more than 680 persons to ensure the smooth running of its activities with at least 17% of them in after-sales service.
2. OUR PRODUCTS AND OUR AGENCIES
From electronic goods, more than 40 years ago, we diversified over time into such lines as engineering products, office automation equipment, domestic appliances, clocks & watches, musical instruments and sewing machines, all bearing prestigious, world-renowned brand names. In fact, our long association with such leading names has helped us establish a solid reputation on the Mauritian market:
2.1 YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY LTD. - JAPAN
We have a 38-year-old fruitful association with Yamaha Motor Company. In 1973, we began to import Yamaha Motorcycles. Since then, we have enlarged our portfolio of Yamaha products to include also Outboard motors, Generators and Water pumps. To day, just as in other parts of the world, Yamaha is a household name in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
2.2 YAMAHA (CORPORATION) - JAPAN
We have also been dealing in musical instruments since 1974 and in Hi-fi systems since 1993, from Yamaha Corporation. The range includes Wind Instruments, Pianos, Guitars, Keyboards, Amplifiers, Speakers, CD/DVD/Bluray Players, Equalizers and Hi-fi and Home Cinema Systems.
2.3 BROTHER (JAPAN)
We have been representing Brother since 1975. Products include Domestic Sewing Machines, Printers, Facsimiles and Multi Function Centres (MFC's).
2.4 BRAUN (GERMANY)
We have also developed a long-lasting business with Braun since 1978. We are actually dealing in Braun Kitchen Appliances (Food Processors, Mixers, Blenders, etc.), Steam Irons, Personal Care Products (Electric Shavers, Hairdryers, Epilators) and Dental Care Products.
We continue to expand our lines of business (our new products include inter alia, all types of furniture; ceramic tiles and laminated flooring; sanitary ware, bathroom products and accessories; cutlery, crockery and a whole range of house ware, electric lighting, fitness equipment, luggage, etc) in line with our philosophy to look for opportunities for growth in various fields of trade and provide to the customer what he/she needs.
2.5 OUR COMPANY OWNED BRANDS
For some time, we have been nurturing the idea of having our very own brands under which many of our product lines would be marketed. In the present times of economic and commercial upheavals that see Companies becoming bankrupt overnight or bought over by other entities, brands that were once world renowned can fall into oblivion very quickly. Our new branding strategy, therefore, has been implemented through the registration of the BEL AIR, KTRONICS, KMC trade marks/names. These have been readily accepted by customers because not only are those brands put on carefully chosen and tested products from reliable manufacturers but also backed by our full after sales team of parts professionals, of technicians and mechanics. Above all, customers know that J.KALACHAND & CO LTD. is a reliable partner.
3. OUR SHOWROOMS
Some 20 years back, besides selling in our 3 existing outlets, we also had a dealer network.
The distribution system through the dealer network witnessed some inherent drawbacks, viz.:
a) No direct contact with customers.
b) No control over the standard of service offered to customers.
c) Exposure to unreasonable demands from dealers, often tantamount to blackmail.
To ensure direct customer relationship and to guarantee our market share, the decision to own and manage our outlets was taken. The plan was to cover the whole island by opening some 16 to 20 branches in all the commercial centres of the island. We have more than reached our objective. We operate presently 25 showrooms. A Store locator on our web site shows where we are on the maps of Mauritius and Rodrigues.
4 OUR WEB-SITE
Our Company has now reached a new stage in its development as it has decided to put its product range within the reach of the Internet community. We hope that it helps us bring as much satisfaction to our cyberspace customers as our sales outlets bring to our face-to-face customers. We are ever open to suggestions and we welcome comments and opinions. Please feel free to contact us at the addresses provided.
5 OUR FINANCING ACTIVITY
In Mauritius, a good percentage of sales are effected on credit. Several Financing Agencies exist to which our competitors refer their clients who purchase on credit.
Again, we demarcate ourselves from our competitors as, with a view to better serving our customers, we finance them from our own funds. The credit approval process is therefore less cumbersome and speedier.
6 AFTER SALES SERVICE
We believe in service and we are fully conscious of the importance and the necessity of a well-organized after-sales service for the security of the business.
In that context, we have set up a main service centre in Plaine Lauzun Industrial Estate as well as service counters in all our sales outlets.
A dedicated team of more than 100 persons, consisting of qualified technicians for our electronic workshop, qualified mechanics for our mechanical workshop, skilled workers for our joinery and welding workshop as well as staff members looking about spare parts and other administrative matters mans the main service centre.
We have a spare parts section attached to each workshop. Our policy is to stock as much current parts as needed by the market. For example, at our last accounting date the value of our spare parts stock stood at more than Rs20 million.
With the service counters in branches, customers simply have to contact the nearest branch where we maintain a small stock of current parts and from where they can arrange for appointments for repairs to be effected either on site or in the main service centre.
7 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
We lay great emphasis on the human aspect in our relationship with our people and we highly value our human resources. Opportunities for growth are available in our company, due to our continued expansion.
We devote a lot to the training and coaching of our personnel so as to enhance their efficiency in providing service to our customers.
Management seminars, training programs and product knowledge sessions are a regular feature.
Besides, from time to time, the different agencies we represent send highly qualified technicians and engineers for the training of our team to the highest standard.
8 COMPUTERIZATION OF THE COMPANY
In January 1994, we embarked on an ambitious computerization plan for our Company. We requested Messrs. Tata Consulting Services of India to provide us with an integrated computer program, which would link all our activities and branches in a quasi-on line system. Presently, all our branches, including those on Rodrigues, are now connected into a Wide Area Network (WAN). The system provides the Directors with up-to-date, varied and complete information on our activities.
We have achieved 43 years of constant growth by expanding our lines of business in keeping with consumer demand and by obtaining the collaboration of our personnel and of our numerous suppliers. We are now adventuring is cyberspace in order to serve and satisfy a still larger population of customers.
We deal in quality products, we operate with our customers in mind, we offer reliable service to them and we provide support to our staff.
We continue to look for opportunities in various fields and we remain open to any proposal, opinion and comment, in order to ensure the satisfaction of our customers and the continued growth of our business. We look forward to continuous smooth relations with our suppliers in general and with our customers in particular.