The gradual development of Kamani Industries and the successes and reputation it achieved can all be considered as an event. As the horizons of its development spread further and further, they took concrete form and there were even unexpected successes. Every new venture was a stepping stone to the next project. The ventures of Kamani Industries were long lasting and they were innumerable in number. This long line of ventures and successes was due to Ramjibhai’s determination, planning and foresight. He was able to grasp all the different possibilities and aspects of any business. Any idea that occurred to Ramjibhai was immediately put into practice and became successful, because none of his ideas was ever just a whim or fancy. This was the reason why, when it was actually put in to practice, it could be continuously developed. Due to this, Ramjibhai can proudly take his rightful place in industry - as a match for any industrialist.
The Kamani group had already established four factories in Mumbai. The Indian Rubber Regenerating Company, was its fifth factory in Mumbai and in some way it was the sixth. This factory started production on 4th September, 1963.
This company was established on 20th December, 1960. Its first directors were K.M. Phillip (Chairperson), Lt. Colonel Iqbal Mohammed Khan (Nawab of Palanpur), H.A. Fazalbhai, Poonamchand Kamani, Rasiklal Kamani, Hasmukh Kamani, Navnit Kamani, S.M. Ramakrishna Rao, Prabhakar Balwantrai Mehta and C.A. Vilner.
K.M. Phillip of Madras Rubber Company was the inspiration behind this reclaimed rubber factory. As in many other cases, the company can take the credit for being the first to set up a factory in India to produce this product. The annual output of this factory was 4,800 tons. Since land was not available in Kurla for this factory, land was purchased in Thane in October 1962 and the factory was set up.
In the third five year plan it was estimated that the demand for reclaimed rubber would be 20,000 tons, which would go up to 35,000 tons by the end of the fourth five year plan. Keeping this in mind, besides this factory eight more industrial licences were issued. The total industrial output would then be 20,520 tons. The Indian Rubber Regenerating Company also obtained a licence to increase its annual output to 10,200 tons.
As its name implies, reclaimed rubber is rubber got from scrap rubber. In other industries where scrap is recycled, the quality of the manufactured items is only as good as the condition of the scrap used. However, this is not the case here. The main scrap is in the form of tyres. The process involves cutting, mixing and steaming the (scrap) rubber to get the reclaimed rubber. During this process, in addition to the inherent qualities already present in the material, other qualities can be introduced. So from the basic scrap a new form of rubber is produced having enhanced qualities. Every year reclaimed rubber worth Rs. 75 to 80 lakhs was imported into India. Since, material having the same qualities as the imported material was now being produced in India, foreign exchange was saved annually.
Reclaimed rubber is mostly used for car and cycle tyres. Almost 80% of the output is used in the tyre industry. The remaining material is used for battery boxes, footwear, hard rubber goods, mats, cables, etc.
This factory was set up on 5 acres of land in Thane in a place called Manohari Parshva-Bhu. The groundbreaking ceremony was performed by Ramjibhai’s wife, Jadhavben on the 6th May, 1962.
Production of reclaimed rubber in this factory started on the 15th September, 1963. During the period from 1963 to ’64, 1,043 tons of material was produced. After this, in 1964 –65, 2,171 tons of material was produced and in 1965 – 66, the output rose to 3,400 tons. Thus, in only three years, the production capacity increased by more than 70%.
Even though this was a public limited company, it did not require a managing agency.
Despite the fact that the production of reclaimed rubber was new not only for Kamani Industries but also for the whole of India, they did not require any expert foreign technical collaboration. With their expert knowledge about rubber, the latest machines and instruments required for testing and a well equipped laboratory, this factory was incomparable and unparalleled. There was no doubt that its future was very bright.