Transcript: “I have heard about him,” says Tarun Mullick, talking of his ancestors. Its’s another matter that he only has mentioned this man, seven generations removed, a rich landed man known to have been quite close to the East India Company – Nimaicharan Mullick.
When he died, he left behind around Rs. 3 crore and landed property. But what happened seven generations back is history. Somewhere down the line the wealth got frittered away, and Mullick had to start a business with about Rs. 2,000. He had even to give up table tennis.
But if he regrets that then such emotions are carefully packed away. Let’s say in his soft luggage- Clubb. Mullick is 37 and his company’s – he is founder cum managing director of Clubb International Pvt Ltd – turnover has touched Rs 2.5 crore.
When he was 17 he started his first business — manufacturing plastic card holders, flies and folders. “In those days if I got an order for Rs. 4,500 I used to consider myself lucky,” says Mullick. “I used to do everything then.”
He doesn’t now, but designs are still his sole prerogative. None of his staff is allowed to decide on that.
He is a CAD-CAM specialist himself. “I keep changing my product design so frequently that a product two months down the line will never look the same,” says Mullick.
He set up his soft luggage business in 1984 on a budget of Rs. 20,000. He imported the technology and machinery from Taiwan. Possibly the plastic cardholder business had worked. But it was time for change anyway.
Initially he used to supply his products to firm like Power, Adidas, Puma and North Star. In 1990, Mullick launched his own brand – Clubb International. Today, Mullick has four units in Calcutta, churning out around 4,500 to 5,000 bags per week.
He has even taken to eco-friendly jute to make bags; though he still keeps making those ubiquitous nylon-polyster ones.
He has recently launched rainwear branded Easy Rider.
This seems to have found favour with the peacekeeper The Calcutta Police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) commandos, he says, have placed and order for easy Rider rainwear.
Mullick exports his products to Australia, New Zealand, UK and to neighbouring Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. He claims to be the second largest soft luggage maker in the country after VIP.
Among other things, Mullick’s firm makes waist pouches, school bags, Yorkstile, sports bags, ruck-sacks, tennis bags, knapsacks, soft attaches, wind-cheaters, ladies wallets and a whole host of such stuff. The price travel from Rs. 55 to Rs. 900. perhaps, you begin to think, he shouldn’t have much regrets for having given up table tennis.
Though in 1975-76, he had become the Bengal Champion in the junior category and was number six in the all-india circuit.