ARaymond, the global partner of choice for automotive OEMs’ and Tier-1 suppliers’ fastening and assembly needs, is celebrating its 155th anniversary this year. It was first launched in France as a button company in 1865.
ARaymond today offers state-of-the-art fastening and assembly systems delivered just-in-time from its 27 manufacturing plants in 25 countries worldwide, including its India-based operations in Pune, Chennai, and Delhi-Gurgaon. The global ARaymond Network of companies is now looking ahead to the next phase of the company’s history, and reflecting on ARaymond’s tremendous adaptability as it has survived wars, depressions and recessions by continuing to reinvent itself and thrive through difficult times.
Established by Albert-Pierre Raymond and expanded by four more generations of entrepreneurs from the Raymond family (Achille, Albert-Victor, Alain, and Antoine), the ARaymond Network has become a leading global supplier to the automotive industry. The roots of its exponential growth can be traced to its innovations, such as the 1886 invention by Albert-Pierre of the press-stud, which would soon become a worldwide success for ARaymond.
A family business since 1865, the ARaymond Network has been defined by key inventions over the years. Here are some key dates and innovations from the company’s history:
— 1886: Albert-Pierre invents the press-stud, which becomes a worldwide success for ARaymond.
— 1925: Launch of the Vitex zipper.
— 1935: First spring steel clip developed for the automotive industry.
— 1955: Beginning of plastic moulding process.
— 1989: Launch of first generation of quick connectors for automotive fuel systems.
The ARaymond Network remains headquartered in Grenoble, France — where it all began in 1865 — and today employs 7,250 employees in 25 countries worldwide. The three Indian locations employ more than 400 people and serve about 450 customers with over 1,200 products.
"155 years is a long time to run a family business, and few have been able to adapt the way ARaymond has, in large part due to the quality and dedication of our workers. We truly view all of our team members as family, and the results are undeniable," said Antoine Raymond, president of ARaymond. “I’m excited about the new frontiers we are exploring and to see where the future takes us — including expansion of our work related to new market trends within the automotive industry, but also pharmaceutical, solar energy equipment, and so much more.”
An industrial success story
The ARaymond Network is an industrial success story that started in France in 1865, and was initially focused on creating custom button designs for gloves and boots, before developing into the modern fastener supplier it has become today.
Among the most disruptive times for the company were during both WWI and WWII, when it stepped up and transformed into a wartime supplier. Later, the company was among the first in the industry to digitise and develop electronic tracking methods, modernizing how business was done.
Manish Padharia, Managing Director of ARaymond India since the start, credits ARaymond’s longevity with its flexibility and eagerness to adapt. According to him, “ARaymond has always been on the cutting-edge and willing to make the tough decisions. In India, we’ve long been known as the can-do division and a state-of-the-art plant. There’s a lot of visionary work we’ve been able to do, and have always been able to adapt to the market changes.”
Giving India Auto Inc new drive
ARaymond first tested the Indian market in 2007, focusing on the design and manufacturing of assembly solutions for the automotive market. One of today’s focus areas is on helping the local industry to move from BS IV to BS VI. ARaymond also addresses the solar energy and white goods markets with tool-free fastening solutions.
“In line with the ARaymond core values, there is a strong commitment to the local market and focus on job generation, investment and localisation in India,” said Kapil Rai, Executive Vice President – Sales and Marketing, ARaymond India.
ARaymond India is also very active within local communities. An example is the three-year involvement with the Roundhalwadi public primary school, located about an hour away from the Pune plant. In 2018, more than 30 employees supported by the company helped renovate the school’s kitchen and restrooms, donated new desks and benches, volunteered on Saturdays to raise children’s awareness of personal hygiene, and taught English and IT classes.
More recently, during the pandemic lockdown, dry rations were distributed to about 250 families around the Pune plant. The dry ration consisted of food for 7-10 days for a family of 3-4 people, a great help to families that depend on daily wages and suffering from the lockdown.
Alain Raymond, who led the company during a period of major growth from 1965 to 1999 when it became a truly global entity, said he is proud of the legacy and reputation of his family’s company. “Today, more than 20 years later, ARaymond’s future is as bright as the day I left,” said Alain. “That’s all I could wish for. What has been done is quite remarkable in every respect.”