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Published on: Sept. 6, 2020, 11:59 p.m.
Mittal Craftworks makes hand-crafted items in various metals
  • Mittal makes copper bottles as well as a range of home ornaments and institutional give-aways

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

The copper bottle his company makes is ‘not at all expensive’ insists Ankit D. Mittal, who runs Mittal Craftworks. “The initial investment is high,” he admits. But it is a one-time cost – then it gives life-long benefits. It doesn’t break, he points out; all it needs in terms of maintenance is a very simple cleaning method – either with salt on a half-cut lemon and rubbing the outer surface, then washing it with water, or with a powder that is used for polishing brass.

“And then when you want to discard, you get the full value of the metal back, as we use only copper of 99.5 per cent plus purity!” Mittal says. “We take pride in not using any hazardous chemicals for giving lustre or shine to the bottle, unlike most other manufacturers of copper bottles.”

An offshoot of the Indore-based family firm Mittal Appliances Ltd which is India›s largest – and the world’s second-largest – manufacturer of non-ferrous currency coinblanks, Mittal Craftworks has a dedicated facility for manufacturing a variety of items like long-service medals, badges, cuff-links and poker sets in gold, silver, gold-plated silver and copper alloys. “Our clientele includes the likes of the Indian Navy, Indian Army (Corps of EME), UBS group AG, many Tata group companies, Aditya Birla group, MMTC, Bank of Baroda, Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicles, Emami, Air India, and various turf clubs,” Mittal says.
 
International standards

The facility is also used for making handcrafted metal products like the copper bottles, as well as pitchers, jugs, tumblers, mule mugs, tanks and bar sets. Mittal follows stringent social and labour norms at his well-equipped facility – all conforming to international standards, according to him. “We also stress on using 100 per cent safe, food-grade lacquer to give a sheen on the exterior surfaces even though they don’t come in contact with the drinking water,” he explains. “We have a dedicated team of research and development professionals who work to make our product beneficial for the health and more environment-friendly.” As a policy, it does not promote or use non-degradable materials such as plastics in the product and packaging.

Not using cheap chemicals and plastics does make his products ‘a bit more expensive than competition,’ he admits; but he takes “pride in doing the right things for the customers and the planet.”

Mittal Craftworks has a niche manufacturing set-up for high-quality home-decor items like engraved candle-stands, photo-frames, lanterns, statuettes and other ornamental items. These are made in silver, copper, brass, aluminium, steel, iron and various alloys, and are also accessorised with substances including glass, naturally-occurring stones, wood and leather, which enable a wide variety of surface finishes.

“In the past one year, we have supplied our copperware and handicraft including tumblers, bottles, jugs and lanterns to leading companies like Larsen & Toubro, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Round Table of India and various colleges,” Mittal says. While many of these items are used as festival give-aways, especially during Diwali, many are for the client institution’s awards or mementos to important customers and others. A silver-plated resin Ganesh statue, with Italian marble and silver-plated base, for instance is a popular present for the 10-day Ganapati festival.

The parent company, headed by Ankit’s father Dinesh Chand Mittal and elder brother Anshul, traces its beginning back to 1907 – when his grandfather started business as a trader and later began manufacturing brass, copper and then aluminium cooking utensils, has developed its product portfolio since 1987 into currency coins, coin-blanks, medals, tokens and copper strips and coils. Mittal Craftworks is an offshoot of this copper manufacturer. Its clients include India’s government mints, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Thai Treasury, Bank Negara Malaysia, Banco Central de Reserva del Peru and Indian Ordnance Factories.

It sells its pure silver coins and tokens under the brand Serranto and the hand-crafted pure copperware as Copperkraft in a few overseas markets besides in India. Now restricted to only some states because it has a limited network of distributors, but has also gone online with its own e-commerce website as well as other marketplaces, and plans to expand its wings throughout the country, Mittal adds. All that glistens is definitely not gold.

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