Tirupur Exporters Invest Rs 1,000 Cr For Modernisation

Chennai, Sept 28: | Updated: Sep 29 2003, 05:30am hrs
The vast and diverse spectrum of the textile industry is focussed on solutions to face the challenges of free trade from January 1, 2005. The hosiery exporters of Tirupur, who have scaled up exports to Rs 5,000 crore this year, are already on a different pedestal. They have already invested over Rs 1,000 crore for modernisation and upgradation.

Tirupurs short delivery schedules, high flexibility of production for customised short runs to the high-value, fashion-oriented EU/US customers are an advantage we enjoy over our competitors Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. The core strength of Tirupur is its ability to produce multiple designs in lower volumes at competitive prices, said A Sakthivel, president, Tiupur Exporters Association (TEA)

The phase out of the multi-fibre agreement, (MFA) would mean an additional $100 billion additional world trade making it $500 billion by 2005. Mr Sakthivel said, This will present a major opportunity for the exporting countries. There will be tremendous scope for additional market gains for Tirupur products.

Tirupur is gearing itself in several ways to cash in on this emerging opportunities, to build further on its strength and to upgrade its product-mix with more of mid and premium segments. Some of the projects under way are the Launching of Tirupur Target 2005 project with Netherlands aid, plan to float a Tirupur Common Brand, setting up of a modern apparel park, creating a warehouse facility in Rotterdam, partnering with the government for Infrastructure development and benchmarking with global players with ITC and Textile Committee help.

The Centre for Developing Imports form Developing Countries, Netherlands (CBI) has initiated an exercise for the Tirupur Target 2005 group by designing and forecasting fashion trends to enhance client loyalty. CBI has been fine-turning the strategies for compliance amongst the target group: High degree of process integration, strong buyer relationship and multi country operational flexibility to ensure a globally cost competitive and optimally de-risked growth model.

According to Mr Sakthivel, another major ambitious project of Tirupur exporters is the promotion of a common brand in the EU and later in the US markets. TEA has submitted a proposal to the Union commerce ministry to release Rs 22.5 crore spread over a three-years to popularise and conceptualise the Triupur Common Brand. The members subscribing to the programme would contribute Rs 7.5 crore. It requires three years to launch and propagate the brand in the European Union.

The Netaji Apparel Park, for which the foundation stone was laid on July 4, 2003, has already enlisted 54 members. Coming up on 165 acres it is estimated to cost Rs 300 crore. State bank of India has offered Rs 100-crore credit facility for the project. TEA is planning to set up a Warehouse in Rottedam to be ready to hit the market in the right time by storing the apparel in advance. The plan is that TEA along with India Trade promotion Organisation (ITPO) and St John Freight Systems Ltd, a Tuticorin-based logistic provider, will promote the Warehouse. It is estimated to cost Rs 5.63 crore. about 50 exporters are expected to participate in the project. TEA is awaiting commerce ministrys nod to initiate the project.

In order to develop the basic infrastructure in Tirupir, TEA has requested the Centre to set up a Greater Tirupur Development Authority and earmark two per cent of the export earnings generated by the Tirupur industry for investment in infrastructure.

The textile committee has introduced the benchmarking software of the International Trade Centre, an organ of WTO and UNCTAD, to find out where they stand in comparison to their competitors. According to A Unnikrishan, deputy director, Textile Committee, Tirupur, the trade associations and individual exporters have evinced keen interest in the benchmarking a pckage.