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'Govt needs to do lot more' – Mr Bansal, Director, Celestial Knits
Mar '09
Mr Rajeev Bansal
Mr Rajeev Bansal
The textile and apparel industry in India tots up to around US $52 billion, with exports accounting for $20.5 billion and the rest of the pie accounted for by domestic markets. According to a recent survey, apparels purchasing accounts for nearly 17 percent of the Indian consumer, with foods and groceries coming a close second

But, the economic downturn which begun with the unfolding of the financial crisis in the US, has taken its toll of each and every economy in the world, developed or developing economies without any discrimination. Most of the major sectors have been affected per se. It has not spared the Indian textile and apparel industry too.

It also has been influenced to a great extent by the recessionary trends prevailing in the domestic markets too. This situation was just unimaginable, even a few months ago and the mantra of the hour, for each and every company, however big or small is surviving through this crisis which has reached tsunami like proportions.

Fibre2fashion took the initiative to understand the impact of the crisis on the domestic as well as apparel export industry in India. We earlier spoke exclusively to heads of textiles and apparel companies, to which we received mixed responses. Recently we spoke to Rajeev Bansal, Director, Celestial Knits & Fabs Pvt. Ltd.

Celestial Knits & Fabs Pvt. Ltd. (CKFPL), with a turnover of US $10.4 million, is a vertically integrated unit having in-house knitting, computerized embroidery, printing and state of the art garment manufacturing facilities and engaged in manufacture and export of high quality menswear, womenswear and kidswear since 1993.

We started off by asking Mr Bansal , his opinion on the current situation, to which he said, “The industry is going through a very tough phase. Low consumer demand has resulted in increased inventory levels; hence industries across the board are cutting down production and pruning staff”.

He continued, “Worst hit are the textile and garments, gems & jewellery, automobile sector and other labour intensive units. Reduction in bank interest rates and petroleum prices have given some respite to the ailing industry in helping cut costs, else the situation would have been worse”.

He added by saying, “Export oriented units have sighed with some relief due to appreciation of US Dollar and though the Government has taken some steps to aid the industry, a lot more needs to be done. The Interim Budget, in fact, fell short of expectations of each and every sector”.
We than asked him as to when he expects the situation to stabilize or turn for the better, to which he optimistically replied by saying, “In my view, it is just the beginning and worse is yet to come. This situation, in my view shall prevail for at least the whole of 2009 before showing some signs of recovery”.

To another important question as to what steps industry should take to fight recession, to which he readily replied by saying, “The only way I hope, is by consolidating the business, cutting costs and better management”.

We than prodded him to discuss his future plans. He said, “At the moment we do not plan to do any capital investment or expansion. We are trying to reduce our costs by consolidating the business and cutting down overheads. We are concentrating on marketing so as to ensure that we do not keep our capacities idle".

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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