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Indian Socks runs on growth trajectory by 10-25% annually
Mar '11
Trivial though usually looked upon, 'Socks' is definitely an important part of a person's wardrobe. Still, since long the segment is not taken to be vital.

Attributing towards negligence from policy makers and business developers for the sector kept unattended or least valued, Mr Rohit Pal, MD- Renfro India speaking exclusively for News team at fibre2fashion describes “This segment within clothing has never got its due respect for many years, but I think that outlook has to be changed, and to an extent it is changing now.”

“Socks may not be playing major part as economy driver, but still if the segment is taken seriously it can earn good profits for players,” opines Mr Vineet Bhatia, Properitor of V K Knitting Industries.

Mr Raj Kumar Jain, MD – Bonjour, bringing out the importance of sector, comments “Socks is a requirement of common men for everyday needs. It is estimated to be having over 3000 manufacturing units out of which 85% is in and around Delhi and its national capital regions. And out of this, over 95% business is unorganized and fragmented. I estimate it to be around Rs. 3000crs. Business.”

According to Mr Pal's estimates, Indian knitwear market size is more than Rs. 25000crs, and socks in region would be between around Rs. 600 to 700crs at both organized and unorganized retail end excluding wholesale.

He accentuates, “I think that socks would turn as part of what I call accessorization and accessories adds as a vital sector under garmenting. I estimate it's been of importance in growing at a very rapid pace around 10 to 25% annually. If it has not got its due importance in the past, it has now got a pace today and it is likely to grow.”

Analyzing the impediments in the growth of this category, Mr Bhatia draws attention to lack of good technology in India on this front. He highlights, “I am interacting with many customers internationally. Overall, our line of players lags behind international competitors in technology. Otherwise, we have better opportunity in international market than in India. Export from India is not much as far as socks is concerned. But domestic market is good.”

Mr Jain also notes that for the socks industry there is no training college which will help socks industry get groomed in India. Not a single institution is established to give any training on skills honing in this line. Even for operating machines both- hand operated and automated, training is essential in his view.

Mr Ajit Lakra, president of Chamber of Knitwear and Textile Associations of Ludhiana, sees a very big scope for domestic consumption and exports of knitwear. He points up, “I believe knitwear sector has a big role to play and what is required to have is more good institutes for improving the skills at all levels.”

10% excise duty is a detrimental aspect for Socks sector too. Mr Bhatia expresses, “Socks is a low cost product and bearing 10% excise duty is justsinking our product. Already cotton prices in the entire year have increased too much and above that excise duty that too 10% is just a suicidal kind of a thing”

“It is either you pay 10% on wholesale or you pay 6% on MRP whatever higher,” mentions Mr Pal.

He elaborates “In past socks was not in excise duty so , given the fact that cotton and all commodity relating prices have gone to the roof we have enough of price pressures to be really be able to absorb any of the excise duty that has now being levied.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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