Interview with Mr Dilip Jiwrajka

Mr Dilip Jiwrajka
Mr Dilip Jiwrajka
Managing Director
Alok Industries Limited
Alok Industries Limited

Alok is one of the largest players in India's home textiles. What makes it so? In your view what is the larger picture of this sector in domestic and global terms with respect to market size, potential and trends?

In 2003, the company ventured into the value added segment of Home Textiles i.e. Bed Sheets, Fitted sheets, Pillow covers, Quilt covers, and Duvet covers etc. mainly for exports. Alok strategically moved into this segment to capture the value addition and add to the margins and also due to the fact that there were hardly any organized players in this space. Alok has installed modern wider width Air jet / Rapier shuttle less weaving looms at Silvassa and state of the art continuous wide width processing plant at Vapi along with yarn dyeing facilities. The company has also set up made-up stitching units at Silvassa and Vapi.

Due to its product quality, competitiveness and timely delivery, Alok added within a short period of time, large global retailers, brands and importers to its customer portfolio. Within a relatively short time frame, Alok has emerged as amongst the top manufacturers and exporters of home textiles in the country. The Company has been awarded Trophies in the last four years by TEXPROCIL for export of made-ups in the manufacturer exporter category.

The company has also tied up with AISLE 5, LLC a New York headquartered company to manufacture and distribute Bathing, Sleeping, Dining and Home Décor textile products specifically: sheets, pillow cases, blankets, duvets, robes, bathmats, towels, table linens, decorative pillows through supermarket retail stores in the United States and Canada. As a first step, Aisle 5 has already tied up with 190 stores in the USA through a major supermarket chain and the shipments from the company have commenced.

Looking to the future high growth areas, especially in the areas of high value added luxury bed linen and home textile products from organic cotton, the company has undertaken further expansion of its wider width processing, weaving, made ups and the company is also setting up Terry Towel unit to further capitalize on this emerging opportunity. The present capacity and capacities post expansion of home textiles division and the sales for FY 2008 vis-a-visa FY 2007 is as under:

ProductUnitsPresent CapacityCapacity Addition in Phase IIICapacity Addition in Phase IVCapacity Post ExpansionExpected Date of Completion
Sheeting FabricsMn Mtrs82.50--82.50Phase IV operational by March 2009
(Sheet Sets)Mn Sets(10.0)-(3.75)(13.75)
(Terry Towel)TPA-6700-6700

Emerging Opportunities in Export of Home Textile:

The market for home textile products has been growing at a rapid pace over the last few years. The present world trade in Made Ups is about US $ 16 billion, out of which India’s share is about 12%. This is the fastest growing and most buoyant sector of the Indian Textile Industry. Indian Home textiles have an international appeal because of their designs and patterns. Traditionally this sector has largely been catered by Hand looms and power looms but looking to the opportunities under quota free regime, new composite mills based on modern techniques are coming up to cater to export requirements.

The demand for home textile in developed countries is much higher as compared to the developing countries. For e.g. 60% of the USA’s per capita consumption of 450 meters p.a. is home textiles as against 30% apparel and 10% technical textiles. The extent of consumption of home textiles can be determined by the fact that total home textile consumption in USA is estimated to be around USD 21 billion. Presently a large portion of USA and EU markets, the largest markets for home textiles, is being catered to by their domestic manufacturers. However, leading Europe and US companies are increasingly out-locating Made Up manufacturing for cost benefit and environmental reasons. A lot of US companies are contemplating / have been closing down plants (like Pillowtex) and hence there is a shift in the manufacturing base. Countries with a strong legacy in textiles, dependable raw material base and cheap labour like China, India, and Pakistan etc are expected to benefit considerably from the above shift in manufacturing base.

What standpoint would you like to make on current textile industry in India vis-à-vis worldwide?

The Indian Textile and Apparel Industry occupy a significant position in the Global Textile Trade. It is the 3rd largest producer of raw cotton, 2nd largest producer of cotton yarn, largest producer of jute, 2nd largest producer of silk and cellulose fibre yarn and 5th largest producer of synthetic fibre / yarn. The total market size of the Indian Textile industry is approximately $52 billion, with total exports of textile and clothing of about US$ 17.11 billion in 2005-06. India accounts for 4.30% of the World Trade in Textile and clothing and is ranked 5th largest supplier. India is one of the few countries that have a presence across the entire value chain of the textiles and clothing business starting from raw material (fibre), spinning, weaving/knitting, processing to highest value added products –garments and made ups.

The Textile industry is crucial to the Indian economy in terms of contribution to GDP and employment. It contributes about 4% to the GDP, accounts for over 14% of total industrial production and contributes around 15% of gross exports. The sector is the 2nd largest employment provider after the agriculture sector, employing over 88 mn people directly and in allied sector.

The Indian textile industry comprises three sectors: the mill sector, the power loom sector and the handloom sector. In 2006-07 (P), the organised sector of India’s textile industry comprised about 1,808 textile mills, of which around 1,608 were spinning mills and some 200 were composite mills with spinning as well as weaving facilities with a spindlage capacity of over 40 million, which is second only to China globally. There are also approximately 1,236 small scale spinning units, 204 exclusive weaving units and approximately 440,000 power loom units. The total number of installed spindles is around 395,000 spindles and there is an open end spinning capacity equivalent to 600,000 rotors. The number of looms installed in the organised sector is about 0.88 lacs, power loom sector 19.90 lacs and handloom sector 38.91 lacs. The total number of processing units in all sectors is about 12,600 comprising of 210 composite mills, 2100 independent process houses and the rest being hand-processing units.

The above statistics merely highlight the tremendous importance of the textile industry, not only to the Indian economy but for the global textile market as well. In the post-quota regime, global buyers would now increasingly look to buy from fewer countries and vendors and India and Indian textile producers can look forward to fantastic opportunities in the coming years. The limitations could be obsolete technology, inadequate size, quality culture and competitive pricing. These can be circumvented with modernization of equipment, expansion of capacities and imbibing the new age culture by availing of various quality certifications.

Published on: 31/01/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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