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What are your plans with respect to technical textiles, the next big thing being touted?
Indeed, technical textiles are important. Moreover, it is in the realm of wearable electronics that the next big revolution in textiles is expected. We are already in the domain of protective clothing, for extreme cold weather laminates with membranes that we supply to the Army for our jawans in the Siachen Glacier. We plan to enlarge this scope with wearable electronics that can monitor health and dispense medication through the clothing.
How have exports fared in the last two years? What has been the growth percentage in the last two years and what is the percentage targeted for the next fiscal?
The export performance in the last two years has been affected by various factors like currency fluctuation, intensifying competition, etc. Export sales of our company in the last two years have not increased; rather it has gone down. During the year 2013-14, export sales were Rs 549 crore. It was almost flat when compared with the export sales during 2012-13 (Rs 545 crore). The export sales during the year 2014-15 were Rs 476 crore. We anticipate about 30-35 per cent growth during the current financial year 2015-16.
What about the home fashion segment?
We have exited from the home fashion segment as it is not our core business. We have used our jacquard capacities to start up the automotive fabrics with a new JV with Treve's, France (who are a leader in this segment). We also are exploring fabrics for women's handbags and accessories as a value-added segment with the design studio in Paris.
In terms of fabrics and RMG, any plans to step into the business of brands? What is the retail strategy that is being considered?
Retail is seeing a major transformation with e-commerce. We are exploring working with Amazon, India and Flipkart, Myntra and others to develop private-label offerings. At the same time, we are looking to explore retail factory-label-outlets for surplus and other made-for-factory-outlet products that offer value to the consumer.
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