Processing of woven fabric, as the demand is very high.
What would you say is the USP of the products being manufactured in Tiruppur?
Since we supply to international brands, the quality is of international standard. The industry that is set here, everything is available in terms of raw material, processing, and also the climate here is good. For knitted garments, everything is available from accessories to modern machinery. In fact knitting machines are displayed in Tiruppur soon after they are launched; so, that is an advantage. We find this place to be good, we have the location advantage being based in Tiruppur.
Where do you source your raw materials, yarn, and machinery from?
We mainly source from Tamil Nadu. We buy sewing machines from Juki. We recently bought weaving machines from Italy, and we earlier had Sulzer. For processing, we use Chinese machines, which we bought recently.
Do you think, Donald Trump's presidency will affect exports?
Actually, we were expecting the forex (w.r.t US dollars) to get affected, but on the contrary it started moving up slightly. I think he wants to create employment within the US, so the import of finished goods might get reduced to a certain extent. Other Asian countries will be substrates of layers because establishing garmenting facilities is easy and less investment-intensive than weaving, processing and others. We could become major substrate suppliers to the US, and finished garments might decrease.
What about the recent demonetisation? How will that affect the industry?
Demonetisation, of course everyone knows is very good for the country in the long run. But it is the most important thing that India had to deal with and now it's been dealt with, so we are very happy. As far as the domestic market is concerned, we have a domestic brand for home linen under a brand name called Swaas, which was actually affected very adversely.
Please tell us about Swaas.
Swaas is our home linen brand with three retail shops, out of which two are in Tiruppur and one in Palladum. We sell online through our website swaashome.com, and also we sell through Flipkart and Snapdeal. The online sales have been decent, but we get lost in the crowd. There are a lot of brands competing out there. So, we don't know how to make ourselves a preferred brand and visible brand.
But nevertheless, we do get some sales. Online is not reliable. We can't plan our business based on online sales because there are still a lot of customers who want to touch and feel the product. So, a retail shop works well for us. Actually, we have been receiving inquiries for franchisee. It's a small format store to find all bed lines-quilts, towels, bedsheets, mats, curtains, aprons and table lines-under one roof. The products are of export quality. We manufacture them exclusively for the Indian market, but the quality standards are higher compared to what is available online.
Do you plan to expand Swaas?
Yes, we are slowly doing it. Maybe, we will venture into the franchisee-store format route. We also plan to expand with standalone stores or shop-in-shops. I want to concentrate only on stores. For being online, we have to spend a lot to make ourselves visible. It has to be done on a day-to-day basis, and you need new collections. The manufacturing for Swaas is exclusive. I work with freelance designers and in-house designers. I buy designs and we make prints, decide on the products, and then we produce. Bedlinens and towels are our fast-moving products.
What is the production capacity at BKS for all your product offerings?
Our annual capacity for coated fabrics per day is 25,000 metres, woven fabrics is 75,000 metres in dyed, bleached, and printed forms. We make 10,000 pieces of napkins and 5000 table linens per day.
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