Interview with Manu Kapur

Face2Face
Manu Kapur
Manu Kapur
President & CEO
GHCL Home Textiles
GHCL Home Textiles

Sustainability and traceability will be drivers

GHCL is one of India's leading manufacturers of home textiles, with in-house spinning unit having capability to manufacture multiple varieties of 100 per cent cotton and blended yarns at various facilities. Manu Kapur, President and CEO of GHCL Home Textiles, talks of trends and plans.

GHCL Limited, with headquarters at Noida in Uttar Pradesh, is a well diversified group with footprints in the chemicals, textiles and consumer products segments. The textiles division at GHCL is an integrated setup commencing from spinning of yarn to weaving, dyeing, printing and processing till the finished products like sheets and duvets take shape and are primarily exported worldwide. 

It is one of India's leading manufacturers of home textiles with an in-house spinning unit at Madurai, Tamil Nadu and a state-of-the-art home textiles facility at Vapi, Gujarat with a weaving and processing capacity of 45 million metres of fabric up to made-ups. A perennial innovator in bed linen, it has the flexibility to process both cotton and blended fabrics. 
GHCL has achieved a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 per cent in the top line of its textiles business for the last eight years. With an existing capital investment of ?13.50 billion in the textiles business, GHCL plans to invest another ?3.50 billion in the next two years.

In September, GHCL launched Cirkularity, a new brand of eight lines of bedding supporting the circular economy at the New York Home Fashions Market Week. These lines centre on "reduce, reuse and recycle". Rekoop, the inspiration behind Cirkularity, is a brand of bedding products made from recycled plastic (rPET) and is the first bedding product to use Applied DNA Sciences' CertainT platform. Rekoop bedding products will be available for sale in the US beginning first quarter 2019. 

Which consumer trend is going to drive the way you do business in the next 2-3 years?

In my opinion, the trends that are going to drive business over the coming years are sustainability and traceability. Customers today are very conscious about their responsibility towards the planet and, according to a recent study, 66 per cent of global millennials are willing to spend more on brands that are sustainable. Clearly, sustainability is where brands will compete for the millennial spend. Moreover, there is no sustainability without traceability. Provenance and supply chain traceability of raw materials is of paramount importance for retailers and brands to stand behind their claims of sustainability.

And, which manufacturing trend is going to drive the way you do business in the next 2-3 years?

Again, sustainability in manufacturing is decidedly going to drive the way one does business over the next few years-sustainable raw material usage, sustainable production practices and sustainable supply chain solutions. The relevance of 'responsible consumption and production', one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals cannot be over-estimated. The linear economy model is giving way to the circular economy model. The trend of focusing on "Reduce, Reuse, Refurbish, Repair and Recycle" is fast catching on.

What has been the response to Cirkularity so far? But this was launched in New York. How are you looking at the Indian market?

The response to Cirkularity has been overwhelming. Customers the world over have shown tremendous interest in the collections that form part of Cirkularity, all of which support the circular economy. Our plan for Cirkularity for the near term is to focus on markets that have a mature customer base that is sensitised to and willing to support the pressing need of curtailing environmental degradation-markets such as the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. We plan on launching some collections within Cirkularity in India online in 2020.
What has been the response to Cirkularity so far? But this was launched in New York. How are you looking at the Indian market?

Please tell us more about the Rekoop collection.

Rekoop is a sustainable bedding solution that is made using a blend of cotton and recycled polyester.

The recycled polyester is made from post-consumer PET bottles by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). What makes the concept unique is the fact that the recycled polyester is forensically tagged through the CertainT platform of Applied DNA Sciences in New York. This secures provenance and traceability across the entire supply chain and accords unparalleled authenticity to the product.


Please tell us more about the Rekoop collection.

How do you look at the exports market in the coming year? How do you think the US-China tradeoff and Brexit would affect GHCL?

The headwinds in the industry have been immense. The underperformance of brick and mortar stores, the dwindling of the department store format in the US, rampant store closures, a dilution of the wallet spend on retail and simultaneous growth of capacities the world over. As far as we at GHCL are concerned, the focus for us will be to continue to carve a niche for ourselves around sustainability, traceability, innovation and giving back to society. We will hence, by design, try and stay insulated from sporadic opportunities that come up on account of shifts in bilateral/ multilateral relationships.
Published on: 04/01/2019

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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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