Interview with Sriramulu Balakrishnan

Face2Face
Sriramulu Balakrishnan
Sriramulu Balakrishnan
MD
KG Denim
KG Denim

Which are your major markets for denim fabrics, jeans, and bed & bath ranges?

Denim fabrics are mainly exported to Asia and Africa for conversion into garments for export to Europe and the US. Jeans are mostly exported to European countries. Home textiles products are mostly exported to the US. However, we have opened up business in the UK, the Middle-East and the Pacific countries.

Which product segments are faring well, and which face fierce competition?

All products in the textiles and apparel segment face competition. Our strategy has been to focus on niche segments so as to insulate our price and margin structure. Our ethical practices regarding labelling in organic and other segments have helped us build trust with our customers. Also, we have invested in sustainable manufacturing process fulfilling our customers' need for eco-friendly products. KGDL is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. We also constantly innovate in new product development which enables collaboration with our customers.

Are the global trends in denims in terms of weaves, fabric blends, and finishes steady or are they changing rapidly? What factors are major brands paying attention to?

Global demand for denim fabrics are changing every season with innovative finishes and technical aspect of the product. Jeans is a fashion product, brands and retailers are moving towards fast fashion. Our customers are moving towards selling fashion at a price, trying to imitate the Zara model. Therefore, there is constant pressure to provide new products on a regular basis.

Which points of sale are working well for your denim brand Trigger? Do you plan to diversify into more products for the brand?

Trigger is a jeans brand, and it will continue to be a sportswear brand. Trigger is sold as a mid-market fashion brand and is currently available in many good multi-brand outlets. Our franchise stores are primarily in South and West regions in India.

What are the sustainable policies followed at KG Denims?

Our entire manufacturing is based on sustainability, from the fuel used in the co generation plant, to fully recycling water. We also have audited our plants for carbon footprint, chemical usage, and water quality. Our commitment to sustainability is for everyone to see https://youtu.be/uZGhiwq6XSM.  We have been certified by many international organisations for our environmental initiatives.

Which two textile start-ups are you following closely?

We are looking constantly for new products in the technical textiles area and automotive sector. Startups in the textiles sector are concentrated in the brands. There are many successful brands and these are potentially our customers.

What are the future investment plans?

Our investment plans are geared to increase sales annually in our three segments of denim and apparel fabrics, home textiles and Trigger apparel. These investments are for organic growth; we do not plan to increase our debt substantially than our current levels.

Please share details of the last two fiscal years and your expectations for the next two.

Table below: Please share details of the last two fiscal years and your expectations for the next two.
Published on: 10/03/2017

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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