Interview with Mr Manikam Ramaswami

Face2Face
Mr Manikam Ramaswami
Mr Manikam Ramaswami
Chairman & MD
Loyal Textile Mills Limited
Loyal Textile Mills Limited

Well, besides cotton issues, there must be few other aspects too that you may wish to share as issues strangulating Indian textile and clothing industry’s healthy growth?

Cotton was an Issue, our present Minister Maran is keeping a close tab on the situation and we are very confident that he will ensure that we are not handicapped by the same set of traders whose greed made the government come out with anti national policies of ‘incentivising’ past exports.

In my opinion the biggest challenge that industry faces is; convincing the policy makers that the textile industry is capable of offering better opportunities than NREGA to the unemployed; to be honest I am myself not convinced.

As an industry, we need to do some introspection and make sure that we have in place a minimum wage structure for all textile jobs; link all TUFs rebates to number of provident fund paid employees we have; be more transparent in treatment of water and get rules changed wherever it is impractical rather than manage the inspectors.

If we can with certainty say that we are employing people giving them a better livelihood than NREGA then we should aggressively ask for greater support in line with what China and other countries are getting. If we get equal support, there will be nothing to stop Indian textiles from doubling itself in less than 3 years and creating additional 2.5 to 3 crores good jobs across India.

The support we need is not gratis but a conscious effort to give back all state, central levies, extra cost of in-house power generation (thanks to power shortages in textile dominant states like Tamil Nadu being more or less exclusively borne by textiles).

According to estimates by INDA and EDANA, the current per capita consumption of nonwovens in India is less than the meager amount of 100 grams, whereas the per capita consumption of nonwovens in developed markets such as US and Western Europe is around 3 to 3.5 kilograms. What all can be considered as determinants behind less growth of this sector in India?

Thank God for the small consumption of a bio non degradable product! Except in a few areas like road making and soil retention, I personally not believe in increasing non woven consumption; it is no doubt cheap but has a huge impact on the environment.

Non woven is not textiles; it is as remotely connected to textiles as plastic / PVC / polypropylene sheets making or poly woven sacks making. Understanding this is important to save the textile industry.

Considering recent talks at Copenhagen on Environmental issues, industry today, can be said to be getting obsessive with ‘Ecological’ production. Seems it has become a strategic approach rather than being just a CSR, isn’t it?

Indian culture says that it is one of our 5 sacred duties (Pancha Maha Yagna ) to protect the environment; not withstanding Copenhagen or Kyoto we need to look at it as a compulsory right. CSR is beyond the call of duty but environment protection is a duty.

Any JVs planned for short-mid term?

We have one JV in Italy; we are in the process of establishing the second one in Germany. We had a JV in Greece which was wound up last year. We have our offices in UK and Bangladesh to market our products in these markets, and are exploring the possibility of establishing manufacturing JVs in Africa as we see Africa as the next textile manufacturing destination when China and India start consuming greater proportion of their products domestically with rapidly rising buying power.

Thanks for insights, Mr Ramaswami! It was nice to talk to you.

Welcome.

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Published on: 04/01/2010

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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