Interview with D Devadas

D Devadas
D Devadas
Chief Technical & Business Development Officer
Loyal Textiles
Loyal Textiles

The lockdown is being phased out in a calibrated manner. What is the state of the textile industry right now? What are the immediate concerns?

The textile industry in India has suffered a big blow since Jan 2020. It is in real bad shape. The only silver lining and hope for the future are the new opportunities in medical textiles and anti-viral luxury garments for personal hygiene. 

The immediate concerns are hands shortage as most migrant workers have gone back. Increase in the spread of the virus in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are big concerns as well.

By when are you expecting the revival process to commence?

This is a million dollar question. In our case the revival process commenced in May 2020 itself and was strengthened in June- but it is a long way to go. We are confident that by October 2020 we should be back to normal. It may not be a V shaped recovery but a U shaped one.

The virus is here to stay. What steps have you taken to mitigate its impact?

We are strictly following the following Covid-19 protocols: 

1) Strict inspection of all entries - temperature, breathability, blood oxygen level percentage, respiratory ratio monitoring
2) Strict social distancing in work places and hostels and while commuting
3) Compulsory masks
4) Hand hygiene by frequent soap washing and sanitizer
5) Improving the immunity of all stake holders by various Ayush food supplements
6) Sanitisation of indoors and out-doors
7) Immediate isolation and quarantine of suspected cases with symptoms 
8) Testing upon 3 continuous days of symptoms, and if found positive immediate admission into hospitals
9) Identifying all contacts and isolation / quarantine for 14 days

We are recruiting new work force, training them on a continuous basis and educating them about the virus and the above 9 steps. We are stocking up raw materials for atleast 3 months.

There has been a lot of talk on how India could be one of the countries that the world could be looking at as an alternative manufacturing destination. Have players like you taken any step to reinforce this hope?

The general expectation is that the west will no longer trust China and will look towards South Asia and ASEAN for their imports. Whereas ASEAN countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka have already started getting positive vibes, India , as usual is still a sleeping elephant. We have to wake up fast and start investing and try to become a second workshop to the world under Make in India initiative. 

The government of India has to go a long way in deregulation, single window concepts, being investor friendly etc - to learn from ASEAN countries.

The Indian textile Industry has amazingly met the hope of the nation by becoming the world's second largest PPE manufacturer in just 3 months from zero level. Today hundreds of masks are being made and able to meet the local demand. We have even started to export them. As export ban has been now lifted on medical PPEs, India will start exporting PPEs as well very soon. However we have a long way to go in packaging and meeting the global standards in quality, testing and certification.

Loyal has invested in machinery like heat sealing tape for PPEs, clean room, semi auto packing, EtO & UV sterilisation etc. We also propose to invest in a disposable N95 mask making auto line soon. We have planned to enter 4 more different medical products in collaboration with SITRA. We understand the importance of modern packaging and hence going into auto packaging in a very well designed aesthetic manner.

Sustainability has become more important now post Covid. What steps are you taking in this direction in terms of raw material, production, and the entire supply chain?

Fortunately, we are a truly fibre to fashion institution as we have 3 ginning factories for ginning cotton fibres, 4 spinning plants, 2 weaving plants, 2 knitting plants, 1 processing plant and 7 garment units. We are a fully integrated multi locational textile unit. We have been able to sustain for 100 odd years due to this fact and due to continuous investment in modernising our technology.

We are planning to set up waste recycling plant so that we can recover all good fibres and reuse them in OE spg. We have already invested in fabric chindies opening plants which will now be enhanced so that all wastes in garments can be opened up and reused.

Our Business Continuity Planning (BCP) has been drawn and put in place for surviving and sustaining the post Covid situation. Efficiency in production and machinery utilisation is an area where we want to focus. (PC)
Published on: 07/07/2020

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

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