Interview with Mr. K. Ramachandran Pillai

Face2Face
Mr. K. Ramachandran Pillai
Mr. K. Ramachandran Pillai
CMD
National Textile Corporation Ltd
National Textile Corporation Ltd

How about the market spread across the nations?

Of course, we have major thrust on exports too. The company shall no more be confined to domestic markets. In addition to domestic presence, we will explore the export potentials in Europe and countries like Korea, Pakistan, and South Africa etc.

Mr. Pillai, as you too know, these markets are studded with the big ticket players be it domestic or international. How prepared is NTC for this cut throat competition?

Actually, NTC is not looking the elite group as its consumer market. It has always been focusing middle class and lower middle class. So, it is not going to be affected by hi-end brands which are basically catering high income earning/spending category of consumers. We have expertise in the yarn market and are in good stead with Apparel manufacturers across the nation and abroad as a lot of them are our clients. We have empanelled agencies to carry over the survey and strategize our entry into this segment which you rightly mentioned is a crowded segment. We have chosen Menswear (Shirts and Innerwear), Technical Textiles and Home Textiles. Menswear accounts for 36% of the overall market and in that Shirts account for 38% of the market. We are not entirely new to the segment with our brands Entyce and Finalys already in the market. Mens innerwear also has a large market and throws up an interesting proposition. Men’s innerwear market has been growing at 14% since 2006 and is valued at INR 4,500 Crores in 2010. It is expected to reach INR 7,200 Crores with a CAGR of 10% by 2015. We would make our presence felt in the Value for Money segment, with a large customer base interested in buying branded products at affordable prices. Home textiles market has been growing at 9% since 2005 estimated at INR 17,000 Crores in 2010. It is expected to reach INR 26,600 Crores with a CAGR of 9.3% by 2015. In the Indian home textiles market, bed linen accounts for more than 50% of the market. This is where our prime focus shall be. Very few players are in the market that made such a focused entry like ours.

Interesting! And, what is your take on current moves by Government in FDI policy?

100% FDI in Single brand retail and 51% FDI in Multi brand retail is a positive step in the progress of the nation. We see nations like China, Thailand, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, Chile and Malaysia where hypermarkets and small retail outlets continue to co-exist. Employment generation would be a big plus and ultimately consumers would get to choose and benefit from this model. Individual states will be free to allow opening of retail outlets in their states under their policy. We would see huge influx of foreign investment and creation of jobs, thus curbing inflation and generating employment.

Internet is known as powerful tool. NTC has already deployed this tool in the form of e-auction; how successful has it been?

It was done a year back in July 2010 and was a great success for the sale of our two properties in Mumbai. We got about 200 Crores per acre. There is absolutely no scope for any allegation, for even if you do an excellent job there can be vested interest in the society or company who will try to malign the image for their interest or reason, and this is what absolutely, in fact totally, could be avoided in the e-auction which is very transparent process for auctioning properties. So, utmost transparency is its salient feature. Secondly, every bidder can see what other bidder is quoting; hence one can jack up the figure in competition, which ultimately helps the seller to bag highest sale price. We sold about 10 acres of land in Mumbai in July 2010, we got 1979 Crores, and no body has yet broken these record figures so far. To my knowledge, perhaps NTC is the first company for the land e-auction. In fact our idea is to go only for e-auction process for future sales of our lands.

What is your view on the potential of Technical Textiles?

In India this sector is not grown to what it should be and is very much in the nascent stage. So the potential of this field is very high and therefore we have decided to venture into two areas of Non-wovens: Geotech and Meditech. Initiatives are already taken to explore these two most lucrative areas in India.

Any more plans, you may wish to share-

In short we basically are trying to make NTC a ‘Navratna’ if not ‘Maharatna’. We have fully conceived all the plans for it that comprise of strong marketing strategy followed by market diversification to Nonwovens, and even Real Estate. *(Navratna was the title given originally to nine Public Sector Enterprises identified by the Government of India in 1997 as "public sector companies that have comparative advantages". The Maharatna status, raises a company's investment ceiling from INR 1,000 crore to INR 5,000 crore).

Thanks for joining us on Face2Face, Mr. Pillai! We wish you all the very best for these endeavors.

You're welcome!

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Published on: 12/12/2011

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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