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Interview with Laxmikant Rathi

Industry Speak
Laxmikant Rathi
Laxmikant Rathi
Head of Sales & Marketing
Ideal Sheet Metal Stampings & Pressings
Ideal Sheet Metal Stampings & Pressings

Maintaining labour force will be a challenge for next 2-3 months

With more than 60 years of experience in the textile industry, Ideal Group works very closely with renowned OEMs and textile mills and manufactures various machine products. Textile being its core, Ideal has also forayed into defense and automobiles sector. Fibre2fashion spoke to Laxmikant Rathi, Head of Sales & Marketing at Ideal Sheet Metal Stampings & Pressings, to understand the impact of COVID-19 situation on the textile machinery manufacturers and suppliers of India.

The current COVID-19 crisis has brought the entire textiles-apparel production, supply chain, and retail sales to a grinding halt. How do you see this impacting textile machinery manufacturers and suppliers? How is your supply chain being hit? Are you facing cancellation of orders?

COVID-19 has practically impacted all the sectors and Textile and Clothing (T&C) is no exception. Since entire global retail markets are closed, T&C has also come to a standstill. This has a direct impact on the sales of machinery, accessories, spare parts and consumables.

Though we are fortunate enough to not have order cancellations, yet there would be delays in executions as the cash flow cycle is affected. The investments in new projects may be delayed by few quarters, affecting Textile Engineering Industry (TEI) in short to medium term. 

Post lockdown, what are the problems you foresee and how do you plan to help your clients with respect to after-sales service and spare parts?

Post lockdown, following will be the major issues:

a) Labour – Most of the migrant labour have either gone back or will be going to their respective natives. Therefore, maintaining the labour force will be a challenge for the next 2-3 months.

b) Companies will have to take care of social distancing, which will require special attention and care. 

c) Cash crunch/liquidity will be another issue and hence demand will be sluggish till the case flow improves.
We will be in contact with our customers using electronic media. Information related to maintenance and trouble-shooting will be shared with them so that their work is not affected.

What do you think the government can do to further ease pain of textile machinery manufacturing companies? Any thoughts on rallying together as a key niche of the value chain to arrive at some workable plan to get through these difficult times?

Textile machinery manufacturing industry is worth more than ₹ 15000 crore. However, our dependence on imports is also more than 50 per cent. Many of the machines are simply not viable to be manufactured in India. Therefore, government needs to spread red carpet for foreign companies by taking following measures:

Infrastructure – Cost of land and power is quite high. Like some of the industrial parks, Textile Machinery Park (TMP) with incentives on land, power, common manufacturing facilities and labour reforms can give boost!

Export Incentives – Apart from duty exemptions on raw material, government can consider the same on power, other consumables, transport etc.

Financial tieups – Hermes / Commerz Bank are helping European machinery manufacturers by providing attractive line of credit. Similar support from Indian financial institutions will help exports. (PC)
Published on: 01/05/2020

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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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