The next big revolution in textiles will be in wearable electronics
Banswara Syntex Ltd has big expansion plans. Ravi Toshniwal, MD of Banswara Syntex Ltd, talks about the ambitious plans of the company, its fibre business, and its sustainability initiatives in an interview with fibre2fashion.com.
How has the demand for fibre-dyed yarn been in the last two years? How is it expected to shape up in the next two years?
Fibre-dyed yarn is particular in its usage and characteristics. India has an edge in this type of yarn. However, the challenge is, and will always be, that it requires more lead time to make than a regular non-dyed, standard ecru yarn. The demand for this type of yarn from India is in fact becoming stronger. Globally, people recognise that India is good at this type of special yarn. As a matter of fact, it is a very peculiar and cumbersome way of making yarn by dyeing the fibres before spinning. The advantages are the colour continuity and the true melange nature of colours that can be made.
Which yarn from the Banswara portfolio is the consumer demanding more?
Banswara has been a specialist, even within the fibre-dyed category, in blended PV Lycra-based fibre-dyed yarns. This is the core demand from Banswara as a supplier.
Which are the new sustainable practices that the Banswara house has initiated across its textile value chain?
Banswara has initiated a huge CSR initiative for cleaning up the community around the mill at Banswara. We recycle all the waste water using RO membranes. The use of recycled fibres in polyester made from PET bottles as a per cent of our production continues to grow.
Waterless dyeing though expensive is said to be the most environment-friendly. What are your thoughts on this and any plans to adopt this technology?
This is still in the realm of theory. Fortunately for Banswara, it has a large reservoir of water from both - underground and the dam. We try and use as little as possible with modern technologies for low liquor ratio - dyeing and recycling.
What are your plans with respect to technical textiles, the next big thing being touted?
Indeed, technical textiles are important. Moreover, it is in the realm of wearable electronics that the next big revolution in textiles is expected. We are already in the domain of protective clothing, for extreme cold weather laminates with membranes that we supply to the Army for our jawans in the Siachen Glacier. We plan to enlarge this scope with wearable electronics that can monitor health and dispense medication through the clothing.
How have exports fared in the last two years? What has been the growth percentage in the last two years and what is the percentage targeted for the next fiscal?
The export performance in the last two years has been affected by various factors like currency fluctuation, intensifying competition, etc. Export sales of our company in the last two years have not increased; rather it has gone down. During the year 2013-14, export sales were Rs 549 crore. It was almost flat when compared with the export sales during 2012-13 (Rs 545 crore). The export sales during the year 2014-15 were Rs 476 crore. We anticipate about 30-35 per cent growth during the current financial year 2015-16.
What about the home fashion segment?
We have exited from the home fashion segment as it is not our core business. We have used our jacquard capacities to start up the automotive fabrics with a new JV with Treve's, France (who are a leader in this segment). We also are exploring fabrics for women's handbags and accessories as a value-added segment with the design studio in Paris.
In terms of fabrics and RMG, any plans to step into the business of brands? What is the retail strategy that is being considered?
Retail is seeing a major transformation with e-commerce. We are exploring working with Amazon, India and Flipkart, Myntra and others to develop private-label offerings. At the same time, we are looking to explore retail factory-label-outlets for surplus and other made-for-factory-outlet products that offer value to the consumer.
Published on: 28/04/2015
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.