Akshay Sharma, CEO of Magnum Resources, talks about the latest trends in the Indian machinery industry, technical innovations taking place in this sector, the challenges faced by this industry, and the steps to resolve these challenges with fibre2fashion
What are the challenges that machinery makers/importers in the textiles niche face?
There are many machine manufacturers in the world especially in Europe/US. The main challenge they face is cost-matching according to the country they want to deal with. Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh still have low wage rates; hence, the cost of machines they want to procure matters a lot in terms of ROI. It's the same in the case of importers who are mainly based in US/Europe. They always look forward to having a good profit margin from these countries as the main business somehow comes from here. It all depends upon the price the manufacturers pay for machines, and they get that price from the buyers of their products. It has to be submerged similarly.
What would be your top five steps to be able to meet these challenges?
Cost is the major factor where manufacturers/importers have to focus. Companies who are willing to buy imported machines are looking for ROI within 3-5 years, especially in Asian countries. Here it is better to support the 'Make in India' programme, so that the cost of machines with the same quality is in the reach of small and medium manufacturers too.
Normally, international companies should try to start their manufacturing units in India with a similar R&D that people have utilised in Europe/US. The Indian government has already started this programme, and it has started inspiring many companies planning to put up their manufacturing units in India. Companies should also employ Indian people after giving training to them so that they get similar quality of products (machines) with lesser cost. We all know the wage rate is too high in Europe/US.
There are a few big exhibitions coming up internationally like Shanghaitex and ITME. Our government should prepare a team to invite various manufacturing companies to India. There should be some kind of seminar from the Indian government/textile ministry to promote Make in India in textiles.
To get a good product, we always need good quality raw materials; especially for modern and good machines; steel and electronic components need to be of good quality. If that needs to be imported, there should be some kind of subsidy on those, so that the cost of product remains low.
Why has India not been able to emerge as a manufacturing hub for machinery?
India has the capability to emerge as a manufacturing hub for machinery. With the rolling out of Make in India campaign by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will certainly achieve our strategic goal with team synergy. Promotion for putting up manufacturing units in India will be the best solution to emerge out of this situation.
How strong is your dealer network, and what steps do you take to strengthen it?
We have offices in western India, and we are lining up the offices in southern India. Our focus is on northern and eastern parts of India for expansion. We are planning for offices in Bangalore and Kolkata.
We are eyeing tie-ups and channel partnerships with renowned names in machinery manufacturing. Maharashtra and West Bengal are planning special textiles parks similar to those in Gujarat. Grasim VSF will be a strong value proposition as a fashionable fibre with the benefit of LIVA and LAFF along with Reliance Recron. We are also establishing our brand, Magnum. Manufacturing is to touch $1 trillion by 2025. The Gujarat government has announced a special incentive for the weaving sector. Those who already have spinning can put looms in the same premises, and they will get tax deduction.
What is the kind of focus on technical textiles at Magnum, now that it is being considered the sunshine industry? Which sector of technical textiles will Magnum concentrate more on?
Our focus on technical textiles is increasing, because we expect the government to offer special incentives for technical textiles. Mostly these factories are based in Maharashtra (near Pune), Vadodara and Andhra Pradesh. We are dealing with Miller Weldmaster and Fiab. We also have stitch-less technology from H&H, which can be put into practice in technical textiles also. The new textiles policy, which was expected by the end of April, will come now (Maharashtra has a special textiles policy for garments cluster-wise).
What are the new trends in machinery that one can expect?
The latest technology that we have integrated into our machineries and is bound to pick up pace is stitch-less technology and automation. Our machines can produce stitch-less undergarments in the synthetic fibres category. This technology is also possible for cotton. Laser technology is another upcoming trend in the home textiles and technical textiles machinery sector. Any type of cut is possible with this technology. Only home textiles is a product where 100 per cent automation is possible. We are associated with world's renowned companies in automation from Europe.
What are the new trends in terms of machinery for fashion embroidery?
Laser effect may be an emerging trend in terms of machinery for fashion embroidery. Whole portion embroidery and decorative stitch are also likely to rule this industry. Around 800 garment factories are coming in the Bhiwandi cluster, 500 in Nashik cluster followed by already sanctioned Kolhapur and Nagpur clusters. Big textile houses, along with us, will be supplying to these factories. We joined hands with DKTE (supplied Amaya Embroidery & Miller Weldmaster Heat Sealing m/c for Nonwoven under discussion) for Kolhapur and Sholapur clusters.
What was your growth percentage in the last two years? What is the expected growth?
We have been around since 2004, and our expertise was mainly in sewing machineries. We are fast growing in technical textiles. Our expected growth in the next two years is 25-30 per cent.
As told to Mary Christine Joy
Published on: 06/06/2015
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.