Eighty five per cent of India's readymade garments exports went to the quota countries. There was even a thriving trade in buying quotas from countries like Sri Lanka and Bangaladesh, which had quotas but not the capacity to utilise them. However, the end of the quota regime has heralded a new era for Tirupur.
...In the last 12 months, (Eastman Exports) alone has invested Rs 120 crore in capex. It has a spinning mill with a capacity of 50,000 spindles and its factories can manufacture two lakh T-shirts a day. "The opportunities are huge. And this is only the beginning as Indian players are just finding their feet in the global market. The future is even brighter," says a confident (Nachimuthu Chandran, Managing Director of the Rs 623-crore Eastman Exports).
..Not all companies, however, are focussing on the global market. R. Nagaraj, the soft-spoken owner of the Rs 250-crore (estimated; he refuses to disclose his actual revenues) Ramraj Group, realised the potential of the domestic market early on and is now regarded as India's dhoti king. His two main product are the humble dhoti and shirt. Some companies are also moving up the value chain by building or buying brands.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.