However, it wasn’t a bed of roses for the industry. Then came the late 2000’s and the very early 2010’s, the years that literally halted the world’s economic growth wagon. Exports from Tirupur did not rise to the expectations for many reasons including the appreciation of rupee against dollar, global recession, price raise of raw materials, electricity deficiency at home and more.
Dr. A. Sakthivel, an executive member of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) since 1984, has been a prominent figure in the export business in Tirupur. Tirupur Exporters’ Association(TEA) was set up in the year 1990 under the leadership of Dr. Sakthivel. He now serves as the Chairman of AEPC for a record third time (1998, 2004, 2012).
In an exclusive interview with SupportBiz, Dr. Sakthivel, the President of TEA talks extensively about the association, the industry and a lot more.
On Tirupur’s export history, the highs and lows:
The export of garments from Tirupur began in 1978 and as it slowly grew, the European retail chains like C&A began exploring the products from the city in the early 1980s. A handful of manufacturers exported garments worth Rs.15 crore in 1985. The next couple of year was a windfall for Tirupur as exports touched Rs.300 crore in 1990.
Exports declined by 10 percent in 2007-08 due to appreciation of rupee against dollar in 2007-08 which was further damaged by the global recession. In 2008-09, exports registered was Rs.11,250 crores and in 2009-10, it just showed a meager growth to reach Rs.11,500 crores. In 2010-11, the exports reached Rs.12,500 crores and the number remained the same for the following year. However, in the last financial year (2012-13), Tirupur achieved Rs.13,000 crores in exports.
Major brands exporting from Tirupur:
Nike, Cutter & Buck, Tommy Hilfigure, Point Zero, Fruit of Looms, Adidas, GAP, Katzenberg, Van Hussain, Fila, Arrow, TESCO, S Oliver, Inditex (Zara), etc., and leading chain stores like C&A, WalMart, Target, Primark, Sears and Mothers Care, H&M, Decathlon, Carrefour, Lindex, Hanes Brand, Polo, Ralph Lauren, NEXT, Kiabi, Columbia Sportswear, Bhs, Wal-Mart, Aldi stores, Guess Jeans & Spring Field are sourcing from Tirupur.
On the garments industry:
There are closely 7000 units engaged in various processes of garment making. The units can be categories into:
The major challenges to the industry:
Market recession in EU and USA, increase in cotton yarn rate, processing charges ,bank interest rates, labour charges, power cost, transaction cost, accessories prices and diesel prices, labour shortage are the major challenges the industry is facing now.
On the future of Tirupur’s textile industry:
We expect there will be a growth rate of 15 percent to 20 percent after signing of Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) with EU. In addition to this, non-compliances in Bangladesh garments factories coupled with recent incidents like building collapse in Bangladesh may also contribute to a major shift of exports orders to Tirupur in the near future.