“Market intelligence helps in taking the right decisions”: ITF
The Textile magazine|March 2020
“Market intelligence helps in taking the right decisions”: ITF
The Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) has always believed in charting out its own distinct path for the betterment of the textile industry. Whether it is through introducing new sourcing methods in cotton purchase for its members or helping mills improve their energy efficiency or sharing market intelligence, it has always been taking proactive steps. We recently interacted with Prabhu Dhamodharan, convenor of ITF, and got to know from him the various new initiatives of the federation, including the ITF training academy, market intelligence platforms and sustainability focus, among others.
M.K. Prabhakar

India’s largest textile entrepreneurs association from Tamil Nadu, the Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) was established by like-minded textile entrepreneurs with a combined annual turnover of over Rs. 40,000 crores. ITF is India’s fastest growing textile entrepreneurs association representing the entire textile manufacturing value chain from this southern State. It aspires to establish the Indian textiles industry in the global arena and gain world-class status. Beginning the interaction with a brief introduction of the key areas of focus of ITF, Prabhu Dhamodharan said: “ITF now represents the entire value chain of the textile industry in Tamil Nadu. We have around 450 companies on board.”

“Needless to say this number is constantly growing. Spinning is one of our target segments. In spinning, our members currently have a total spindle capacity of around 9 million spindles. We have 230 standalone spinning companies, 40 integrated companies, 90 apparel, 55 modern weaving companies and 20 processing companies as our members. Our focus is very simple. How can we improve the competitiveness of the textile industry? That is our driving mantra. While all the members may be competitors, we have all collected together under one umbrella. It is like a cooperative competition. It is a new terminology, one that can help achieve collaborative growth,” he added.

“At the end of the day it is all about financials. The company has to perform and the owner needs to earn a sustainable margin. This is what matters. Their earning sustainable margin depends on two factors, internal as well as external. We work on the external factor by constantly interacting with the policymakers to remove friction points. We are continuously submitting concept papers; we discuss with the policymakers about the structural changes that need to be brought about. Instead of just sending representations, we prepare study papers, so that policymakers can understand better. We collect and submit a lot of data,” he elaborated.

Citing an example, he said: “The US imports about Rs. 3 lakh crores worth of MMF apparel every year. Even with this large base the market there is still growing. Out of this India’s share is a miniscule Rs. 7,500 crores. We compared 24 HS codes between India and Vietnam in MMF space and published the data. We then advocated that the government should bring in necessary policy initiatives to encourage MMF production. We are lagging behind in terms of product innovation, technology, design aspects, etc., when it comes to MMF. So we need to build the entire ecosystem.”

Continuing further on the subject, Dhamodharan said: “Similarly, we formulated an ITF calculator to show the inversion in GST in MMF products. If this is corrected, the MMF value chain also will become efficient like the cotton value chain. We had also advocated the idea of mega apparel parks. We need scale. There is one Chinese company that is doing Rs. 21,000 crores worth of business in the apparel sector with 30% EBITDA margins. Isn’t it time we also increased our scale? We need more sustainable, compliant and integrated facilities.” Dhamodharan feels that the government is very much focused on the growth of the textile industry. Elaborating on the point, he said: “The government is focusing on the textile industry’s growth continuously and bringing much needed structural changes.”

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March 2020