Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Feb 20, 2003
Grasim forms new strategy for VSF fabric production in TN
COIMBATORE, Feb. 19
GRASIM Industries Ltd of the Aditya Birla group which was in the forefront years ago to promote 100 per cent viscose stable fibre (VSF) spun yarn for export from Tamil Nadu is trying to replicate its past strategy, this time to put the VSF fabric production ahead both for export and domestic garmenting units' use.
While the rising VSF yarn exports is comforting enough for the VSF major, the not-so-impressive VSF fabric production by the domestic weaving sector due to outmoded weaving machines and lack of fabric design skills have blunted the consumption of the fabric by the domestic garmenting industry. This is despite the potential of the fabric fetching higher value in the export market, especially in fashion garmenting.
The increased export of finished VSF fabrics or their use by the domestic garment units would mean more value and a widened market for Grasim Industries, which has to find market for its 1,100 tonnes per day production of VSF. The current `focus VSF fabric production' strategy ushered in now by Grasim Industries centres on extending five market-supportive mechanism for the VSF fabric producers, product development/design, technical support, logistics, marketing and market information.
Grasim Industries has chosen the three major VSF-using Tamil Nadu weaving centres - Erode, Salem and Karur - where the company has unfolded its market supportive services.
Grasim has also lined up an interface for the VSF using weaving industry with diverse players in the fabric/garmenting industry - textile technical consultants, yarn spinners, dealers/agents, garment manufacturers, major buying houses/agents who source fabric/garment supplies and textile machinery dealers selling looms from leading global brands.
In the first of the three seminars focussing on these initiatives held at Erode for the local textile weavers, the Grasim officials introduced these services.
"We have now created the production benchmarks to help the weavers in VSF fabric production to achieve the value addition to their manufacture. Grasim's market support directory of VSF fabrics has 35 hubs, which would identify the prominent VSF product bases across the country. The company has also established linkages with garmenting units, which use fabric sourcing and major garment buying houses in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.
"The merchandiser/designer engaged by the company and the specialist consultants on fabric finishing techniques would enable the VSF fabric producers to know information on the value-added fabric production, the kind of products in demand, etc." said Mr Manohar Samuel, vice-president (development and technical services), Grasim Industries' staple fibre division, who was present at the seminar, said.
With no design/production development facility, a major chunk of the VSF fabric produced in Erode are basic grey fabrics and the producers of these fabric heavily depend on agents/brokers to sell their goods.
"I source about 60 per cent of my VSF fabrics required for garmenting from the Erode market and for engineering VSF fabrics needed for top-notch fashion garmenting, I rely on supplies from major mills in Mumbai. Compared to the defect-free fabrics sourced elsewhere, the VSF fabrics available from Erode contain higher percentage of defects leading to higher waste percentage at garmenting stage and these fabrics are also woven in narrow width which imparted limitation in the usage," felt Mr Govind Bhattad, Executive Director of the Chennai-based Magnum Clothing Pvt Ltd who made a display of his women's garment range made of VSF and their blends at the Erode seminar.
Grasim Industries is holding similar seminars to address the VSF using fabric producers in Salem (known for yarn dyed fabric production) and Karur (made-ups production centre which uses polyester/cotton/viscose blends).
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