India-based Silver Spark Apparel, a subsidiary of Raymond Group, is expecting to start its Ethiopian (in Awasa) factory in May this year. As per the schedule, the factory was to start in April, but the date has been pushed further by the company, which has been working on this project for almost one and a half years.
The apparel exporter noted a turnover of almost Rs. 450 crore in the current fiscal and is expecting to grow by around 150 per cent in next 2-3 years once this new factory in Ethiopia starts operations.
Prashant Jain, DGM – Marketing & Merchandising of the company told Apparel Resources, “A few issues were there, but slowly we are overcoming those and in May we will commence production. Initially the capacity of the factory will be 4,000 suits per day.”
It is pertinent to mention here that Ethiopia has become a major attraction today for apparel manufacturers due to duty-free access. Low-cost labour availability is another advantage in this country. Also, the Government is giving some relaxations for ease-of-doing business.
Silver Spark Apparel is also being provided land on long lease by the Ethiopian Government, and electricity at one-third price compared to India. Known for quality suits, the company was set up in 2003 for suits and formal trousers manufacturing. Its factory in Bangalore was recently honoured by Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), an official body of apparel exporters in India.