After serving for almost three decades (27 years to be exact), Dr. A. Sakthivel is stepping down from the post of President at Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) to pave way for youngsters and others. Elections for the new president are expected to be held in the last week of September… Exactly three years back, Sakthivel faced competition in the elections for TEA’s President when out of the 497 votes casted, he clocked 334 votes and his opponent Velusamy got only 162 votes.
66-year-old Sakthivel, who had been conferred Padma Shri Award in 2009, is among the forces responsible for the development of Tirupur as an ‘apparel exporting hub’ which is today exporting knitwear garments to more than 100 countries worldwide. Last year (2015-16), the region recorded apparel exports worth Rs. 23,050 crore and is currently providing employment to around 600,000 workers directly, of which women account for 70 per cent.
Talking exclusively to Apparel Resources, Sakthivel averred, “I am stepping down from my post at TEA, but will continue to serve Tirupur and the industry. I will work as a guiding force for the youth of Tirupur,” adding, “Right from 1987 Tirupur has never faced ‘strike’ issues, which is in fact a success for me as well as for all the industry stakeholders of Tirupur apparel industry. Labour, staff, management of all the apparel factories and associations were always cooperative.” When asked about his biggest achievement in these three decades, he replied, “Providing enough water supply for industrial as well as drinking purposes through New Tirupur Area Development Corporation Limited (NTADCL) is the biggest satisfaction for me.”
All the associations in Tirupur have decided to convene a felicitation function to honour Dr. A. Sakthivel on September 1, for his lifelong support to Tirupur apparel export industry. It may be mentioned here that he also served at the top post in FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisations), AEPC (Apparel Export Promotion Council), and owns Poppys Group of companies too.
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Besides this, Apparel Park Project, Knitwear Fashion Institute, Knitwear Technology Mission, Inland Container Depot, Netaji Apparel Park, India Knit Fair Association, TWIC-IKFA Convention Centre are some of the significant efforts that he has made for the growth of Tirupur apparel industry.