It seems that after completely exploring embroidery and digital printing, Surat (India)-based entrepreneurs are now digging the knitting industry. Kamlesh Vaghela, RK Textiles Service, Surat’s sole agent of the Chinese company (Longjun Machineries) in India, strongly believes, “Despite being new for the Surat market, the city known for weaving but not knitting currently has 1,000 to 1,500 circular knitting machines which are operational. People are running polyester on circular knitting machines. At Surat, people are already very aggressive and creative in marketing; therefore, they will find better opportunities in knitting segment too. This trend will continue further for at least one or two years.”
Some such companies are also installing circular knitting machine which are currently not into apparel business, like Param International, Surat, which is exporting printed and embroidered polyester fabric, besides other variety of fabrics to West African countries – Iran, Jordan and Dubai – is now moving further towards diversification. The company is going to start activewear manufacturing for overseas as well as domestic brands and retailers. Gulshan Madnani, young Director of the company, who is investing a huge amount of Rs. 15 crore in this project, told Apparel Resources, “We will start with camisole bra, leggings and jersey for games like cycling and football. We have ordered 10 seamless machines of Santoni as the initial capacity will be 20,000 pieces of activewear per month.”
When asked about why he chose apparels and that too activewear, Gulshan states, “I have to expand business further for which apparel is the natural option as it is a growing field and activewear has good scope in the next decade even more than the regular products. Knitting machines and automation ease our jobs. There are not many manufacturers of such products in India compared to other products; therefore, competition is comparatively less. As far as complications regarding the manufacturing of these products, especially camisole bra is concerned, I must admit that a bigger challenge will be better control over quality as these products demands high quality. To have better understanding of the category, I am visiting exhibitions worldwide.” In terms of market preference, Europe will be the first priority for the company along with US.
Established in 2004, Param International claims that its rates are competitive to China as there is cheap labour available and there is no dearth of labour. Better logistics service is the other reason which makes it cost-effective.