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Buyers make a beeline for Tirupur

M. Gunasekaran


TIRUPUR: "This is our turn indeed. Earlier we made extensive trips abroad with a range of products in hand looking for good buyers. Now the situation has changed. We need not go out in search of them since they started coming here," says H. Sajjath Hussain of Uvaiz Exports.

The era of marketing is almost over for the established players who have good infrastructure. Exporters are now reaping the benefits of the quota-free textile trade regime, after a brief lull during the last ten months. One thing all of them are enjoying is the flow of buyers.

Industry sources said a lot of new buyers were coming to Tirupur, after the United States and the European Union slapped quantitative restrictions on China recently. Hotels in Tirupur do a good business. "Lot of new guests are coming now. All the hotels here are booked till Christmas," says M.R. Goutham, executive director, Velan Hotels.

Priority for infrastructure

A decade ago, marketing was priority followed by infrastructure, delivery and quality in knitwear exports. Now infrastructure, huge production capacity, is the focal point, and marketing has taken a back seat, says an exporter. Market access is not a big deal even for the new entrants.

R. Ramu of Fashion Knits is worried about poor production capacity at Tirupur. Till recently, the dyeing units worked six days a week. After the Madras High Court's order on closure of polluting units during weekends, they now work only four-and-half-days a week.

"At a time when production capacity in all other segments, such as stitching, knitting and embroidery, is expanding, the capacity in the all-important dyeing and bleaching has come down. This will not allow us to execute big orders."

The price factor is another impediment. Orders are there, but you cannot take them because of the price and poor infrastructure. But this is the time for exporters to act smart, an exporter suggests.

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