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CHENNAI: Enthused by the success of its first leather cluster in the country, the Confederation of Indian Industry-Southern Region (CII-SR) has sought the State Government’s assistance in setting up six more clusters.
The proposed clusters are expected to come up in Madurai (rubber), Coimbatore (textiles), Erode (textiles), Ambur (leather) and Chennai (auto components and leather).
In his special address at the ‘CII Leather Cluster closing ceremony’ at Kenmore Shoes unit in Seneerkuppam on Thursday, G. Santhanam, Industries Commissioner and Director of Industries and Commissioner said that development of a sector through cluster programme was the order of the day.
The State Government encouraged setting up of 50 different clusters with an investment of Rs.10 crore each and they were in different stages of implementation.
Mentioning that CII-SR had asked for subsidy on the lines proposed by the Puducherry Government, he said that they have to study it. The recommendations would be forwarded to the State Government for early implementation.Publicise experience
He also asked the members of CII to bring out the experience of Farida group in CD format and circulate it in other districts to create a mass awareness about the cluster programme.
CII-SR established the Leather Cluster some two years ago involving nine companies of the Farida group that has units in Chennai and Ambur. Of the nine firms, six of them export shoes.
In the first-two stages, the cluster members will be provided with Manufacturing Excellence Intervention at basic and advance levels, followed by Engineering Excellence Intervention in the third stage. On Thursday, the Farida group of companies completed the basic level.Floodgates of benefit
Addressing the members, C. Narasimhan, CII Cluster Programme, chairman, said that Farida group was yet to see the full benefits of the Cluster programme and it might take some more time. They have practised it and opened up the floodgates for the benefit of the industry.
M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Farida group of companies, chairman, said that the programme motivated employees and they also gave suggestions that resulted in reduction of inventory, brought down production cost and improved profitability.
“If we are able to get more firms to implement the cluster programme, then we can easily increase our global share of leather products from the present three per cent to 10 per cent. Despite the recessionary trend, we did good business as compared to last year and brought down our debts,” he said.
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