India’s knitwear capital Tiruppur takes on apparel leaders China, Bangladesh


India’s $17 billion exports of apparel were about half as much as Bangladesh’s last year and its 3.7% global market share lagged behind Vietnam’s 5.1%. Photo: Bloomberg

Mumbai/Chennai: Indian clothes maker T.R. Vijaya Kumar thinks it’s time for his country to take on Bangladesh, Vietnam and even China for leadership in the global apparel industry.

He’s a second-generation manufacturer, who’s transformed his small family undershirt business in southern India into an apparel exporter of 1,700 employees and aims to double its sales by 2020. When it comes to his hometown of Tiruppur, which is often referred to as the knitwear capital of India, his ambitions are even greater: tripling exports and adding 500,000 jobs in the process.

“The next China will be Tiruppur,” Kumar said one August evening from the offices of his company, CBC Fashions Pvt., as he showcased a hard-cover action plan for the city that he and other manufacturers sponsored. “The cost of production has gone up in China, they are phasing out textile. Opportunities will go to other countries, so we are to grasp it.”

Click here for more…