Over the years the textile industry has witnessed radical changes in the global business in terms of products, market and sourcing hubs. A few trading companies in India have created a niche role by defining themselves as textile chain management organization as their role move beyond simply buying and selling of yarns and fabrics to giving advice on price management, trend updates, inventory control and logistics support. Apparel Online meets up with the heads of two such companies, Texperts and GrupoKaybee, who have multi-nation presence and play a dynamic role in business of global textiles.
With over 10 year’s
expertise in the global
markets, Mumbai-based Texperts today is strategically placed to identify the right ingredient for its customers and give technological support to its vendors. Having an extensive network of customers and suppliers in more than 65 countries, Texperts stands at a turnover of US $ 4 million and represents some of the biggest manufacturers of functional and technical yarns and fabrics. “We were two people when we started and today we have nearly 200 people working with us. At that time we were doing
3-4 containers in a month and today we are doing 300 containers plus. So in terms of volumes and workforce we have grown 100 times,” states Yatish Pandey, Managing Director, Texperts who started the company after quitting his job
as head, yarn division, international operations, Welspun, along with a colleague.
Similarly, Singapore-based GrupoKaybee which was founded by Kumar Chand (the present Chairman) in 1957, operating from more than 15 locations worldwide with India operations expected to touch
US $ 10 million next year (group turnover is US $ 400 million), has positioned itself as a multinational company providing complete textile solutions right from identifying right vendors to procuring products which includes yarns, fabrics and garments to product development and delivery of products on time. “Latin America has become the most lucrative business opportunity for us as over the last few years, this region has become too expensive to manufacture. The entire investment is now directed to retailing and imports and now even readymade goods are being imported, just like the US and European countries; except for niche production everything is outsourced
from other countries”, says Rajesh Pillai, Vice-President & Head India/Bangladesh based in Gurgaon office which opened only last year.
“When prices are on uptrend, it is actually good for the entire supply chain because everybody in the chain gets value. When the price comes down steeply, that is the most difficult time for us. If we let everybody drop the prices, there are a lot of people who will not be willing to honour their contract. However, most of our suppliers and customers stick to their pricing even if the prices go up or down. They realize that over a period of time they are better off by having kept their word because there is consistency of business.”- YATISH
Both Texperts and Kaybee are trying to create niche positions as textile supply chain managers. Kaybee is strategically becoming solution and service provider for Latin America and Texperts is consciously moving towards technical and performance textiles as it feels that that’s where the future lies.
According to Yatish, Texperts having worldwide presence and interaction has very well understood the direction and future of
High performance fibre, yarns fabrics & garments... the focus area for Texperts
the textile trade. “The Western world is heading towards more performance-based garments and active wear,” he says. Earlier, these kind of performance fabrics were being manufactured in developed nations only, but now it is available in Israel, Turkey, Taiwan, Korea, China and now even in Bangladesh,” confides Yatish who is sourcing the functional fibres and fabrics from Taiwan, Korea, Turkey, Germany, Italy along with the US for some special fibres. There is an entire range of garments – workwear, activewear, sportswear and specialized garments with electromagnetic shielding; antibacterial garments for hospitals, thermo-regulation, thermo-buffering, cooling effects which enhances the wearer’s performance and makes him feel energised all the time. There is even fabric to regulate blood pressure so the wearer doesn’t feel fatigued.
Yatish feels that in India technical textiles market is still at a nascent stage as we don’t have any kind of statutory legislation which would make it mandatory for application of technical textiles in majority areas. “In India people still take non-woven as technical textiles, which in fact are just a fraction of technical textiles. We have not even touched the tip of the iceberg. Today even if we grow by 100% in technical textile it would be very negligible compared to the potential,” points out Yatish.
Sourcing Moving up the Value Chain
Both Texperts and GrupoKaybee which were just sourcing and selling fibre, yarn and fabrics for their worldwide clientele have recently added finished products sourcing in their business. While for Kaybee the latest addition is made-ups for Texperts it is functional garments in huge quantities, but unfortunately, the company is not sourcing from India. “Although we are one of the major garmenting countries, we are far behind a small country like Bangladesh, all because of the Europeans who with the active support of the Government have made Bangladesh as their base and imparted technical support to the industry. Our
Terry towels is a recent product category which Kaybee has started sourcing
from India for the Latin American markets
intention now is to source performance wear from India, provided someone has infrastructure and willingness to manufacture these garments made out of technical textiles,” shares Yatish who strongly believes that India can grab this opportunity as it is rich in raw material whereas Bangladesh is not. On the other hand Indian market can be a potential market itself for these kinds of products. Texperts is already negotiating some big orders in Tirupur and Ludhiana for high performance active wear. The company is targeting to source 2.5 to 3 million units in both men’s and women’s functional garments by next year.
Support Services… Logistics & Market Updates
Texperts also supports its partners in packaging, logistics and documentation and even on matters pertaining to policies and trade practices. “We make sure that our supplier’s pricing is done in such a way that they don’t face anti-dumping investigation and even if they do face such restrictions, they are able to come out of it clearly,” points out Yatish.
Keeping close watch on price, currency fluctuations and market trends are the three areas on which Texperts advices its suppliers – when to approach which market and similarly to customers what time to buy which product from which country or place. “In the last 8-9 years we have seen multiple changes, at one point of time for a few products one country is competitive and at another point of time some other country is competitive.
So we keep a watch on that and ensure consistency of business at a competitive price for our buyers and suppliers,” avers Yatish, who ensures alternative market or alternative customers for each of his suppliers, who because of change in market dynamics either due to anti-dumping or due to differing trade agreements find it difficult to trade.
Till last year Texperts was sourcing polyester texturised yarns from China, but the same is now being procured from India as the prices are currently more competitive here. Similarly, they shifted their cotton yarn buying from Pakistan to India in July because of spiralling prices, but here also the prices started rising so now sourcing has shifted to Vietnam and Ukraine. “We anticipate these fluctuations and accordingly give suggestions to our partners in various countries to book orders in advance or we suggest alternate products with some blends to keep the pricing under control,” says Yatish.
Even Rajesh says that having global presence helps them to give accurate information about the market to their clients.
Kaybee and Texperts both have a design cell to keep track of trends and create collections and make their own spec-sheets. “We understand the buyer’s need very intimately and most of the time we
know where a particular product would be best to manufacture so half of the job is done there,” opines Yatish according to whom each
location has its competitive advantage because of the raw material availability and product handling expertise.