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06-October-2016

A leadership change in Tiruppur's textile cluster comes the revival of an action plan to jump-start business to one lakh crore in three years, an ambitious plan being proposed to textile minister, Smriti Irani from the country's largest knitwear cluster.

Total business, including exports and imports done by Tiruppur, in the fiscal gone by was around Rs.36,000 crore.

After nearly 27 years, A Sakthivel, a seasoned textile entrepreneur, hangs up his boots as president of the Tiruppur Exporters Association. While Sakthivel is said to have deftly handled industry-government relations, the closure orders had nearly killed the industry three years back. Limping back on a slow-but-promising western order recovery and robust domestic consumption.

Raja M Shanmugham, the son of a farmer and a first-generation entrepreneur running a Rs 300-crore apparel manufacturer and exporter Warsaw international, will push further the plan for a knitwear board in Tiruppur as the new president.

Entrepreneurs believe Tiruppur deserves a knitwear board with central government and industry representatives along the lines of the Coir Board in Kochi and the one for jute in Kolkata so that policies are framed to favour the largest cluster in the country with its 2.25-crore spindle capacity. He has also sought a one-time intervention from the central government for sponsoring training programmes. "All along, the textile industries have been let to perish on their own lacunae. Our task is to change that. The first step is to enhance the skill of our labour and raise the quality of their delivery," Shanmugham said.

Tiruppur's entrepreneurs want to wean themselves away from the fickle western apparel market to focus more on avenues of sustainable business.

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