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Viewpoint | February 2018

Improving competitiveness is our main goal: ITF chief

The Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) has completed three years and Prabhu Dhamodharan, its Secretary, smiles albeit a little cautiously when you ask him about its achievements since its founding by like-minded textile entrepreneurs. He emphasises that only MDs or CEOs are the members, and the meetings are attended by these men at the helm. “No deputation,” says Dhamodharan, who at the outset lays down clearly that ITF means business in every action it undertakes.

ITF is now a strong Federation with 520 textile entrepreneurs and 417 member companies and its vision includes promoting textile industry entrepreneurship, launching new initiatives, helping to adopt new technologies and cooperating for improvement in processes.

ITF has already achieved some appreciable deeds.

“We created a dynamic purchase concept in the name of ITF cotton team to procure raw material together from all cotton growing States,” said Dhamodharan, while replying to an email interview with Samuel Joseph, Editor of the Indian Textile Journal.

Excerpts:

Having completed three years, how do you rate the success of ITF? As an association of industry, what is exclusive about ITF?

We demonstrated first-of-its-kind collaboration within the industry and built an collaborative eco-system within the entire value chain of textile manufacturing in Tamil Nadu. Today, our members can feel the impact of ITF on a daily basis. There is something very exclusive about ITF.

First, it is run by the entrepreneurs for the entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs forming team for every task and working with passion. Secondly, this is the first platform on which competitors are working together towards a common goal to improve competitiveness in textile manufacturing to sustain the growth in both domestic and international markets.

How many members in ITF as on today? You want ITF to represent pan-India and have any efforts been made in this direction?

We have presently 510 members representing entire value chain of textiles and we don’t have any immediate plans to expand beyond Tamil Nadu.

Which are the areas so far that have been focused in bringing about a change for the better for ITF members? How far have they been successful?

  • There are many areas we have focused on, which are as follows:

  • Knowledge sharing

  • Creating world class benchmarks in various aspects of manufacturing and helping the members to achieve

  • Created market intelligence platform for various products including yarn

  • Alliance with various new technology manufacturers with our consortium model of purchase for the best possible prices along with spreading it quickly to all units

  • Alliance with various service providers as a consortium to offer bulk volumes to create a win-win model of working

  • Running Skill development programmes to help the members to upgrade the skill eco system Created a dynamic purchase concept in the name of ITF cotton team to procure raw material together from all cotton-growing States

  • Improving the financial literacy aspects of corporate financing, etc.

How does the Board and the committees function and work on various issues?

ITF is governed by a 30-member board. All the board members are managing directors of various reputed textile manufacturing companies and under the supervision of board, we formed various committees to undertake various tasks.

Tell us something about the meetings and events organised by ITF and how have they benefited the industry?

Every month, ITF used to organise various meetings in different topics. Some of the recent topics and speakers are as follows:

  • Indian equity markets and opportunities - Chokkalingam, Equonomics Research, Mumbai

  • Prakash Iyer, Pune - on Leadership

  • Prabhir Jha, Chief people Officer, CIPLA on Reimagining HR

  • Dr Velumani Chairman, ThryoCare Ltd on Romance with Risk

Our meetings used to attract big attendance with more than 150 managing directors’ participation.

Please comment on the ITF’s recent tie-up with ELGi and give us some instances where some mills have received benefits out of this?

Air audit is one of the main focuses of our ITF. We saved around Rs 60 crore in the last 18 months with the air audit and rectification works. ELGi partnership helped us in many ways in air audits and also training to our workforce on the effective maintenance of areas related to air.

Which are the other areas ITF plans to focus on in future for the betterment of mills? Give some details.

Other areas include value added products manufacturing and supporting members to tap alternate methods of financing. We also desire to focus on creating quality circles with the cluster approach and creating a world class cotton testing lab. Many more plans for the industry are on the way.

The final message is: We believe in India’s growth story and it is a land of billion opportunities, and the textile sector also has a great potential to grow in domestic as well as in the international markets.

With proper strategies, individual companies can achieve sustainable growth. ITF will act as a catalyst to Tamil Nadu textile entrepreneurs on this vision and goal.

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