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Cover Story | August 2018

"Strong vision, our forte"

Shakti Motani, Associate Director, Meera Industries Limited, speaks on the company’s achievements in exports.

How has been your company doing in exports?
Meera’s major chunk of sales have always been focused on exports. Recent years have been quite good for us as a textile machine exporter. We have been able to touch new territories, develop market for new products and also established a subsidiary in North Carolina, USA. Establishing export market doesn’t happen with any kind of overnight strategy. We could do it with strong vision, belief system, sticking to our core principles, taking small universal steps and keep battling hurdles which comes along the way. Building trust, developing comfort zone, giving more than the anticipated value to our customers could be the core essence to Meera’s export to more than 18 countries now. In particular, having innovative products, price to quality optimisation at par with international brands has created a fleet of satisfied customer, whose reference has worked out the best marketing strategy so far. In order to explore new pockets, we do participate in international exhibitions like ITMA, ITM, Techtextil, etc.

Are there cheaper imports hurting sales in the domestic market? Substantiate with details.
In the world of globalisation, no company is insulated against overseas competition. We do face competition from countries like China, and other European countries. Due to the fact that India has quite a promising textile market, some of the overseas brands have went one step ahead and instead of import they have setup their manufacturing facility in India.

But we believe, healthy competition is a win-win for both the ends. Ultimately, any company is just a participant in such large market. We at Meera have trained our mind to take internal or external competition positively. We battle this monster by working more closely with our customer, by understanding and analysing the market needs, constantly improving our product list, adding more value, taking majors to build customer feel good factor layer by layer.

What is your recipe for the industry and the Government to promote textile machinery and accessories exports?
For any product we can boost exports either by making existing products cheaper and better or by bringing new products and solutions. One word answer to this question is ‘Innovation’. Our strength is our talented people, vast domestic market size, immense overseas opportunity. But what stops us from growing at fast pace is the lack of conducive ecosystem where these talents can bloom.

Why is that over the years? India’s import of various textile machines like high speed automatic looms, embroidery machines, finishing machines, etc. have seen a perpetual growth in imports over the years. Why we have not been able to make even one good indigenous brand of embroidery or high-speed automatic loom in India? Our textile export market largely depends upon imported textile machines, which suffocates the growth engine of over all textile sector.

As such there is no dearth of talent and opportunity but unfortunately the innovative eco system, which should have been developed with proper modeling and vision has been developed gradually by entrepreneurs on its own over the years. In absence of proper eco system, not many textile manufacturing companies are ready to take-up the innovating route of uncharted waters. and continue to follow the survival model by pushing the existing product line. Therefore, Indian textile machinery export has a large net trade deficit.

In order to support the real talent, the Government should rationalise its R&D policy by focussing on reducing imports of various machines with more rational financial support rewards and recognitions policy.

They should develop mechanism where more than one company can work jointly on critical products and still safeguard their individual interest. There is a long list of imported textile machinery, which if properly addressed by the Government could bring a long term change in Indian textile machines exports in years to come.

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