On market for velvets in India, Shorewala said, “It is a very interesting market because it is very seasonal. Half of India is cold, while the other half is hot. Velvet is worn mostly in the northern region where the climate is cold. Sales are more centered towards winters. The sales are only for eight months in a year and other four months, the sale is completely dead. We try to find customers who are export oriented so that we can produce without stopping.”
Speaking on the challenges faced in the industry, he said, “Our fabrics are protected under import restrictions, but there a lot of smaller local manufacturers, maybe with around 10-20 machines, affect the market – not directly but indirectly.” He shared an example to make this case clear. “We make a fabric and it gets copied for a much cheaper rate. We invest in the R&D, the technology and there are some wastages too, and then these guys copy it and they reduce the cost of it. To tackle this, we have exclusive fabrics, which we don’t show it to anyone – not even our traders. We directly work with the brands. So it adds value to them as well as us. These fabrics doesn’t get copied easily. This was one problem we were facing and we have plugged that.”
Saudi Arabian countries is the most important for Klass Velvets. He said, “Saudi is the biggest market for velvets. The fabric we manufacture is exported to Saudi, then it gets converted into garments. From there it gets exported to other countries like Africa. Usually, European customers don’t buy the fabric directly, they buy the garment.” “In India, Surat in Gujarat is our biggest market.
Even Delhi and Kolkata have good markets. The southern India is not so good. There are certain pockets in Bengaluru and Hyderabad where the market is decent.
In fact, we have found some customers in Kochi too. Our products go to Jaipur and other Rajasthan markets as well,” he said while speaking on the important markets in India.
On capacity expansion plans, Shorewala had this to say: “We have been increasing our capacity for almost every year. Last year was very bad, so we didn’t add anything. Two years back, we increased our capacity by 30 per cent, and this year too, we will increase our capacity by 30 per cent.”
“The effect of GST and demonetisation have impacted us very hard. Half the customers wanted to pay by cash and we as a private limited company wanted online transactions. Last year was a difficult year for the company. First the GST came in, then the e-Way bill. Because of government policies, the business was little disturbed. The customers we have is not all of them are professionals, not all of them are brands.
Most of our customers are in the unorganised sector. So in that sense, we did face some issues last year,” he added.
On future plans: Shorewala said, “Right now we are only into fabrics, but we are planning to enter the home furnishings market. In this regards, we have increased our imports from China. We have started doing a lot of R&D with our machines. Our initial samples have turned out pretty well and we are getting a good response.”
"In India, Surat in Gujarat is our biggest market. Even Delhi and Kolkata have good markets. The southern India is not so good.”