“In the next 10 years, home textile players will focus more on Indian markets rather than focus more on exports,” says Shrinidhi Nadgauda, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, InterMarket (India) Pvt Ltd, during the recently-concluded Textiles India 2017 event in Gandhinagar, while speaking on the home textiles market in India to Karthik Muthuveeran, Sr Sub Editor of the ITJ.
Intermarket India is a vertically integrated textile manufacturing and exporting set-up, servicing the hospitality, healthcare and retail sectors across the world. Since its inception in 1995, Intermarket India has evolved into a global company competing within numerous markets. Its state-of-the-art fully vertical manufacturing facility, currently employs more than 300 people and exports to more than 30 countries.Excerpts...
Take us through the journey of InterMarket over the years.
InterMarket was established in the year 1995. We first started as a supplier of home textile products to the US market. By the year 2000, we have put up our own terry towel unit in Erode, a city in Tamil Nadu. That’s how we started. InterMarket is a specialised home textile company. We are more into hospitality linen. Slowly and steadily, we started expanding our product lines. We then ventured into towels, bed linens and then into napkins. Earlier we used to work for the retail industry only. But now we are focusing more on hospitality linen with equal focus on the retail industry. We work with some of the big brands around the globe including Taj Group of Hotels, Marriott hotels, StarWorld, Hiltons, ibis, InterContinental, among others. We supply to more than 30 odd countries.Which are these countries?
Main market is the US market. In fact, almost all the tourist destination countries are our main focus. This includes countries like Australia, New Zealand, some small islands in Pacific Islands, to name a few.What are the major product offerings from InterMarket?
We offer high-end towels, compact sheets and bed linens. Our bed linens are completed engineered ones. It’s completely Made in India. Even the designing, layout, conceptualising, etc. are done in India. The name given to these sheets are compact sheets where we have used high-end spinning technology, which cools the durability of bed linen, when it goes for the industrial laundry.
Normal bed linen of similar quality can withhold only about 70-80 washes, whereas our bed linen, even if it is washed 150 times, you cannot see a single wear-and-tear. The life of the linen is more, which indirectly helps the hotel industry, where we mostly cater to.
How do you look at the competition? What makes your product different from the competition?
When there are big players, then you need to focus more on the niche markets where you can offer flexibility, which is the key driver in the sale of the product. We are a small player. Bigger player will offer quantities in larger numbers, but we offer explosive product range in smaller quantity. That helps in smaller countries where the requirement is small.
Big players like Welspun, Trident, etc. cannot cater to these smaller markets. They will focus on countries like the US, the UK, etc. There are small retailers, small boutique shops that need service. That’s where we count ourselves.
How do you look at the market for home textiles in India?
The home textiles market in India is growing tremendously. I think, in the next 10 years or so, home textile players will focus more on the Indian markets rather than focus more on exports. According to me, the home textiles market in India is growing by 100 per cent year-on-year.
When established, our focus was not on the domestic markets, but for the last three years, our focus has changed, and we are focusing on the Indian markets.
What is your take on GST? How will it impact the industry you are in?
I don’t think there will be much impact on the industry. We already had a set of taxes. So, GST will not make much of a difference.
Is the government doing enough for the industry? If not, then what are your suggestions?
Whatever the government is doing is fine and that’s what everyone expects. The industry themselves have to evolve and not be dependent on the government for the growth of the sector and not wait for incentives.
Any plans going forward?
We are going to expand our capacities soon. We have already purchased a 50 acre land in Baroda, Gujarat, where we will be setting up our plant there.