'NTC is looking for pool of young designers'
The Times They Are a-Changin. Well, that perhaps sums up the prevailing mood in the state-run National Textile Corporation (NTC) which recently launched Young Designer Hunt roping in glam quotients like famous designer Raghavendra Rathore to endorse the public sector company's foray into the cut throat market.
Winners of the Designer Hunt will be working on a new apparel and accessories brand which is soon going to be launched by NTC in Retail Market and overseas. Brand India will be guided by Raghavendra Rathore as well.
NTC is out to pitch itself in the market with Brand India stores as a world class Eco-Friendly integrated textile company, catering to the clothing needs of nation. NTC now aims to be a leading textile enterprise, improving capacity utilisation, economy of operations, build a brand and boost export.
Speaking to IBNS correspondent Sujoy Dhar , NTC Director-Marketing, Aloke Banerjee, who previously worked with Bombay Dyeing and has brought about visible positivity in the company, unravels the moves. Excerpts
Is it a close need to compete with private companies and organizations that NTC hosted an event like Young Designer Hunt? What made the NTC take up such an initiative?
It's never about competing with any private company and organizations, rather it's about being competitive and have a firm position in the market. As a nation of aspiring and enthusiastic youth, we need to provide to our young talent with the opportunities in which they can excel and prosper. In order to cater to the changing and versatile needs of consumers, we hosted Young Designer Hunt so as to give many young, hard working designers a platform to showcase their talent. We are looking for a pool of young designers.
What is the current scenario of textile and fashion industry in India? According to you what is the prospect of the industry in the next couple of years?
Textile industry contributes about 14% to industry production, 4% to country's GDP and 17% to the country's exports earning. It is estimated that India would increase its textile and apparel share in the world trade to 8% and reach USD80 billion by 2020. Thus, the current figures will have a phenomenal growth within the next 5 years. It is estimated that the textile industry is the second largest contributor in terms generating and providing employment.
What are you trying to achieve right now?
NTC is trying to fill a need gap and offer value for money clothing. We want to answer the clothing need and value add in the powerlooms, handlooms and handicrafts sectors.
How do you plan to place the Brand India apparels and accessories across the country and abroad? Designed by young fashion designers, will it primarily target youths and children?
Brand India's stores will be opened and established in various cities of the country and will be catering to domestic market. We are planning to open around 15 Brand India retail stores in the next financial year itself. Young designers are being appointed just to feel the nerve of the young India but it won't primarily target youth but will try to entertain all age groups providing them affordable, eco-friendly and health friendly apparels and accessories.
Are there more initiatives like the Young Designer Hunt that have been planned by the company to help young designers of the country to showcase their talents in future?
Recently National Textile Corporation has taken a step towards Launching Designer Hunt at national level. As a part of strategy, NTC also participated /hosted North East festival for designs and designers in India. It hosted North East fashion Fest in order to motivate Young Designers from North East. They will be providing the mixture of fashion and tradition in their garments not only to the North Eastern India but also across country and NTC will help them supply their designs throughout. NTC will keep trying and provide as many chances as we can to young designers in every corner of our country in coming future as well.
To be a World Class Eco-Friendly Integrated Textile Company, catering primarily to the clothing needs of the Nation- that is what you say. How do you plan to go eco-friendly?
We will explore and make use of the available resources in our country. Making use of Organic Cotton can help us yield our target of providing eco-friendly garment line which can easily be recycled. We are also planning to make use of bamboo fiber technology for our clothing line. NTC will develop products which will be eco friendly Oeko-tex certified to ensure its commitment towards and eco-friendly environment. NTC is also venturing into technical textiles to add to its existing product portfolio.
What are the upcoming plans of NTC to market itself?
There are various important things lined up on our "to do" list. We are reviving our old mills to increase the production/utilization, we will be providing value for money range in clothes and along with that we will be exporting garments and merchandising abroad. Along with it, we are also planning to launch women empowerment campaign to empower women through "StreeVijay" Campaign. We are hopeful of the bright future of textile industry in India. It is also re-launching its home textile brand 'RAASA' apart from coming up with an inner-wear range, Value for Money Clothing Line etc.
When you say you want to meet the clothing needs of the country, which section of people is you targeting and how?
Meeting Clothing needs of the country does not limit us to youth in any case. Production of organic cotton clothes will provide fine varieties of clothes for all ages. Also along with that as it has been mentioned that we will be providing pocket friendly products to our customers. Few of them will include shirts ranging between INR 199-799 and stretch denims starting at INR 749 for young to old.
So what are the target figures?
Industry is growing at a very decent pace. We are hopeful of achieving the target of around INR 1000 crores in the year 2012-13 and for next financial year we are hopeful of achieving even higher returns.
Do you think the industry will be able to create more jobs in the upcoming years?
Yes for sure. India is on the path of expanding business by quantum jump. It is not only gratifying the needs of Indian consumers but of overseas as well. Thus to meet the increasing demands there will be more jobs which will be created for the people who are aspiring to work in this industry. Also, expansion of National Textile Corporation and revival of its infrastructure will multiply the chances of jobs in various categories like Apparel, Home Decor, Furniture, Accessories, Handicraft & Heritage and will provide versatile employment opportunities in the textile industry which would definitely in the coming years contribute to the growth of the Indian economy. With NTC's "Streevijay" programme, NTC plans to empower and help self sustain approximately. 50,000 women over a period of time.
Image caption: Alok Banerjee and Raghavendra Rathore (with Anil Kapoor) as titled. --IBNS