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AfricaMoney | June 22, 2017

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CIEL’s Aquarelle set to invest INR 1 bn to expand manufacturing operations in India

CIEL’s Aquarelle set to invest INR 1 bn to expand manufacturing operations in India

The company currently has the capacity to produce 3.5 million shirts per year and plans to double capacity within two years. (Image: ourstate.com)

Aquarelle, which is a part of Mauritius’ leading conglomerate, the CIEL group, is planning to invest INR 1 billion (or MUR 587.83 million) to set up a new manufacturing unit just outside of Bengaluru in India.

There are currently four units located within the metro city of Bengaluru in Karnataka in the South of India, employing around 2,500 people.

However, according the executive director Nagesh Badida, the Aquarelle unit planned for outside Bengaluru is still waiting for approvals as the projects has been delayed by almost a year.

The company currently has the capacity to produce 3.5 million shirts per year and plans to double its capacity within two years. This potential opportunity to boost production has also raised the company’s motivation levels to undertake robust expansion activities and to position itself in the upper segment of the market targeting brands like CK, Tommy, Esprit and Ben Sherman, among others.

On the reasons for moving outside Bengaluru to the far suburbs, the executive director also expressed the opinion that the attrition rate is higher in metros when compared with small cities, and the organisation hopes to get access to a stickier labor force by moving to labor captive areas.

In this context, Badida emphasised the importance on training, stating, “The apparel industry needs training centers, as training rural people is a big challenge.”

On challenges faced in the global market, Badida said that duty-free access from Bangladesh, coupled with its competitive labor costs, is a major challenge for Indian exporters.

“The Indian government has to realize the potential of this segment and push for duty-free access to Europe,” he added.

The company has units in Mauritius producing around 2.5 million shirts per year with major exports to the US.

“We cater to top brands from there in the US like J Crew, Dillards, Eddie Bauer, Joseph Abboud, Men’s Wearhouse, and others. We also have the capacity of three million units in Madagascar with one factory in Antananarivo and another in Antsirabe.

Finally, the Executive Director added that the Production in India began in 2005 with a conservative start of 500 shirts per day. It has to be noted that 80% of the shirts are exported, mainly to Europe, the United States and Gulf. The remaining 20% targets the domestic market.
Source: Deccan Herald

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