Reliance Industries and Grasim Industries are setting up design studios in Tirupur, to help manufacturers and exporters to shift from predominantly cotton based knitwear. The two textile giants believe that manmade fibres market in Tirupur could be twice as big as cotton. “However, there are teething issues. Polyester prices are very high when compared to cotton. Imports are cheaper than domestic material. I have been fighting for the removal of this distortion for the past 15 years. If the skew in pricing is resolved then Tirupur will take the lead,” said A. Sakthivel, President, Federation of Indian Exporters Organisations (FIEO).
Notwithstanding the price issues, garment exporters from Tirupur have started engaging with Reliance and Grasim. “After we reached out to them, both these companies have set up their studios in Tirupur. They are now closely working with us. It is very early stage,” Raja M Shanmugam, president, Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) said. Tirupur exports around Rs 27,000 crore worth of knitwear each year and produces another Rs 9000 ccrore worth of garments for the domestic market.