Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation Limited (KSIC), a Karnataka government undertaking engaged in manufacture of silk sarees under the brand name ‘Mysore Silk’ is all set to diversify into readymade garments for women. The company, which owns a geographical indication for its silk sarees, has entered into an agreement with National Institute Fashion Technology (NIFT) to source designs for its proposed launch of women’s garments.
S Philomen Raj, manager-marketing, KSIC, said as part of the agreement, NIFT has already supplied 142 new designs to KSIC and very soon the company will come out with designer tops and chudidars for women. KSIC has also started marketing silk dhotis and ties for men and will soon introduce printed silk sarees for both formal and casual occasions.
“We have procured new digital printing machine at a cost of Rs 18 lakh for introducing new printed sarees with the help of NIFT. In addition to this, we are also going for a limited modernisation of our manufacturing plant at Mysore and T Narasipur. We will be adding 12 new Jackard looms at our silk weaving factory in Mysore an investment of Rs 32 lakh. This will help us improve the quality of our sarees,” he told Business Standard.
He said with the help of new designs from NIFT the company aims to tap the youth market and introduce readymade garments that are appealing to them. To increase its presence in the country, KSIC is planning to open showrooms in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune this year. It has tied up with Handicraft Development Corporation of Kerala, known as Kairali for opening its showrooms jointly with them in Mumbai and Delhi. While the third showroom will be owned and operated by KSIC and will be located in either of the cities, he said. Already, KSIC has 13 company-owned showrooms. Other than Karnataka they have outlets in Hyderabad, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.
P Vijayan, who retired as managing director of KSIC today, said the company will wipe out its accumulated losses in the next three to five years. Currently, its accumulated losses stand at Rs 37 crore. The state government had infused Rs 25 crore into the corporation in 2003 to offer voluntary retirement scheme to its employees and till date 917 employees have accepted the offer.
Since its restructuing four years ago, the company has been making operating profits. For year-ended March 31, 2009, KSIC is likely to register a growth of close to 20 per cent in its turnover at Rs 60 crore compared to the previous year and an operating profit of Rs 7.3 crore, a growth of 52 per cent over the last year.