Al-Karam increases export despite declining trend in national textile export

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-05-09 13:00:00 – Karachi

Al-Karam Textile Mills, manufacturer and supplier of distinguished fabric for apparel, home and industrial markets with clients all over the world have been persistently increasing their export surpassing its Indian and Bengali competitors in production high quality products despite a declining trend in the national textile exports for the past three years.

However, Indian textile companies remain the biggest challenge for Pakistani exports in the international market, said Samrin Ali, the company’s vice president.

International buyers tend to shift to other countries, especially India, only because of the cost factor. Besides, China, India and Bangladesh support their textile industry during the global crisis. For instance, India has been providing five percent interest rate subsidy to its textile industry, she added.

Pakistan’s textile exports had dropped 8.15 per cent ($9.363 billion) in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. But Al-Karam Textile exports increased 14 percent in 2014-15, compared to the previous year. The company’s exports stood at $148.637 million in 2014-15, against 2013-14’s $130.563 million.

Pakistani textile industry is facing tight monetary policies, extra taxes and other SROs of the federal and provincial governments. Government need to step up and save the local textile industry as there is a huge potential for Pakistani products in the international market but it is very important for Pakistan exporter to have the image-building of Pakistan not only as a quality textile producer but also as a politically stable country, said Samrin.

Most of Pakistan’s textile units do not have any testing protocol like international markets, Al-Karam is fulfilling all the international testing protocol, including colouring, stitching, dying and others, to boost exports to the US and Europe. They export 253 brands which are 100 percent locally-produced items having its own designing, dying, stitching departments and are producing all products at their facilities.

Their products like “bed in a bag”, pillows, fashion bedding, quilts, duvets, comforters, sheets, blankets, curtains, shower curtains and kitchen linen are very famous in the US and European markets.

According to Samrin, the fiscal year of 2013-14 was the best exporting year for Al-Karam in which the company’s exports grew by 23 per cent (to $130.563 million).

The demand of Al-Karam’s products is rising in American and European markets, but the problems is that the buyer is not ready to come to Pakistan because of the law and order situation and poor road infrastructure.

The company has also launched some baby products for which they use organic cotton especially being imported from Egypt. Their company imports high quality cotton from India and Egypt as quality fabrics cannot be produced from local cotton. During the past year, the company imported high quality cotton of over Rs 300 million from India as there are lots of factors that influence cotton fiber quality. The general quality parametres are the length, uniformity, micronaire and strength. These parametres depict the quality of cotton.

According to Samrin, the company does not export garments (suiting) to any international market; however its retailers in Pakistan might send small consignments of these local products abroad. The company received order online from international buyers especially from Europe and the US and worked with big retailers’ like Wall Mart, Bed & Bath and others.

Al-Karam has its own retailers and vendors in Pakistan, while international value-added customers are Chaps, Lauren Conrad, Ralph & Lauren, Macy’s and BBB.

They do not have any competitor in Pakistan because of their quality products and the best skilled designing, weaving etc. Their products are in demand only because of the unique designs and fabrics they produce.

After the recession hit textile businesses all over the world, local textile industry experienced decline in exports due to the government’s policies in terms of finance and inflation as well as energy crisis. The high cost of production resulting from an instant rise in the energy cost has been the primary cause of concern for the local industries.

Another major factor is the devaluation of Pakistani rupee. They have experienced a decrease in terms of dollar’s value by 14 percent. Apart from these two, they also don’t have a concept of Research and Development (R&D) not only in the cotton sector but also in the industry itself. Al-Karam, which is a vertically integrated operation, has recently added a competitive R&D department in the company which will focus on an ambitious target of taking on R&D process from fibre to the final product.

At Al Karam they provide their customers with complete in-house design solutions. Their creative center is equipped with state of the art designing and sampling equipment and skilled textile artists. They also deal in twill, sateen, basket weave and percale, knitted to woven fabric; and thread counts ranging from 130 to 1000. Alkaram has the capacity to fulfill small, medium and large scale orders.

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