The local hosiery industry is making all efforts to make inroads into Russia, a market that was instrumental in establishing Ludhiana hosiery industry, through consistent efforts and creating links with such exporters who were ready to work in Russia.
Russia before its dissolution in 1991, in which 15 different states were formed, was a major market for the Ludhiana hosiery and more than 1,000 units used to supply goods worth crores to the country. However, after its dissolution, the economy took a nosedive, forcing the Ludhiana industry to see towards other markets.
Now, a section of industry is trying to re-establish the market in the country by organising tours and making links.
The local industrialists believe that Russia can again become a major market for the Ludhiana industry that can also give some relief to the industry that is witnessing a distress due to a global slowdown.
Sudershan Jain, president of Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers’ Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL), who had visited Russia with 18 other industrialists to attend a hosiery show of international repute in February, had tried to know about the industry in Russia so that a market could be established in that country. “Russia had given business to several hosiery units in Ludhiana from 1965 to 1991. The Russian government used to get woolens from Ludhiana as the country witnesses winters during a major part of the year,” Jain said.
He said the volume and quality of goods in Ludhiana got a thrust due to this procurement only. “However, after 1991 the economy of Russia went down, forcing us to look towards other markets,” he said.
Now, China and other countries have made a market in Russia due to which the Ludhiana industry is finding it difficult to enter the Russian market. “Russians are aware of the quality of cheap Chinese goods and they want an alternative. We can provide them with an alternative but there are many aspects involved as the cost of entering the market is too high,” Jain said.
Due to the extended winters in Russia, Ludhiana industry could get a permanent market that could benefit hundreds of units in the city. However, according to the industry, market of Russia would be properly evaluated and an investment be made thereafter, he said.
Arun Aggarwal, general secretary, KAMAL, said the industry was looking for a way to enter the Russian market. “Russia was a major market for Ludhiana hosiery that ended with time. However, for the past sometime Russian economy has revived tremendously and we want to enter it,” said Aggarwal, one of the industrialists, who visited Russia in February. “Currently, Russia is getting goods from China, Turkey, Poland and other countries.
However, we can feed the country as we have the hold on current fashion that is prevalent in the country,” he said and added that government support was necessary in the task.