Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech University, USA
“Yarn prices have hiked about 30-40% in 3-months,” stated Velmurugan Shanmugam, general manager of Aruppukottai, India-based Jayalakshmi Textiles. Yarn demand is high due to lack of fabric stocks and hence processors are in urgent need of yarns, added Velmurugan Shanmugam.
While cotton and textiles sectors are witnessing growing demand, it is also important to focus on new developments. “In the mid to long term basis, development of value-added products is important,” stated Velmurugan Shanmugam.
Cotton and textile sectors have an opportunity to create start-ups to enhance demand and create jobs. The importance of entrepreneurship and the need to infuse start-up culture was stressed by India’s Prime Minister, Honorable Narendra Modi in his December 2020 “Maa Ki Baat, [Speech from the Heart]” address to the nation. Jayalakshmi Textiles, with 70,000 ring spindles produces cotton yarns ranging from 60s Ne to 140s Ne, with an average count of 67s Ne. Recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Jayalakshmi Textiles to develop cotton based nonwoven filters and oil absorbent wipes. The collaboration has led to the translation of my idea to useful cotton-based value-added products.
An international collaboration involving this scribe has resulted in the creation of a start-up, WellGro United in Chennai, India to market cotton industrial products. Cotton processing expertise of Jayalakshmi Textiles has played a crucial role in transferring idea to marketplace.
WellGro United has been marketing products that enhance human lives and protect the environment. Recently, India’s oil exploration company, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Ltd., has been using cotton-based oil absorbent to counter oil spills in its Rajahmundry site on the banks of India’s second largest river, Godavari.
Jayalakshmi Textiles, which is a major cotton yarn spinner is taking little steps to develop novel cotton products which have found inroads in the oil sector. Cotton-based mats are being exported to Nigeria and Poland for evaluation by industrial sectors. With the increasing trend in demand and prices for cotton and textile products, there is optimism among cotton textile sectors to look for opportunities beyond commodity products. Demand enhancement by developing functional and industrial products will be the next phase of the cotton textiles sector.