Pune, India – The Pune-based textile industry has been spared from the impact from the demonetised currency ban, thanks to a factory owner who decided to keep the factory operating even as his business has been affected.
On December 14, 2016, Raghavendra Das, president of the Pune High-Tech Industries Association, made a decision to close the Pirelli Pista mill and shift the manufacturing to the new plant in Pune.
“I had to shut the factory, but I did it out of a sense of duty and a desire to preserve the industry,” Das told NDTV.
He said the Pisa-based mill has been producing low-cost yarns in India for more than two decades.
Das said the factory would continue to manufacture yarns and yarn products for other industries, including in China.
“I am sure that the factory will continue to work, but that we will continue our work in India,” he said.
The decision was made after Das decided to leave his textile business after he learned about the ban.
He said he started thinking of ways to stay afloat in a new business model.
Das is a member of the association, which has been involved in the textile industry since the late 1990s.
“There were two other mills that were shutting down because of the ban, and they had already lost money,” he told NDtv.
“But the factory owner was willing to continue working for the company, even if it meant taking on some risk.”
Das, who works as a professional engineer and has been employed by the textile mill for 20 years, said the closure of the factory had been a boon for his textile industry.
“The loss of the mills was not so big, but we have now got an economic life, we can sell the yarns, the yarn products, to China, to other industries,” he explained.
“This is a good thing.
We have no debt and we can continue to make profit.
We can continue manufacturing.
In a country where the currency is very difficult to understand, the loss of this industry is a huge benefit.”
The factory is one of the biggest in India and has produced high-quality yarns for over two decades, including for garments for the likes of Nike and Burberry.
However, the factory has struggled to keep up with demand from overseas.
“Our sales are not getting any help from overseas, but from India,” Das said.
This is not the first time Das has faced financial trouble.
The textile industry was hit hard by the demonospted currency ban.
The government had asked for a 10% tax cut for textile manufacturers and small manufacturers, as well as for the reopening of certain factories, as part of the demonotisation exercise.
It imposed a 15% excise duty on all goods imported from abroad, including textile.
India’s textile exports to China rose by 20% in 2017 to $1.9 billion, according to government data.