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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2002

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Hantex plans new strategy for better bottomline

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KOCHI, June 18

DEPARTING from traditional marketing, the Kerala State Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society - popularly known as Hantex - has adopted a new strategy under which it would manufacture products as per the needs of the market.

A complete restructuring of the society, which employs around 1.5 lakh weavers and 700 staff, was carried out recently after conducting necessary studies so as to accept the changes that were taking place of late, Mr Paul K. Kannel, Managing Director, Hantex, told newspersons on Tuesday.

The society is now on an aggressive marketing strategy to increase its sales and tide over the financial crisis it is going through.

It had initiated steps to open full-fledged showrooms in various parts of the State; the plan is to open four showrooms in a year and close down the unprofitable ones, he said.

The first such showroom, Hantex Shoppe, would be opened at the GCDA complex on Wednesday over 4,000 sq. ft.

Two such showrooms - at Badagara and at Koyilandi - would be opened during the Onam season itself, he added.

With a view to focusing on marketing, prize schemes would be introduced for the sales during the Onam season.

As many as 50 exhibition-cum-sales centres would be opened during the Onam season, and there would be a special purchase scheme for Government employees and staff of the public and private sectors.

A special rebate of 20 per cent for Onam season would be offered from June 20, Mr Kannel added.

The new Hantex bed-sheets and bathroom towels would also be introduced during this season.

The 100 per cent cotton material contains only eco-friendly colours, and the products were developed by Hantex Process House.

According to Mr Kannel, the interest shown by the people in handloom products has come down in recent times due to the effects of globalisation and liberalisation.

This had also slightly affected the operations of Hantex. However, it has managed to withstand the recession in the market when compared with other handloom products in the country.

Last year, Hantex clocked a turnover of Rs 22.4 crore as against Rs 25 crore earlier. This year, it has set a target of Rs 26 crore.

Onam is considered to be the main season for Hantex; last Onam, it achieved sales of Rs 13 crore. This year, the figure is expected to touch Rs 16 crore.

The society's accumulated loss stands at Rs 7.65 crore. The net loss has been reduced last year despite the fact that Rs 2.85 crore was repaid to the Government as interest.

Mr Kannel also said that 25 loss-making sales outlets of the total 150 had been wound up, while seven new production centres were set up this year.

A design and research product development centre was also opened, he added.

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