Vetal, a 30 years old electronics group company manufacturing products in Coimbatore is one of the leading names in the Textile business. Vetal Designs offers quality products and cost-effective solutions for wide range of industrial applications worldwide in simplified forms. P.T.Muralidharan, GM (Marketing) of the company shares the current trends in the textile industry and the investments patterns.

What is your view on the scenario textile industry is currently. Where does a product like you fit in? -A basic investment or extraordinary investment?

It depends on the customer. Whatever, the situation is, you have to safeguard your investment, your process, and machinery. What type of weight you give for those areas, it makes you whether to invest or not. However, everyone has to invest, because it is not-so-expensive and you have a big process and a business owner should have an investment to safeguard their investments. Imagine a fire accident or damage due to metal, naturally, you have to stop the production, make a repair, then restart the process. Thus companies will have to consider this as a basic investment.

The bale, close to the machines, do they separate all the impurities like metal?

No, it just comes in the starting stage. Once the bale is open, immediately after that, you have the further process for the cotton have so many beating points. Where it opens the cotton, the spike sometimes when it comes in contact with impurities like stones, metals naturally it can create a fire. So there are two points, one is the spike themselves hardpoints can get damaged, it can create a spark and it will immediately carry through the process and it can damage to your next machinery or in the run it can catch fire, expand, damages the whole process. So these are the two safety points, the other two machines are used only to remove the contamination whatever you find in the bottom. Like colored materials, synthetic materials which cannot be dyed when we make fabrics those are all come as impurities. It is decided on the need of the buyer whether he is at the top of the notch or middle class or bottom.

Right now how do you see the investment trends, which companies are investing in these sectors?

Every cotton spinner has to invest, sometimes the technology change always insists us to replace the products once in three years or five years so we have our equipment in almost all the mills or there might be some imported machines also which are ready for replacements. Since the industries are not in good stay so nobody is now ready to replace. When you replace, you can have a better end product line or you can add safety on either front. So more equipment or the latest generation equipment means you can find more investments.

In this latest generation equipments, is there any inbuilt features?

No. Because these are all having hi-tech electronics, software technology of all type is present. For example, a camera that is used has a high-quality vision as well. All these processing everything built into one system so the big company, sometimes, cannot give the exact desired results their core competency is in a different area.

Does every machine come with IoT ?

In the textile industry it is only a beginning. It will have not have the desired results. Because now they are trying to capture the information from one machine connecting to a common network so that the production or operation team can view at what efficiency the whole process is running, but that is only a beginning. I think people just want to have still more addition then maybe all the machines may not have those features to add that feature or upgrade that. There might be very least possibility or investment you have to make in those machines or a business owner might feel, it is better to buy a new machine.

What is your roadmap for India? What is the business plan for India?

We are in the B2B segment, the customer knows us. Being in the industry for almost thirty-five years, we are not required to do any event or marketing. When the customer has the budget and the need comes we will be in their mind.

So how do you want to reach the particular market or Industry?

We have only one segment of cotton spinning. In that, we have only one area, the glow room and those who are in the cotton spinning would be aware of our brand. In India, I can say so we have covered the whole length and breath of the country.

How do you compete with international machinery?

Technology usually comes first to Europe. Because their Market is elite. We survey the market on whether this technology can be adaptable to the industry. At the moment, there is an opportunity we try to adopt it or make a better product for Indian conditions.  At times, those machines which are from Europe may not be directly appealing to the local conditions. So we make our own changes in that so there is no dearth of technology. It is only the need of power, whether you are ready for the technology then we have only lead time to make the development and offer to the customer so when the market is not ready even sometimes the technology is hard to sell.  For example, take the instance of selling a car. If your aspirational value is high you naturally go for a luxury vehicle there is no need you are ready to go with your old car or maybe a car with fewer features similarly when there is a need we just take the opportunity.

This is a capital investment, as there is no investment, we will not invest as of now you said three to five years is a period where they have to change?

Yes, it depends upon the customer to customer as I say you’re driving the same car for five years sometimes there’s a need to change sometimes there is no need to change, so if you change what value addition it will bring to you or what advantage you can generate out of that it wholly depends upon you. One applies to you may not be applied to other one but naturally there is always some kind of advantage you go with new technology, those technologies maybe sometimes there’s always a pioneer in adoption, sometimes there is a follower also so once the first level of customers adopt that maybe the other      this is a cycle. Once we introduce this to the customer at the elite category, may be the next level, the next level always advance in the next five years, by that time another new product will come.

How integrated is your machine with the AI?  

Yes but the present cotton industry, I believe the process is automated but I don’t think the data capturing fields integrated or not. Finally, we always look at the end product. The spinning is the core area where your productivity is high, efficiency is high so maybe now the data capture is good. Their people want to reduce the down-time, may increase productivity, reduce the energy all things are happening at the end.


By – B Swaminathan