By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech University, USA

A US$ 500 million business highlights the opportunities for cotton.

Today, a breakfast discussion with Mr. Arun Agarwal, chief executive officer of Dallas-based Nextt lead me to believe that cotton can provide enormous new opportunities. Arun is visiting Lubbock this week with a mission to brand and promote Texas and United States’ cotton and interact with cotton researchers at Texas Tech University.

“West Texas cotton can surely compete with Egyptian cotton and branding efforts are needed,” stated Mr. Agarwal. He is already promoting Texas cotton as “Lone Star Cotton,” and his recent visit to Lubbock is part of the effort to promote and enhance the market opportunities for High Plains cotton.

Agarwal was impressed with the oil absorbency performance of the cotton based Towelie™ oil absorbent product, which he got introduced to, a few months back. Products like Towelie™ clearly promote the sustainable industrial applications of cotton, added Agarwal.

Agarwal’s Nextt, which is a US$ 500 million company supplies cotton home textiles to giants like Wal-Mart, Costco, Kohl’s, to name a few. In revealing the secret to his success, Arun stated, “providing cost effective solutions to customers’ requirements, greatly helps.”

Utilizing unique attributes of a material, say for example the sustainable attribute of cotton will enable new opportunities. “Human connection is important, no matter what we do,” advised Agarwal.

Agarwal’s supplier, who manufactures 600,000 square meters of fabric per day is hoped to consume about 500,000 bales of United States’ cotton this year, which can come from the High Plains region.