Vows to revive growth of the apparel sector in such difficult times

Padma  Shri Dr A Sakthivel, a man of many accomplishments, takes over as the new Chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council, India.

Assuming the office of Chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), Dr A Sakthivel shared the concern that for the past three years the industry has been struggling to survive and the growth of apparel exports has been stagnant. However, he assured the Members of the Council that he will work with full commitment and dedication to bring forth positive growth in apparel exports. He promised that he will put efforts to find new and potential markets for India’s garment exports. He further assured that he will convince the senior officials of the Central Government to get the required incentives and benefits thereby reviving growth of the sector and overall exports.

Dr A Sakthivel was first elected to the board of Directors of Apparel Export Promotion Council in the year 1982 thus serving the council for almost four decades.  He is also the first person in the history of AEPC, who is sworn-in for the fourth time as Chairman of the AEPC. His diligence has played a vital role in the growth of the Council and gradually led to the improvement of exports at the national level. Dr A Sakthivel has not only contributed his time and work to the Council, but also served as Managing Committee Member of Federation of Indian Exporters organisation (FIEO) for more than a decade. He was also the President and Regional Chairman of FIEO, Southern Region. 

Dr A Sakthivel along with some exporters had established Tirupur Exporters Association in 1990 widely known as TEA. Dr A Sakthivel was the first President of TEA and with his dynamism, he held the post continuously for a period of 27 years. During his tenure as President of TEA, he toiled hard to develop the industry as well as Tirupur. During his tenure as President TEA, the export turnover of Tirupur Industry increased to a whopping Rs 27000 crores in 2016-17 from Rs 270 Crores in 1990. 

Government of India recognised his unparalleled service to export sector specifically to apparel Sector and knitting industry, creation of infrastructure such as industrial parks, ICDs and his contribution to the society with regard to education, drinking water, sanitation and drainage etc., by honouring him with one of the country’s most prestigious and esteemed Civilian Award “PADMA SHRI” in 2009 being the first in the overall textile industry. Besides being privileged with many honours and accolades, Dr A Sakthivel was also conferred  with Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) in 2011 by Bharathiyar University for his pivotal role in motivating many enterprising and capable youngsters to make a career in exports and also for his dedicated involvement in visionary projects, initiatives and his immeasurable contribution for the growth of industry and development of society.

Dr A Sakthivel was also instrumental in so many visionary projects in Tirupur including the formation of Tirupur Export Knitwear Industrial Complex (TEKIC), Inland Container Depot (ICD), Netaji Apparel Park (NAP), International Exhibition Centre (IKF) etc. Similarly his social visionary projects include School for Children (TEA Public School), drinking water for Tirupur people and Industry through NTADCL, Fashion Knitwear Institute partnered with NIFT (NIFT-TEA Institute) etc., Dr A Sakthivel has also contributed to the development of the industry by holding several key positions including President of Indo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of Apparel Made-Ups & Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC) besides being Chairman of India Knit Fair Association, Kongu Global Forum and Director in IDBI & ECGC etc.

Born in a simple agricultural family in 1947 in a village nearby Tirupur and being the eldest son to his parents, he was inclined in setting a role model to his fellow colleagues. He did his Diploma in Automobile Engineering and started his career as a service engineer in TELCO at Jamshedpur. As Dr Kalam once said, he also had a strong desire to become an Entrepreneur. It was the result of untold sleepless nights and strategic planning that led to setting up of a Hosiery industry in Tirupur, which was one of the numerous dream plans that he had in reserve for the city of Tirupur.  Dr A Sakthivel is always having a burning ambition to do something new and challenging.  Besides, his courage, acumen and hard work laid the strong foundation that took his vision to the next level. He started expanding his business operations rapidly and set foot in new ventures like yarn spinning, manufacturing & exporting of knitwear and woven garments, tourism, hospitality industries etc., His business conglomerate has been fondly titled as “POPPYS”. His leadership qualities are commendable and everyone affectionately calls him “SAKTHI – God of Power”.