Think of denim and the image of Ahmedabad comes up as the denim capital of India. But over the years, the country’s largest man-made fabric (MMF) hub in Surat has become the second largest denim hub, grabbing 8% share of the total manufacturing capacity in the country.
Until 2015, there were four denim plants with the installed capacity of 100 million metres per annum in Surat.
In a short span of four years, three new denim plants including Lodz Denim and JRD Denim at
Ankleshwar and Signet Denim at Palsana near Surat with annual capacity of 20 million metres each have set up their plants by adding up to the total annual installed capacity to 160 million metres — 8% of the total 1,550 million metres per annum produced in the country.
The denim journey of Surat, which already meets over 40% of the polyester fabric demand in the country annually, started with the setting up of the first denim plant by R&B denims at Palsana in 2012, some 20 kilometers away from Surat, with the installed capacity of 30 million metres per annum. The company has invested about Rs 500 crore in a phased manner till 2017 by setting up backward integration of cotton yarn spinning.
Anubha Denim has 20 million metres capacity. Rajasthan-based Sri Rajlaxhmi denim has operationalized a plant at Palsana with capacity of 30 million metres. Ultra Denim has invested over Rs 150 crore to set up a 30 million metres unit near Surat.
Out of the seven denim manufacturers in Surat and Ankleshwar, Ultra Denims private limited is the lone player to have forayed into garment manufacturing. About 5,000 jeans for men and women are manufactured per day by Ultra denim and supplied to branded players including
Jade BluePrivilege, Raymond etc.
Manoj Tulsiyan, managing director of Signet Denim private limited told TOI, “In a short span of eight years, Surat has become the second largest denim manufacturer in the country. Still, there is a huge potential in the denim business as the demand for the fabric is ever increasing in the domestic and international market.”
Industry sources said that due to over-capacity and GST implication, the unorganized sector was working at utililsation level of 65% till last year. However, there has been improvement in capacity utilisation to about 75% owing to no fresh investment and increasing focus on exports.
A majority of the denim manufacturers have export exposure of about 45% of their annual denim fabric production. The denim fabrics manufactured in Surat and Ankleshwar are exported to countries like the US, Bangladesh, Egypt, Latin America and UK. While the rest of the fabric is supplied to the domestic manufacturers of branded jeans and shirts.