Shri Vinal Kumar Saxena (Chairman KVIC), Ms Usha Suresh (CEO KVIC), Mr.Sanjay Behl (CEO Raymonds Ltd.) and Shri Gautam Hari Singhania (Chairman & MD Raymonds Ltd.)
Image: Joshua Navalkar
In a bid to position Khadi as a ‘fashion fabric’ globally, Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Ministry of MSME under the Government of India has entered into a strategic public–private partnership with homegrown textile major Raymond Ltd. The announcement was made today evening in Mumbai, where the agreement was signed by both parties.
“This is a historic day. With our limited resources at KVIC, it was getting difficult for us despite having the best products in the world,” says VK Saxena, KVIC Chariman. “Inking an agreement with Raymond for value added marketing of Khadi is an act of integrating rural industry with urban industry…this agreement is going to bridge the urban rural divide,” he adds.
As a part of the agreement, Raymond will procure Khadi and Khadi products for a period of five years with primary purchases of muslin cotton and silk. Raymonds will procure all India Khadi varieties from departmental sales outlets of KVIC for over the counter sales, and also bring design interventions and provide technical expertise across Khadi manufacturing clusters across India. The products, branded as ‘Khadi by Raymond’ will be sold across KVIC outlets and Raymond stores across the country from February 2017. KVIC will allow Raymond to use the ‘Khadi Mark’, which was launched in 2013 to ensure sale of genuine products.
The chairman and managing director of Raymond Ltd says that this is the beginning of a long partnership. “[Through this partnership] we can upscale the products and even if we take the average price of Khadi industry up by 1-2 percent, it will make a huge difference,” says Singhania. He however refuses to comment on the sales expectation. “It is like testing the waters…After six months, I can give you a better idea of the performance,” he says.
The initiative falls in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making Khadi a part of every Indian’s wardrobe. In the beginning of this year, in his Mann Ki Baat session, Modi has urged Indians to adopt Khadi into their daily lifestyle. During his recent visit to Ludhiana, Modi had also distributed 500 wooden charkhas to women belonging to five local Khadi institutions. “There will be more brand tie-ups and partnerships going forward,” adds Usha Suresh, CEO, KVIC.
Currently, over 11 lakh people are working with KVIC across India. The initiative will result in an incremental employment of 2.10 lakh man hours for spinners and weavers.