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BKS Building Up

Palladam, India — BKS Fine Linens plans to invest nearly $50 million over the next to year to build out its home textiles production.

The company, which currently exports about $12 million of product, is building a state-of-the-art operation that will include weaving, finishing, sewing and filling for products bound for the United States and European Union. Product categories will consist of sheets, top-of-bed, bath and kitchen/table linens.

BKS is currently making and marketing ready-to-retail packaged bedding for the U.S. Canadian and European markets, but volumes are moderate.

The company also recently hired Pradeep Mukherjee, who previously spent 23 years at Bombay Dyeing, most recently as vice president, exports. He is based in the company's marketing office in Mumbai.

“The sewing plant has automated layering and cutting equipment and will have attachments for most types of value additions,” Mukherjee said. “Once the expansion is full steam, it promises to be a low-cost manufacturer and exporter to both international and domestic markets.”

The company's chairman is Senthil Kumar, who also is chairman of a textiles industrial park under construction in the area. India's federal and state governments have been actively encouraging the formation of such parks — called textiles clusters — to spur entrepreneurialism.

The Palladam park is projected to have almost 730 high tech looms, and will feed greige fabric to most of southern India's manufacturers as well as other finishing centers in India. It also plans to add weaving, finishing and sewing.

“This gives rise to several advantages, as common facilities like infrastructure and logistics can be shared between manufacturers, thus reducing costs,” Kumar said.

BKS, he added, will target institutional as well as retail accounts.

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