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Alok to Add Towel Capacity

Mumbai, India — Alok Industries has set its sights on the towel business. The 25-year-old integrated apparel mill jumped into the sheeting business in 2004 and quickly became one of the leading off-shore exporters of sheets to the United States market.

This summer, the company plans to begin construction of terry towel facilities. It has already started producing blankets, quilts and comforters, said Alok Jiwarjka, director of home furnishings.

“It's a new growth opportunity for us — integrated textiles solutions,” he said.

In addition, the company will expand in sheeting capacity during 2007 to hit a target of 100,000 sets per day.

Sheets in 300 thread counts have become the company's bread and butter, Jiwarjka said, but 500- and 600-count sets are driving growth — accounting for 45% of the business last year.

“Promotions are very hot, but we have also done replenishments in a very big way,” he noted.

However, Alok Industries is not chasing volume for volume's sake. The company has a policy of restricting each customer to 6% of total business or less. And with raw material and transportation costs rising, he said Alok has walked away from orders whose pricing demands would have required lowering quality.

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