CHENNAI: To strengthen its presence in the overseas market, the Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers’ Co-operative Society, also known as Co-optex will soon be opening its stores through franchise model in Malaysia and Singapore. The state weavers’ cooperative society will also be organising exhibitions as well as shows in Britain and Germany to tap the unexplored market.
“Talks are on and if everything goes well by the first quarter of this year the new stores will be launched in two countries,” said T N Venkatesh, managing director, Co-optex, adding, it will be more viable and profitable for Co-optex to open stores in foreign countries via the franchise model.
Singapore and Malaysia have been identified for opening stores as the demand for state handloom is quite high in these countries.
“Singapore and Malaysia have sizeable population of Tamilians. But we have noticed that even local Malaysians and Singaporeans also buy our products with equal enthusiasm,” added Venkatesh. Co-optex posted a turnover of Rs 300 crore in the year 2018-2019 and out of it, at least Rs 4 crore was generated from sales in the overseas market. Sales turnover in FY18 was Rs 290 crore.
According to Co-optex officials, many departmental stores in UAE, Britain, Belgium procure products like bed linens, dining mat sets and other home furnishing items from it and its products are big hit there. “We want to further strengthen and expand our reach abroad,” added Venkatesh. The state government allocates an amount worth Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore under handloom support programme to utilize it in advertising and promoting the handloom products in foreign countries.
“We have been focusing on diversification of products, introduction of new designs and colour palettes to meet the demands of the overseas market,” said Venkatesh.