From an institution burdened with an accumulated loss of over `85 crore in 2004-05, to declaring a 2.5 crore profit in the financial year 2012-13, Cooptex has scripted an almost fairytale-like turnaround in the last few years.
Powered by a concerted marketing drive, stringent target setting and exhaustive market research, the beleaguered Handloom Society has managed to wipe out the losses it started accumulating at the turn of the new century and go into the green for the first time this year.
The Cooptex story, by necessity, has to start at the very beginning. Formed 78 years ago to procure, showcase and sell handloom products produced in Tamilnadu, the society had become synonymous with pure, affordable handloom products by the liberalisation reforms of ‘91. But, by the turn of the century Cooptex managed to lose its way, starting a spree of low performance years and accumulating losses that peaked at an abysmal `85 crore in 2004-05.
It was recognising this, that successive administrations started to formulate strategies to reverse this crippling trend, said U Sagayam, Managing Director of Cooptex. “But it is only this year that we have managed to wipe out all our accumulated losses and declare a profit,” he pointed out.
The last two years have witnessed an impressive jump in turnover. From `205 crore in 2011 to `245 crore in 2012, the handloom society is set to comfortably achieve its target of `300 crore by the end of this fiscal. “We have already achieved a turnover of `200 crore by the 3rd quarter,” asserted Sagayam, “And, with the Pongal season coming up, we will comfortably achieve this year’s target.”
The turnaround is due to a series of marketing schemes, like the ‘Kanavu Nanavu Thittam’, which is a monthly installment scheme, and the ‘Thanga Mazhai’ scheme, which had a prize of gold worth 1 lakh through a best slogan contest.
“These schemes resulted in enormous rise in sales during the 2012 Diwali season,” said Sagayam. He also pointed out that they also concentrated on sale of silk.