MYSURU: The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have robbed South India’s premier Mysuru Silk of its lustre. With the lockdown, the spinning of the looms has completely stopped, hitting the production of around 15,000 silk sarees in two months. The state-owned Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation’s (KSIC) silk sarees are in great demand across the country and abroad, as many prefer them for auspicious occasions like weddings, festivals and house-warming ceremonies.
Encouraged by this, the company had added around 100 designs in rich colours with big pallus and the famous mango design border. The sarees, woven on 159 looms, are priced anywhere between `6,000 and `80,000. KSIC has 16 showrooms across the country including one on the silk factory premises in Mysuru.
With Mysuru being declared a red zone, KSIC is yet to take a call on resuming production. Corporation general manager Bheemappa said they have opened the showroom in Bengaluru, but the one in Mysuru is still shut. A decision on resuming weaving at the factory will be taken after May 18, he said. KSIC, with a turnover of `175 crore, sees big sales during Varamahalakshmi, Ugadi, Deepavali festivals and during the wedding season.
KSIC hopes to do well in coming season
But this year, due to the coronavirus outbreak and consequent lockdown, business has been dull as there was no tourist flow. The slump in sales has left over 800 employees worried.Refusing to disclose the losses suffered during the lockdown, Bheemappa said, “We are hopeful that we will do well in the coming season as KSIC has earned goodwill and become a sign of Mysuru’s grandeur.”
A KSIC employee said they are ready to work overtime to improve productivity, so as to not cede space to competitors. The company already produces 80,000 sarees a year. The staff also pointed out that the previous government had shown interest in starting additional production units to meet increased demand, and added that they can produce at least 30,000 more sarees with an additional investment of `25 crore.