The journey from a garment exporter to a retailer of branded apparel took just over two years for KAS Thierumurthi, a first-generation entrepreneur and founder of apparel manufacturing company Stallion Garments. Based in the textile hub of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, the 46-year-old entrepreneur ran a steady business, churning out a range of apparel for global clothing brands in Europe and the US. But closer home, domestic consumption was rising and demand for global apparel brands in India was on the upswing. Keen to grab a share of this booming business, Thierumurthi made his boldest gamble. He invested in a piece of technology - an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software product that helps track and maintain back-room inventory.
This technology boost helped land a coveted prize for Stallion Garments. The company bagged a licence to manufacture, market and sell products of the iconic US clothing brand Levi Strauss & Co.
"I have a six-year license (worth Rs 100 crore) from Levi's because of adopting information technology in my business," says Thierumurthi, who has seen revenues rise by 15% annually to touch over Rs 60 crore. Stallion Garments is one amongst a growing list of over 4,000 small and medium companies in Tirupur, a textile city located on the banks of the Noyyal River, about 322km away from Bangalore, who are adopting technology to boost business productivity and expand revenues.
Tirupur supplies to some of the world's largest retailers including Walmart , Polo Ralph Lauren , Diesel , ARMY and Tommy Hilfiger . Buoyed by a few early successes of IT adoption, the garment industry of Tirupur, which recorded cumulative business of Rs 20,000 crore last year, is now embracing technology more deeply. Textile exporters have started to use a common technology and software platform on a pay-as-you-use basis.