‘Organized sector should make consumers aware of the importance of sleep’

Mr Remy Tack
CEO of Global Textile Alliance (GTA)

Q You started your Indian operations in 2012. What was the market size when you entered at that time and how much has it grown now?

The market has grown in a big way. When we started, a lot of the market was done with the typical printed fabrics but today the market has matured and we are buying a lot of jacquard fabrics, and knitted fabrics and the market in general has grown in size. Some of the players that were back then have become bigger and many new players that have come into the market. We also consider that the unorganized market has grown a lot. Looking at the organized and unorganized market, the market has grown in a very large way.

Q As an industry expert, going forward, what kind of innovation you think that the industry will see?

It depends from country to country but in India, we need to be price conscious for the consumer. The innovations that are there in the market today and the innovations of the future will also become more available for the Indian markets. Again, it depends on the maturity of the markets and the market being able to accept the price points of innovation that today are higher in other parts of the world like Europe and America.

Q In the last 11 years of your presence in India, how are you finding the Indian market?

I have always been impressed by the resiliency of the Indian market and the Indian consumers. The organized sector needs to make sure that the consumer understands that they need to invest in their sleep. In India, the consumer at this moment is not educated enough on the importance of sleep. Consumers, the industry and the government need to bring up a message to consumers about how important sleep is and to put the right value on sleep. I see the biggest risk in the market as the organized sector is becoming big in the market and all the bigger professional companies are struggling with how to deal with this unorganized sector. It is important to keep the vision ahead as India is growing, the middle class and the upper class are growing and we need to tell the consumer clearly, invest in your sleep. I think this is the biggest challenge ahead of the market i.e. to make sure that we teach the importance of sleep.

Q Can you share some of your sustainability efforts? How is GTA working in that direction?

Sustainability is going to be a huge push going forward, globally with in our opinion Europe taking the lead. It is hard to talk about sustainability because sustainability is so broad. For our group, both in the textiles and latex business, we want to be the market leader in sustainable solutions for our customers. We will have the sustainable products ready, we already do, and as soon as the customers and the market are ready, we can supply them. Another thing that we work on a lot is how do we improve our processes. We have something in our group that is called ‘act for home’ textiles and that suggests that whenever we are making decisions, we also think about the future. We have all the options but there is no point trying to be quicker than the markets. The consumer is getting more conscious and we have to make sure that the consumer has the option. Over the next decade, I do believe that our industry will become extremely green and there will be a lot of options.

Q Could you please highlight what challenges the industry may face in future and how can one navigate those challenges?

To me, the biggest thing in India is the unorganized sector and how we deal with the unorganized sector. We need to make sure that the consumer understands that they need to invest in their sleep. This year it seems to me, that the industry is either flat or has experienced some degrowth, which is not abnormal if you compare it with the global issues that are going on. It is important not to also panic in the area of degrowth and to focus on the market, the consumer and the long term because the long-term potential in India is very big that is why we invested here 11 years ago.

Q What are your plans for India in the coming years, in terms of expansion, product launches and other initiatives??

To be honest, there are no real investment plans on the table. When it comes to investments towards our customers, our goal is always to supply our customers with the best balance of great quality, service, and know-how at a good price and we will continue to do so and lead efforts there to get better for our customers. The team needs to work together and that is what we always try to do and look at the solution for the customer. We invite our customers to our showrooms and factories around the world. We try to bring as much value as possible to our customers. We are very thankful for our customers and our team locally. We have a very good team in Coimbatore and Ambala. We are looking forward to our next decade in India.

ISPF is an industry body which promotes importance of sleep and role of mattress for a Indian consumers. ISPF plays very important role in connecting Indian bedding industry ecosystem. ISPF also acts as bridge between India and international players.