COIMBATORE: With an annual growth of over eight per cent, knitwear exports from Tirupur are likely to touch Rs 15,000 crore mark in a couple of years as the town is exploring new and non-traditional markets like Japan, sources in Tirupur Exporters' Association said.
Entering knitwear export market in 1984, Tirupur recorded exports worth Rs 1,162.43 crore in 1993 and scaled new heights to touch Rs 13,000 crore mark in the next two decades, contributing 42 per cent of total knitwear exports.
The exports from this sleepy town from Coimbatore district started in 1981 with European retail Chain C and A, which was followed by other major stores abroad approaching Tirupur exporters, making the town register total exports of Rs 9.69 crore within three years, sources said.
It never looked back then, as many bigger names started buying from Tirupur and by 2006-07, the hub clocked exports worth Rs 11,000 crore.
However, the exports suddenly dipped to Rs 9,950 crore the next year, mainly due to external effects, but came back in 2008-09 recording Rs 11,250 crore, Rs 11,500 crore in 2009-2010, Rs 12,500 crore and Rs 13,000 crore in 2010-11 and 2012-13, respectively.
With nearly 1,500 knitwear units and 2,500 garment making units, the major brands doing business with Tirupur include WalMart, Target, Primax, Sears and Mothercare and H and M, besides the old guard C and A.