KPR Mill in Coimbatore, which is one of the well-known vertically integrated textile companies of India, has started its apparel production in Ethiopia’s Mekelle Industrial Park. Currently employing 700 people with a total annual capacity of 10 million pieces per year, it is the first overseas unit of the company.
K.P Ramasamy, Chairman of KPR Mill Ltd.; Teka Gebreyesus, Ethiopian State Minister for Trade and Industry and officials from various trade bodies were present on this occasion.
The company has invested US $ 5 million in this unit and 14 Indian professionals are also employed here. Notably, 12 Ethiopian workers got training at the company’s Coimbatore factory for 40 days.
The 53,300 sq. ft shed at this unit has 20 garment stitching lines. As per the reports, at full capacity, the company will employ 1,500 workers and produce 50,000 garment pieces per day.
‘We are happy with the progress of our company so far and thanks to trade schemes such as the United States’ Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and the European Union’s Everything but Arms initiative, we believe garments made in Ethiopia can better capitalise on opportunities in foreign markets,” said C. R. Anandakrishnan, ED, KPR Mill.
On the quarter ending 31 March, KPR Mill has net sales of Rs. 951.66 crore, up by 15.98 per cent from Rs. 820.52 crore of the quarter ending March 2018.
In a recent report “Made in Ethiopia: Challenges in the Garment Industry’s New Frontier” Paul M. Barrett and Dorothée Baumann-Pauly (Center for Business and Human Rights) have highlighted that Ethiopia has the lowest wage across the 15 major apparel manufacturing countries, which is a paltry 750 birr, equivalent of US $ 26 a month.