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Knitting apparel with grit and determination, Natarajan Krishnamoorthy’s SV Knits is shaping up as a Sustainable Textile company

    SV Knits is a textile company in Tirupur, except that it is not just another textile company. The company led by a young entrepreneur is a story of grit, determination, hard work and perseverance, Mr Natarajan Krishnamoorthy, who established his textile business from absolute scratch. Today SV Knits is an established garments exporter, with a per month production capacity of 1,50,000 pieces. Krishnamoorthy wants to take it to the next level in the next five years.

    The Power of an Idea

    If someone asks, what does it take to set up a textile factory? The answer is straightforward- a factory premise, resources, machines, materials, and good order. However, if all of this is out of reach, then can one start a business? The answer is yes. All you need is an idea and determination and perseverance to see that idea through. Well, that’s exactly what Krishnamoorthy demonstrated.

    Krishnamoorthy’s father worked as a ‘pattern master’ at a renowned garment factory in Tirupur. Krishnamoorthy’s interest in textiles led him to pursue a degree in fashion and apparel technology at NIFT, Tirupur. Soon after graduation, he found a job at a textile unit but the desire to become an entrepreneur was very strong. There was a comfort of a stable job, gaining experience, and then starting, but there was also a fire inside to take a risk and start his venture rather than pursuing a job elsewhere.

    In 2013, Krishnamoorthy embarked upon his dream journey and set up a garments and apparel unit along with his cousin and another college friend, with some financial support from his family. Though the journey was tough, the initial years saw a business of 30,000 pieces per month. Starting with a handful of resources and some old machines initially, the going was rough. To continue to pay for the resources and keep the work flowing, he took up jobs at other textile units, however, he continued to adhere to his dream. Mostly it was managing as a sub-contractor for orders, but that’s what worked to keep the enterprise alive and going. Did he have it easy after that? No, not really….

    SV Knits office

    The Journey continued to be tough

    Krishnamoorthy was looking to close a big order with an international brand and decided to travel overseas to meet and persuade the customers. This was the first time he traveled out of his hometown, and not just to a different city but a different continent, South Africa. He was determined that meeting the clients in person would help him close a deal.

    While the onward journey and the meetings went fine, some food didn’t sit well with him and what he went through he recalls as a life-changing experience. With no one near him to take care of, he had to check in himself with the support of the hotel for lifesaving intervention. He shares this story rather than enjoying the aftereffects of this trip, which was getting a big deal from a worthy customer. This life wrenching experience and the big business opportunity that SV Knits received from the international customer brought new hope to Krishnamoorthy and the business.

    SV Knits stall at a textile and apparel exhibition

    SV Knits and Sustainable Initiatives:

    SV Knit’s facility in Tirupur

    While SV Knits is currently in a leased facility with 48 staff members and 250 workers, the focus was to get SEDEX certified. BCI member company also worked on getting GOTS certification to take steps towards environmental sustainability. One of the promising initiatives at SV Knits is the packaging. The biofilms used by the company called VestFlex-Biofilms are certified with evidence for biodegradability verified by International Standards. The biofilms are 100% biodegradable when discarded on land in open-air environments, which implies that it leaves no microplastic residues. Biodegradability takes about 8 to 10 months. Additionally, the product is also 100% recyclable, and can conveniently be recycled with normal plastics without contaminating the waste recycling stream.

    Client meeting at SV Knits office

    Relying on a solid core team

    What is also striking about Krishnamoorthy is his gratitude for his friends and family members who believed in his dream. He owes all the success the company has attained to the unstinting support that he received from them.

    Team SV Knits with visitors

    Krishnamoorthy fondly remembers the few people who were with him in setting up the organization; among them, Mr Kathiresh Swaminathan was the one who helped to kick start S V Knits and supported the organization in the initial stages. Mr Loganathan and Mr Prabhu Laxmanaswamy, are partners in the organization, who along with Mr Krishnamoorthy handles all the backend production related works. Mr Bhuvaneswar Murugesan and Mr Goutham Eswaran, are Krishnamoorthy’s cousins and are the forward runners in the organization, handling the marketing section, and bringing in orders for the company.

    Krishnamoorthy is indebted to his core team for all the strength they bring to the organization and the success the organization has received. He is happy to share that when the company grows the team also grows and organizational strength lies in the team.

    Way Forward

    Krishnamoorthy plans to move SV Knits to a new owned facility, which will be built aligned to green building standards. Most of the SV Knits clients are from Russia, the UK, and Australia. Krishnamoorthy aspires to be a go-to exporter for the European and US markets. With a clear vision, new markets, and new aspirations, what could not be achieved. Krishnamoorthy inspires everyone to just hold the vision dear and take any risk, and then persevere till that is achieved.

    Interviewed by Dr Shashi Kad and Abija B Nambiar, SAGE Sustainability.

    SAGE Sustainability is a B Corp certified consulting firm providing services such as sustainability advisory, reporting and communications.