G.V. Prasada Sarma
Sets itself a sales target of Rs. 4 crores
All showrooms have been computerised
It embarks on major design upgrade exercise
VISAKHAPATNAM: APCO, the apex weavers’ co-operative in the State, is gearing up to meet the festival demand. Having embarked on innovative design improvement measures and computerisation to help track the inventory, it aims at garnering Rs. 4 crores from the two districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram this festive season.
APCO weaves are particularly known for their rich silks and fine handloom cloth besides several varieties that meet the requirement of customers.
“During the festival season from December 21 to January 14, we have set ourselves a sales target of Rs.4 crores,” APCO Divisional Marketing Officer M. Satyanarayana told The Hindu. Besides its showrooms, it is running special exhibitions and offering a 30 per cent discount. With APCO computerising all its showrooms, the 24 in the two districts, including the one at Judge Court in Visakhapatnam, are now in a better position to maintain inventory well.
The computerisation has been taken up with Central government funds and a matching grant from the State government. All textile varieties in the showrooms are bar-coded and scanned.
The showrooms are connected to the divisional office which has been linked to the Central office in Hyderabad. “It helps us closely monitor stock positions daily and rush them depending upon demand,” he says.
To market the brand well and also to suit the changing tastes, APCO has embarked upon a major design upgrade exercise by outsourcing from freelance designers and a central design studio at Hyderabad. The National Institute of Fashion Technology is also developing new designs for APCO. It helps APCO strengthen its presence in certain segments. For instance, it is introducing 26 new designs in men’s shirts mainly with the urban customers in view.
APCO has opened exhibitions to cash in on the festive demand at Garividi and at Balajai Temple and Fort Junction in Vizianagaram. One has been going on for sometime at Sitammadhara in Visakhapatnam and another will be opened soon at NGOs’ Home near Diamond Park. With the co-operation of the AP Tourism Development Corporation, it is also running one at Borra Caves, a major tourist hub that draws people not only from Andhra Pradesh but from the neighbouring States as well.
APCO’s silks that include the famous Uppada, Dharmavaram, Gadwal, Dharmavaram, Narayanpet and Pochamapally, among others, carry the Central government’s Silk Mark. Also its handloom cloth does not include power loom cloth and carries the Central Government Textile Committee’s Handloom Mark.