Nagesh Prabhu

Pact with NIFT valid for one year; KSIC to pay Rs. 1,500 per design

KSIC places indent for 150 designs

for saris

The corporation is looking to cater

to middle class

BANGALORE: The State run Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) has signed an agreement with the country’s premier design institute — the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) of Bangalore — for developing creative and innovative designs for silk saris.

The agreement was signed on November 18 for developing 150 designs for saris and 10 designs for stoles.

The MoU is valid for one year and both the parties have the option to renew the arrangement at the end of the term. KSIC managing director P. Vijayan told The Hindu that NIFT had agreed to develop new designs such as rich sari border, rich body and rich pallu, printed saris; and scarves and stoles among others. KSIC would provide the requirements such as size of the pallu, border and body for each category of the saris.

NIFT would charge Rs. 1,500 per design and the KSIC had to release the payment according to the number of designs selected by the company’s executive team within two weeks, KSIC marketing manager S. Philomen Raj said. Established in 1980, KSIC released first collection designed by NIFT in early 2006. “We have been making design changes to suit the needs of customers. Keeping in mind a large middle class constituency in the country, now the company comes out with crepe collection of silk saris, a blend of tradition with modernity,” says Mr. Vijayan.

The Textile Design Department of NIFT would organise a national-level design contest for innovative and unique design saris of KSIC across at all its centres in the country. To encourage NIFT students to innovate designs, the KSIC would introduce KSIC-Silk Design Award of Rs. 10,000 cash prize during the graduation show for an outstanding academic performance of one student.

The KSIC, which was referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction in 1995, has started earning profits over the last few years. It turned sick within five years of its launch in 1980 and showed major signs of recovery only in 2005-06 when it reported a profit of Rs. 1.73 crore. In 2007-08, it earned a profit of Rs 4.80 crore.

The company, which has obtained geographical indication registration, has set a target of marketing silk products estimated at Rs. 60 crore in 2008-09. It sold products estimated at Rs. 50.60 crore in 2007-08. The 13 Mysore silk showrooms, including one each in Hyderabad, Kochi, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, sold 4.21 lakh metres of fabric in 2007-08. It had issued legal notices to 140 traders who had been misusing the brand name, Mr. Vijayan said.