Market planning important even for SME coir units: Expert

Alappuzha, Feb 3: The Coir Kerala event’s social media activity—via platforms like Facebook—which has improved since last year, has made consumers in the US aware of the ‘coir’ product, said former CEO of US-based firm Cotton Incorporated John Nicholas Hahn.

Speaking at an international seminar session on ‘Market Channeling’ at Coir Kerala 2016, he addressed the need to tap into user-friendly marketing mediums, such as social media, which is cost-effective and reaches out to millions of people.

“Also, thanks to e-commerce platforms, producers can reach out directly to consumers, cutting out resellers and wholesale distributors,” said Hahn, who is a consultant to a number of emerging textile markets in the developing world.

While a large number of coir units are small and medium enterprises, supply chain planning is important to stay ahead of the competition from other states and countries – “to know where your company fits”, he suggested.

With auditing teams from big US chains, such as Walmart and Home Depot, visiting vendors to check various aspects—payment of fair wages, use of child labour—in the supply chain, “even the smaller coir units have to be pay attention to their supply chains because it reflects on their business”, said Hahn, who spoke at last year’s Coir Kerala event on the branding of coir.

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