“The textile and garment world market is changing and with the rise of costs in China today, we have an opportunity to grow our global market because the Chinese industry is following two paths: they are relocating their industry, and they are delivering more of their production to their domestic market,” Salim Ismail, the CEO of Groupe Socota, told CNBC Africa at the World Economic Forum in China.
Groupe Socota, a design-driven, vertically integrated textile and garment manufacturer, supplies clothing to a number of retailers including Bershka, Cape Union Mart, Décathlon, Edgars, Orchestra, Truworths, Woolworths and Zara.
“This operational is very successful despite a very difficult environment. Developing a textile and clothing industry in Madagascar is possible. Madagascar is also valid for many other sub-Saharan African countries. Our target by the end of this year – a capacity of 12 million pieces of garment with approximately 10,000 people,” Ismail explained.
He maintained that the company’s success and competitiveness relies on a number of crucial business values.
“The first one is the fact that we are a vertically integrated operation. It means that we can target fashion markets where there is short lead time, and you have to be very fast to adapt your production to market trends,” Ismail indicated.
“The second is that in this business you need to have good control of your design, your marketing, your whole material sourcing. We have, since the early stages set up, in Paris, a platform of design at the heart of our market. Today our differentiation is based on reliability, our quality, delivery time.”
Ismail added that in order to be a part of the fashion market, one has to build up a network of raw material sourcing.
“We are making our fabric ourselves but we are sourcing our yarn from Asia, and in the region there is a Chinese operation in Mauritius which is delivering us one part of our needs in terms of yarn. We are also buying in India, China and Pakistan,” he said.
“We are continuously proactive in understanding what will be the market trends in terms of fashion and we are adapting to it.”