A quiet Karnataka backwater has become the epicentre for a denim jeans manufacturing revolution, reports SANJANA from Bellary
POINT BLANK. Walker. Nasty. Podium. These are not just random words in an English dictionary. They are the names of successful brands of denim jeans, manufactured in Bellary, north Karnataka. To the tune of an estimated annual turnover of Rs 150 crore. It’s a big sum for a district labeled “one of the most backward districts of the state” on its own official web page.
Consider this: the 2001 census pegged the total population of Bellary at slightly over 3 lakh. A third of Bellary’s population, over 1 lakh people, is employed in the jeans manufacturing industry. According to the Human Development report (2005) for Karnataka, Bellary stood in the ninth position on the Income Index for the state’s districts — and the jeans industry is second only to the mining sector in being the major contributor to this development.
Jeans from Bellary are not just popular in Karnataka: feeding the low to mid range price segment, they are as sought after in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra. Priced 30-50 percent lower than premium international brands such as Lee, Levis or Wrangler, jeans from Bellary cost between Rs 145-Rs 750 a pair.
Why stop at South India? Why not export to worldwide locations? Why not show 'em what we've got? Why not give the Lees, Levis's, Wranglers a run for their money? Is the economic downturn a golden opportunity to place the Bellary stamp on the west's hips?
For the Tehelka story go to: The Jeans That Built Bellary