Shakti Golyan, Managing Director at Tricot Cashmere

Source: Nepal Live Today

“Tricot Cashmere has a very high reputation amongst all buyers and we are the preferred manufacturer in the knitwear segment. Our defect rate is almost zero which our clients appreciate a lot.”

Shakti Golyan, Managing Director at Tricot Cashmere

Shakti Golyan is a young entrepreneur who likes to be known as a cashmere professional. He is also an Executive Director of Golyan Group, one of the leading private sector enterprises in Nepal, with more than 5000 employees and an annual turnover of $200 million. He is also the Managing Director at Tricot Cashmere, a private-sector enterprise and has been in the textile industry for over 60 years.

Shakti Golyan was introduced to Cashmere in late 1990 and fell in love with it instantly. Since then, he has pursued his passion for noble fiber and has been involved in the sourcing and production of high-quality cashmere products. Over the last two decades, he has continued his effort to produce cashmere products from high-quality, ethically sourced cashmere.

Nepal Live Today speaks with him on range of issues of cashmere products and the possibility of creating an international brand. 

What is the current trend of cashmere products?

The demand for pure cashmere has been subtle in the last two years due to the pandemic. The cashmere prices were already on the upward trend before the pandemic due to various reasons. The pandemic added to the costs due to supply chain disruptions and lower output of the fiber. We are doing well in the last six months but it’s slow and people are moving towards blends rather than pure cashmere due to a substantial increase in raw material prices and production costs.

Tricot is the largest knitting unit in Nepal. What are the special features of your products? Why Tricot?

Tricot was established with the view to provide high-quality cashmere knitwear worldwide. The factory was set up with state-of-the-art equipment from Germany and Italy.

Tricot is also the only company in Nepal that uses a husk-fired boiler, which is a must to get the best characteristics in the products during the steaming process. Besides this, we engage in skilling the workforce to achieve the highest quality. We also have 16 checkpoints to ensure optimum quality. No other company in Nepal has such a high focus on quality. Above all, we are the only socially certified company in the cashmere/pashmina industry in Nepal for social compliance by SEDEX.

With Tricot our customers get what they want, when they want and in the quality they want. Focus on quality of product and service has kept us afloat for all these years.

Where are the markets of your products?

Our main market is Europe. The main reason for that is the duty-free benefits we received due to the LDC status of Nepal. Since Nepal’s elevation from the LDC status was approved at the UN, we have five years to find alternative markets. We already started preparing for this in 2019. Even with the pandemic, we have built a decent market in the US and also have added a few customers in India. We are also in the process of launching a global brand with a primary focus on online sales.

What is the response from international customers?

We have been selling to the world for over two decades. We are now very popular in markets like Italy and Germany. We have a very high reputation amongst all buyers buying from Nepal and we are the preferred manufacturer in the knitwear segment.

“Nepal is not a big market for high-quality cashmere products. So it becomes more challenging for us to start a brand.”

Our defect rate is almost zero which our clients appreciate a lot. Most of our competition will have a defect rate of 2-3 percent, even our competition from China and Europe.

Overall our client retention rate is over 90 percent which is considered very high in our industry. That itself is a testament to our performance over the years.

 What is the current size of the market?

The global cashmere apparel market is estimated to be around 3 billion USD in 2020. Nepal has not even scratched the surface and has a lot of potentials to become one of the reliable suppliers to the world for cashmere.

What is your plan for the expansion of the business?

Before the pandemic hit, we were growing by almost 50 percent. We were also growing our production facility by a similar number. We have had to put brakes on the expansion due to the uncertainties created in the last two years. The high cost of freight also plays a deterrent in our growth. Our competing nations like China, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Madagascar, Vietnam and Cambodia are getting a lot of support and incentives from their governments. We also need our government to become active if they want to protect this industry.

Are Nepali cashmere products at par with international qualities?

Most definitely it is, and in some cases, we are even better. Some of our customers prefer our quality over ‘Made in Italy’ and ‘Made in the UK.’ Our only drawback is the value of ‘Made in Nepal’ has not been promoted in Nepal to compete with Italy and the UK.

How difficult is it to create a brand of cashmere products?

Creating a brand in any area is not easy due to the sheer number of aspirants. Social media has definitely made it easier and cheaper to launch a brand. However, without a good story, it is difficult to survive in the world. Nepal is not a big market for high-quality cashmere products. So it becomes more challenging for us to start a brand. However, we are going to take an attempt to create a brand that echoes the story of the Himalayas, the story of the local people, the story of the makers and the story of Nepal.

Where do you see your brand 10 years down the line?

Ten years is a long way down. Our main aim today is to launch this brand online and grow it over the next few years. I would be happy if our brand is placed in top stores across the globe and we are seen as one of the leading ethical brands in the cashmere space.