Exporters’ body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) on Tuesday said it has elected A Sakthivel as its new president.

He has replaced S K Saraf, who is a Mumbai-based businessman. Sakthivel is taking charge of FIEO at a time when the country’s exports are gradually reviving from the impacts of COVID-19.

A Sakthivel is Owner and Founder of Poppys Group of Companies of Tirupur, he is currently the Chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council. A visionary Trade and Industry leader with an experience of well over three and half decades, Dr Sakthivel has several path breaking initiatives added to his name as Guide, Mentor, Nationalist, Philanthropist and Humanist approach.

A staunch votary of exporters issues, Dr Sakthivel has served FIEO, AEPC, TEA as its top functionary and played a vital role to help the growth of exports sector in India, especially for MSMEs, and his service has been well recognized both across the country and internationally. As the Founder President of Tirupur Exporters’ Association – popularly known as TEA, his immense contribution to the growth of Tirupur exports has been outstanding growing from a mere Rs 15 Crore to well over Rs 26,000 crores. He has played a key role in bringing Tirupur on the global map by getting it recognized as an association for cluster development.

Dr A Sakthivel as a young ambitious entrepreneur in 1973 through his sheer hard work, dedication and innovative trade practices not only nurtured his Poppys Group of Companies to be one of the leading knitwear exporters of India but also was a prime mover of so many visionary projects executed in Tirupur including Tirupur Export Knitwear Industrial Complex (TEKIC), Inland Container Depot (ICD), TEA Public School, New Tirupur Area Development Corporation Limited (NTADCL), NIFT – TEA Fashion Knitwear Institute, India Knit Fair Association (IKFA) and Netaji Apparel Park (NAP).

In his earlier stints, Dr Sakthivel has also served as the President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Coimbatore; First Chairman, Apparel Made-Ups & Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC); Chairman, India Knit Fair Association (IKFA); Chairman, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Tamil Nadu; Chairman, IACC- Government Affairs Committee and Chairman, Kongu Global Forum. During his tenure as the top functionary of different Industry and Trade organizations across the country, Dr Sakthivel was instrumental organizing key Delegations, Investors’ Meet in various countries besides promoting ease of doing business across borders through better flight connectivity etc.

He has also served as Director on the Boards of UCO Bank, IDBI and ECGC. Dr Sakthivel was conferred “Padma Shri” in the year 2009 by the Government of India in recognition of his exceptional service to the exports sector. He has also been conferred Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) from Bharathiar University, Coimbatore for his pivotal role in inspiring and motivating youngsters to become exporters. Also noteworthy to mention is that he has been a recipient of awards “KnitSarathi”, “KonguNattu SathanaiyaalarViruthu” and “KonguMamaniViruthu”.

As AEPC Chairman, Dr A Sakthivel was also vocal in getting urgent fiscal relief measures from the government for facilitating industry’s foray into production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and getting the government redefine the MSMEs and laid emphasis on Man-made Fibre (MMF) based garments and medical textiles for the government to take note of it and announce MMF as one of the key sectors for Production Linked Incentive Scheme.