Spot­light on fab­rics of In­dia… Gar­ment­ing not in fo­cus

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In a mega event that caught much at­ten­tion of even the main­line me­dia, Tex­tiles In­dia 2017 was prompted and de­vel­oped on the vi­sion of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. “From Farm to Fi­bre, Fi­bre to Fac­tory, Fac­tory to Fash­ion and Fash­ion to For­eign Ex­ports”, saw a con­ver­gence of the who’s who of the tex­tile value chain. Held in Gand­hi­na­gar, Gu­jarat, the event was a bal­ance of many ex­pres­sions – from round ta­ble con­fer­ences to work­shop ses­sions to a grand fash­ion show – de­pict­ing the ‘Weaves of In­dia’, and not to be over­looked by the 10 halls of ex­hi­bi­tion space, hous­ing play­ers from all as­pects of the chain, from cot­ton farm­ers to gar­ment ex­porters.

There was a great ex­pec­ta­tion, as usual, from the PM’s in­au­gu­ral ad­dress at Ma­hatma Mandir, about one-and-a-half kilo­me­tres away from the ex­hi­bi­tion venue, but the in­dus­try did not re­ceive any sig­nif­i­cant an­nounce­ment. “We were ex­pect­ing at least some­thing sig­nif­i­cant at such an im­por­tant event, but the PM stayed fo­cused on the theme of In­dian tex­tiles with­out mak­ing any an­nounce­ment that could have brought cheer to the VIP gath­er­ing,” said San­jay Jain, MD, TT In­dus­tries. Dur­ing his ad­dress, the PM urged the in­dus­try to in­vest more in in­no­va­tion and re­search that could boost tex­tile ex­ports. Putting a thrust on or­ganic prod­ucts, Naren­dra Modi said,

“We should cat­a­logue and map our cloth­ing di­ver­sity and clearly ear­mark strengths and spe­cial­ties of each state or re­gion. Each state should ap­point nodal of­fi­cers ded­i­cated to a few well­known prod­ucts, who would fa­cil­i­tate pro­duc­ers and traders across the value chain. To­day, there is a de­mand for prod­ucts with zero car­bon foot­prints as holis­tic life­style has be­come a buz­zword. The mar­ket for or­ganic dyes, clothes and fab­rics made from or­ganic prod­ucts is grow­ing. Our ef­fort should be to in­no­vate in or­ganic prod­ucts. I call upon you to come, in­vest and ‘Make Tex­tiles in In­dia’.”

Dur­ing the three-day event, the tex­tile sec­tor wit­nessed the sign­ing of 65 MOUS in var­i­ous seg­ments. The on­go­ing con­fer­ences were a de­light for those look­ing at much more than prod­ucts. At a con­fer­ence on ‘In­dia as a Global Sourc­ing Hub & In­vest­ment Des­ti­na­tion’, Gau­tam Nair, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Ma­trix Cloth­ing, brought up the con­cerns re­gard­ing GST. “The

GST im­ple­men­ta­tion has brought in se­ri­ous un­cer­tainty, par­tic­u­larly to ex­porters. Will we be re­funded all the em­bed­ded taxes, what about those taxes not cov­ered un­der GST?” he ques­tioned. He added, “Whereas a bulk of the world mar­ket is into syn­thet­ics, In­dia com­petes in cot­ton and re­lated seg­ments, while China strad­dles the whole mar­ket place. Labour laws are a huge con­straint deter­ring large-scale cor­po­rate in­vest­ment and the sec­tor gets no duty ad­van­tage from EU and Canada, un­like our com­peti­tors like Sri Lanka, Pak­istan, Viet­nam and Bangladesh.”

As part of the event, two fash­ion shows were staged. The first one was on the ‘Evo­lu­tion of Tex­tiles of In­dia’ to present a com­pelling story of the Tex­tiles of In­dia; and an­other was the ‘In­dian Hand­loom Show’, which pre­sented the story of the In­dia Hand­loom brand ini­tia­tive launched by Prime Min­is­ter Modi on Na­tional Hand­loom Day in 2015. Many well­known and young up­com­ing de­sign­ers show­cased their col­lec­tions with pride. “Just be­ing short-listed to show­case my hand­loom col­lec­tion, is an honour,” said de­signer Man­ish Tri­pathi, who heads the iconic menswear brand An­tardesi. Man­ish is Na­tional ad­vi­sor to the Min­istry of Tex­tiles for In­dia Hand­loom Brand and has set his eyes on de­vel­op­ing mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Ma­hesh­wari fab­ric to sup­port the weavers for more com­mer­cial busi­ness. For the de­signs and colour pal­ette of his col­lec­tion, Man­ish took in­spi­ra­tion from the pic­turesque forts and palaces of Maratha queen Ra­j­mata Ahilya of Ma­hesh­war and the flora from trop­i­cal forests of Mad­hya Pradesh. To add to the de­tails in the gar­ments, mukaish, hand and ma­chine em­broi­dery, block prints, and few other in­tri­cate tech­niques were used.

Tex­tiles In­dia was good enough in terms of round ta­ble dis­cus­sions as they cov­ered nu­mer­ous as­pects of the en­tire sup­ply chain and ex­perts from across the globe par­tic­i­pated in these dis­cus­sions. Many top min­is­ters and bu­reau­crats were also in­volved in var­i­ous ses­sions and they dis­cussed how their min­istries can work to­gether with MOT/TEX­TILE in­dus­try.

The event saw great ap­pre­ci­a­tion from all quar­ters for brand ‘Tex­tile In­dia’ with all ma­jor names in tex­tiles rep­re­sented at the event. “In­dia is such a large tex­tile and ap­parel manufacturing coun­try, there is so much skill in this re­gard. I think this event is help­ing to see all the strength of tex­tiles that ex­ists in In­dia. I think peo­ple will take some learn­ing out of here and we will see more and more peo­ple look at other op­por­tu­ni­ties. One of my ex­porter-friend shared that he could not be­lieve that In­dia does so many things. I think MOT has looked out for the strength of In­dian tex­tile in­dus­try and has led from front in try­ing to bring ev­ery­body un­der one roof. I hope that we will be able to build this event into some­thing much larger in years to come,” said Rakesh Biyani, Joint MD, Fu­ture Group. He was at the event with his sourc­ing and buy­ing team. “Three days are too less to iden­tify and hold part­ner­ship meet­ings but it’s a be­gin­ning. As we are grow­ing our busi­ness sub­stan­tially in the coun­try, we are look­ing for new man­u­fac­tur­ers, new part­ners. This is go­ing to be a good event for us as we will be able to con­nect with many new sup­pli­ers,” he added.

Sadly, while tex­tiles was a ma­jor thrust area, the gar­ment­ing seg­ment was not brought into the lime­light. This was clearly re­flected in the sat­is­fac­tion level of the par­tic­i­pants of both seg­ments. “We are very happy to be here as it gives us an op­por­tu­nity to net­work with the in­dus­try and also meet our ‘buy­ers’, the gar­ment­ing seg­ment for fab­ric and tex­tile mills for yarn un­der one roof,” said Yatish Pandey, Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Tex­perts In­dia. The same sen­ti­ment was shared by most of the tex­tile com­pa­nies, who felt that their par­tic­i­pa­tion at the event was suc­cess­ful. On the other hand, gar­ment ex­porters were very un­happy as for­eign buy­ers were very few and not many of them were big buy­ers’ worth men­tion­ing. How­ever, ev­ery­one agreed that the con­cept was in­ter­est­ing and had po­ten­tial if done prop­erly.

BIG DO­MES­TIC BRANDS WELL REP­RE­SENTED... IN­TER­NA­TIONAL BUY­ERS WERE MOSTLY NEW BUY­ERS

The do­mes­tic buy­ers were from var­i­ous de­part­ments of the same or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing dif­fer­ent brands and prod­uct cat­e­gories. Ekta Jain, Head Gar­ment Tech­nol­ogy & Qual­ity, Westside (Trent Lim­ited), Mumbai vis­ited the show along with Umesh Nataraj, Tech­ni­cal Man­ager – Menswear, Flora Ser­vices (Trent Lim­ited). Sim­i­larly, from House of Anita Don­gre Lim­ited, Mumbai, Hi­madri Datta, VP – Head Sourc­ing and Navin Ku­mar, Lead Fab­ric Sourc­ing & Plan­ning, were also seen dis­cussing busi­ness with the ex­hibitors. Sim­i­larly, a strong team from Fu­ture Re­tail Lim­ited, Mumbai and some more such com­pa­nies too vis­ited the show.

Ekta shared, “Our aim in vis­it­ing this fair is to un­der­stand the over­all mar­ket; how re­tail mar­ket is mov­ing to­wards new tech­nol­ogy and what new is hap­pen­ing on the fab­ric and al­lied side. There were some valu­able dis­cus­sion fo­rums in the event like

‘Size In­dia’, so that we could have a bet­ter idea about the en­tire mar­ket sit­u­a­tion and other re­tail­ers, and what new de­vel­op­ments we could ex­tract from here.” She fur­ther added that con­sis­tency of qual­ity across all the ven­dors in the same buy­ing frame is a ma­jor chal­lenge in sourc­ing. “As con­cepts like ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, in­dus­try 4.0, 3D print­ing is grow­ing, we have to keep our­selves up­graded to that level and con­tinue of­fer­ing some­thing new to our cus­tomers.” The com­pany is run­ning pro­grammes for its ven­dors to ed­u­cate them about qual­ity. The fair was dom­i­nated with smal­land medium-level over­seas buy­ers; and some of who are just go­ing to start their sourc­ing from In­dia. For these peo­ple, it was their first ever visit to In­dia. Some of the buy­ers were re­ally en­thu­si­as­tic about sourc­ing and were look­ing for fur­ther growth prospects. With the pur­pose to sup­port a char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion Free­dom on Ice, Nepal, Laura Lev­tov, Founder Di­rec­tor, Pow­er­skat­ing Acad­emy, Toronto, Canada, is cur­rently deal­ing with a Nepal-based fac­tory and sourc­ing small or­ders.

But she does have ag­gres­sive plans for In­dia sourc­ing, “We want to sell across the world with fo­cus on ice skat­ing gar­ments like hockey jacket, per­for­mance dresses and some value-added gar­ments too. For this we are meet­ing some Delhi-based com­pa­nies, where we will see their in­fra­struc­ture and process. I am look­ing for ex­clu­sive prod­ucts and am ex­cited to start sourc­ing from In­dia.” She also stated that the fair shows the ef­forts that the In­dian Gov­ern­ment has put in, not just for the booths but even for ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness of the tex­tile com­mu­nity.

Run­ning one store, Nancy Gichane Machira, MD, Mag­nif­i­cent In­te­ri­ors, Nairobi, Kenya is fo­cus­ing mainly, on in­te­rior design and has clients into hospi­tal­ity and med­i­cal sec­tor deal­ing mainly into home fur­nish­ing items. Cur­rently sourc­ing from China, Nancy, who will start sourc­ing from In­dia soon said, “I want to en­hance my reach into global mar­kets rather

Buy­ers, es­pe­cially those who vis­ited In­dia for the first time and are not well aware about the over­all tex­tile strength of In­dia, were quite happy with the show. Some of the prod­ucts as well as the rich tex­tile her­itage of In­dia re­ally im­pressed them.

than just fo­cus­ing on Kenya. I am ac­cess­ing sim­i­lar plat­forms across the world where I can find sup­pli­ers as well as cus­tomers. I am in­creas­ing my com­mu­ni­ca­tion with all per­spec­tive clients. This is my first visit to In­dia and I found that In­dia has good strength of fab­rics.”

Ear­lier sourc­ing from US, Vic­to­ria Holm­berg, Owner, Vic­to­ria Holm­berg Vesti­dos, Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina, is now go­ing to start sourc­ing from In­dia and will fo­cus on prod­ucts like evening­wear and re­sort col­lec­tion. She claims her­self as a grow­ing whole­saler buyer and it was her first ex­pe­ri­ence to visit any fair in In­dia. Zaid Hashim, Di­rec­tor, WCH In­ter­na­tional, Colombo, Sri Lanka, ap­proach­ing new mar­kets like New Zealand, Aus­tralia and Eng­land, is also in the process to start sourc­ing wom­enswear and ac­ces­sories from In­dia. Cur­rently he is sell­ing on­line, mainly in Sri Lanka. Some buy­ers who are al­ready sourc­ing from In­dia are fight­ing on the price front and it is a big con­cern for them. Sourc­ing wom­enswear and home fur­nish­ing prod­ucts only from In­dia, Oliver Sarl, Vil­laret, Toulouse, France, is a whole­saler and re­tailer as well. With 3 stores, he also caters to Ja­pan, Rus­sia, Scot­land, Italy and Eng­land through his whole­sale di­vi­sion. “Cur­rently, we are sourc­ing very small quan­tity from In­dia

(30,000) pieces per year as price is a big chal­lenge, but as I sell ex­pen­sive pieces (start­ing Euro 12 to Euro 250), my over­all sourc­ing from In­dia is rea­son­able.” He fur­ther added that busi­ness is go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult, since one of the big­gest prob­lems is the large num­ber of sup­pli­ers as well as re­tail­ers; so com­pe­ti­tion is grow­ing at ev­ery level.

Ginza In­dus­tries Ltd. also had good vis­i­ta­tion in the fair

Eye-catch­ing, but busy, booth of Vardhman Tex­tiles Ltd.

“Just be­ing short-listed to show­case my hand­loom col­lec­tion, is an honour,” – De­signer Man­ish Tri­pathi, who heads the iconic menswear brand An­tardesi.

I hope that we will be able to build this event into some­thing much larger in years to come.” – Rakesh Biyani,

Joint MD, Fu­ture Group

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi re­ceiv­ing greet­ings from au­di­ence af­ter he vis­ited Theme Pavil­ion/Hall No. 1. Gu­jarat CM Vi­jay Ru­pani; Andhra Pradesh CM Chan­drababu Naidu; Union Tex­tile Min­is­ter Sm­riti Irani; Min­is­ter of State for Tex­tiles, Ajay Tamta; and Tex­tile Sec­re­tary Ananth Ku­mar are also seen in the pic­ture

“We are very happy to be here as it gives us an op­por­tu­nity to net­work with the in­dus­try and also meet our ‘buy­ers’, the gar­ment­ing seg­ment for fab­ric and tex­tile mills for yarn un­der one roof.” – Yatish Pandey, Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Tex­perts In­dia

Sand­hya Lama (L), Di­rec­tor of Op­er­a­tion, Free­dom on Ice, Nepal; and Laura Lev­tov, Founder Di­rec­tor, Pow­er­skat­ing Acad­emy

Nancy Gichane Machira, MD, Mag­nif­i­cent In­te­ri­ors,

Nairobi, Kenya

Vic­to­ria Holm­berg, Owner, Vic­to­ria Holm­berg Vesti­dos, Buenos

Aires, Ar­gentina

Zaid Hashim, Di­rec­tor, WCH In­ter­na­tional, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Oliver Sarl, Vil­laret, Toulouse, France

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