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In the last few years, Gu­jarat has in­creas­ingly drawn the at­ten­tion of players in the tex­tile chain, and while ear­lier, the em­pha­sis was more on the spin­ning seg­ment with num­ber of in­vest­ments be­ing made by tra­di­tional and new com­pa­nies in the seg­ment, the fo­cus now is shift­ing to gar­ment­ing. Ac­knowl­edg­ing this shift, Ahmed­abad was the new venue of the Gar­ment Tech­nol­ogy Expo (GTE) for the first time ever. The re­cently con­cluded event gave am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to lo­cal players to see lat­est tech­nolo­gies in stitch­ing, jeans man­u­fac­tur­ing, au­to­ma­tion, value ad­di­tion and other gar­ment-re­lated so­lu­tions, in­clud­ing ac­ces­sories.

For many of the par­tic­i­pants, Ahmed­abad was a new mar­ket do­main and the pur­pose of the visit was clearly to see what op­por­tu­ni­ties were avail­able. “It is the first time we have ex­hib­ited in Ahmed­abad and though we ex­pected big­ger foot­fall, we are hop­ing for some or­ders from the peo­ple who did visit the show,” said Vic­tor

Xu, South Asia Sales Man­ager, SG Gemsy. Added Ra­jiv Sud, Sales Man­ager, Op­ti­tex, “We are try­ing to pen­e­trate this mar­ket, which is not easy as the gar­ment in­dus­try is very dif­fer­ent in Ahmed­abad. We hope to gen­er­ate good leads from this fair.” The ex­pe­ri­ence of show­cas­ing in Ahmed­abad was an eye-opener for many. “The in­dus­try here works in a very dif­fer­ent way than most other gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing des­ti­na­tions and to get an en­try point, the strat­egy has to be for­mu­lated as per the mind­set and needs of the re­gion,” rea­soned Anil Anand, MD, HCA.

His thoughts echoed through the ob­ser­va­tion of most other tech­nol­ogy providers and even ac­ces­sory man­u­fac­tur­ers. “It is fas­ci­nat­ing to see how peo­ple work out the cost­ing here; we can learn a lot,” mar­velled Ankit Jain, Direc­tor of Delhi-based Nee­lam Threads. For those who have a pres­ence in the re­gion, the prospects of busi­ness have proved tremen­dous. “In the last 6 months, we have setup more test­ing labs than we did in the last 6 years,” shared Man­jit Singh Saini, CEO & ED, Para­mount, ex­tremely en­thu­si­as­tic about the pace at which the Ahmed­abad mar­ket is de­vel­op­ing. Whether a new en­trant to the mar­ket or an al­ready es­tab­lished player, all agree to the fact that Gu­jarat is not re­ally new to gar­ment­ing, but the struc­ture and mar­ket fo­cus of the in­dus­try is very dif­fer­ent from gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing hubs of Delhi-NCR, Ban­ga­lore, Tirupur and other sim­i­larly placed clus­ters. The in­dus­try is dot­ted with small units hav­ing 10-20 ma­chines, man­u­fac­tur­ing for do­mes­tic mar­ket. The com­pa­nies that have more than 20 ma­chines are small brand own­ers sell­ing through dis­tri­bu­tion net­works all over the coun­try. Then there are in­te­grated players like Arvind, Ashima, Nan­dan, Ko­mal Tex­fab, to name a few who are al­ready tech­nol­ogy-savvy and look­ing for ex­pan­sions. The two ma­jor prod­ucts for which the city is known for are jeans and shirts, though wom­enswear is the new up­com­ing cat­e­gory with many lo­cal based de­sign­ers con­cen­trat­ing on the same. The in­spi­ra­tion to work for the global mar­ket is by-and-large miss­ing and these lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers are happy working in the do­mes­tic mar­ket, where they are get­ting good value

for their prod­ucts without wor­ry­ing about buyer de­mands, be­yond qual­ity and price. “We have a small work­shop in Ahmed­abad mak­ing cus­tom­ized shirts, and shirts in small quan­ti­ties sell­ing in the name of ‘Lon­don Reves’ in stores around the coun­try. Our shirts are of pre­mium qual­ity and we are even sell­ing online, so why do we need to ex­port,” ques­tioned Vicky and Umang, Part­ners to Ve­gas Life­style, own­ers of the brand. But, they were very keen on the new tech­nolo­gies that they saw, as they wanted to up­grade their man­u­fac­tur­ing set-up to get bet­ter re­sults and stay com­pet­i­tive with their peers.

Ev­ery ex­hibitor shared that the vis­i­tors they met were very in­ter­ested in the tech­nolo­gies/prod­ucts on dis­play and asked many ques­tions re­gard­ing the same. Ir­re­spec­tive of how big or small the man­u­fac­turer was, the thirst for in­for­ma­tion was note­wor­thy. “Vis­i­tors showed great interest in our INA in­tel­li­gent hanger sys­tem and we re­ceived plenty of good en­quiries. This is a start­ing point and we hope to build on this,” said Man­preet Sigh Walia, In­dian Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of INL In­ter­na­tional Tech­nol­ogy Pte Ltd. That an in­dus­try hav­ing small units should take interest in hanger sys­tems, was a re­flec­tion on the will­ing­ness of players within Ahmed­abad to up­grade and adapt to new ways of do­ing busi­ness. “Though the foot­fall was not huge, but the vis­i­tors who came were very mean­ing­ful,” added Deepak Chawla, MD, Xcel Stiro.

In­deed, over the three days’ pe­riod, the vis­i­ta­tion was av­er­age, but many of the ex­hibitors were happy to be par­tic­i­pat­ing as this was the first event of such a stature to be held in the city. “The event pro­vides a good op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­duce our new tech­nol­ogy in Ahmed­abad. Many of our im­por­tant cus­tomers like Arvind

WHETHER A NEW EN­TRANT TO THE MAR­KET OR AN AL­READY ES­TAB­LISHED PLAYER, ALL AGREE TO THE FACT THAT GU­JARAT IS NOT RE­ALLY NEW TO GAR­MENT­ING; ONLY THE STRUC­TURE IS DIF­FER­ENT “There has been a mind­set change in most man­u­fac­tur­ers, as the search for au­to­ma­tion is on and it is here that we can play a critical role.” “Brand­ing is now very im­por­tant. It is no longer just about what prod­ucts you have, but also how the in­dus­try per­ceives you as a com­pany.”

vis­ited us and a num­ber of oth­ers look­ing at au­to­ma­tion were happy to find us here,” said Randeep Sa­hani, GM, Brother (In­dus­trial Sew­ing Ma­chine Di­vi­sion). His views were backed by Ak­shay Sharma, CEO, Mag­num, the agents for Brother and many other high-end tech­nolo­gies. “This is the first show GTE has or­ga­nized in this city and we are very happy with the foot­fall as we met many new cus­tomers, while giv­ing our old cus­tomers an op­por­tu­nity to see the com­plete range that Mag­num can of­fer, some or­ders have also been placed.”

Vis­i­tors from Arvind were a ma­jor at­trac­tion for the ex­hibitors, more so as they were look­ing to in­vest in a new unit ded­i­cated to pro­tec­tive wear. “We al­ready have ma­chines from Brother with digi­flex tech­nol­ogy and they are working won­der­fully, so we are here look­ing for more such use­ful tech­nolo­gies,” said Amit Pang­hal, Chief Man­ager – Op­er­a­tions (Pro­tec­tive Wear), Arvind Lim­ited. Sim­i­larly, the team from Mumbai-based Tech­nocraft In­dus­tries were a great at­trac­tion as their Mar­ket­ing Con­sul­tant Malay P. Shah was keen to meet the tech­nol­ogy providers for a new fac­tory com­ing up in Ahmed­abad. “We are ex­plor­ing the op­tions avail­able, since we want to in­vest in Gu­jarat. The event gives us an op­por­tu­nity to meet all the lead­ing tech­nol­ogy providers un­der one roof and dis­cuss the suit­abil­ity of the tech­nolo­gies of­fered,” averred Shah. The im­por­tance of Ahmed­abad as a grow­ing gar­ment hub with po­ten­tial for new tech­nolo­gies is am­pli­fied by the fact that tech­nol­ogy providers are now look­ing for lo­cal agents/ deal­ers to pro­mote their tech­nol­ogy. EH Turel has taken a step ahead by set­ting up a lo­cal of­fice very re­cently to be nearer to the cus­tomers.

“We were ser­vic­ing this re­gion ear­lier also, but now we have seen a ma­jor thrust from the ex­ist­ing units to up­grade tech­nolo­gies. In ad­di­tion, there are many new in­vest­ments also in the pipe­line, with com­pa­nies from Mumbai ex­plor­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of set­ting up units. This is the right time to be in Ahmed­abad, so we opened our ser­vice cen­tre here to en­able our team to be re­spon­sive to the ris­ing needs on fast-track,” rea­soned Neville Turel, Sales & Mar­ket­ing Head, Turel Group. Com­pa­nies that al­ready have pres­ence in the city were very happy that the show was hap­pen­ing in Ahmed­abad. “Re­sponse is good for us. Since we are lo­cal agents, we know a lot of peo­ple and are get­ting good en­quiries,” shared

Vi­jay Shah, Pres­i­dent, Stitch­man, dis­trib­u­tors for the hugely pop­u­lar Jack sew­ing ma­chines. Sim­i­lar views were ex­pressed by Umesh Gaur, Pres­i­dent – Asia, Tukat­ech: “Some of our ex­ist­ing cus­tomers vis­ited us and few new prospects are also com­ing, so over­all the ex­pe­ri­ence has been sat­is­fy­ing.” For Janos Horvath, VP, In­ter­na­tional Sales, Wil­com In­ter­na­tional, the event gave an op­por­tu­nity to his Ma­ha­rash­tra and Gu­jarat team to work to­gether with strate­gies for the fu­ture.

As a first event, the show proved that Ahmed­abad is hun­gry for knowl­edge and new tech­nol­ogy. Even the ac­ces­sory players re­ceived many en­quiries, though how many of them will ma­te­ri­al­ize is any­one’s guess. “Changes are def­i­nitely hap­pen­ing and the man­u­fac­tur­ers are un­der­stand­ing the need to be bet­ter equipped to han­dle the com­pe­ti­tion that is now emerg­ing, even in the do­mes­tic mar­ket. For tech­nol­ogy providers, a new mar­ket is be­ing de­vel­oped and we are all gear­ing up to ser­vice them,” con­cluded

Anil Anand.

“We were ser­vic­ing this re­gion ear­lier also, but now we have seen a ma­jor thrust from the ex­ist­ing units to up­grade tech­nolo­gies. In ad­di­tion, there are many new in­vest­ments also in the pipe­line, with com­pa­nies from Mumbai ex­plor­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of set­ting up units. This is the right time to be in Ahmed­abad, so we opened our ser­vice cen­tre here to en­able our team to be re­spon­sive to the ris­ing needs on fast-track.”

Ankit Jain, Di­rec­tor of Delhi-based Nee­lam Threads

Man­jit Singh Saini (C), CEO & Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Paramount with his team mem­bers

Ak­shay Sharma (L), CEO, Mag­num with his team mem­ber

Khaja Nasirud­din, Coun­try Man­ager, Hashima show­cas­ing HP-450MS fus­ing ma­chine

Syed Hafeez, Coun­try Man­ager, East­man CRA (Hong Kong)

Kar­tik Kapoor, Di­rec­tor, IIGM

Bhavya Anand, Busi­ness De­vel­oper, HCA

Ran­deep Sa­hani (L), GM, Brother (In­dus­trial Sewing Ma­chine Divi­sion) with Amit Pang­hal (C), Chief Man­ager – Op­er­a­tions (Pro­tec­tive Wear), Arvind Lim­ited. Also seen is Ya­sushi Tsusaka, Di­rec­tor, Brother (In­dus­trial Sewing Ma­chine Divi­sion)

Kalpesh and Chetan Khatari of In­dra­mann Nar­row Fab, Su­rat

Janos Hor­vath (C), VP, In­ter­na­tional Sales, Wil­com In­ter­na­tional, shared that the event gave an op­por­tu­nity to his Ma­ha­rash­tra and Gu­jarat team to work to­gether and strate­gize for the fu­ture

Deepak Chawla, MD, Xcel Stiro was con­tent to show­case a Made in In­dia ma­chine

Vi­jay Ya­dav, MD, Nilesh Im­pex

Neville Turel, Sales & Mar­ket­ing Head, Turel Group

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