FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK
Finally, the D-Day has arrived! The 59th National Garment Fair will begin on June 23 – the Biggest ever NGF in CMAI’s history. And the Biggest ever in the Apparel Trade for that matter – over 700 Brands on Display, and over 35,000 Retailers expected to visit. Over 4,50,000 square feet of space. Surely, it cannot get bigger! The Fair will be Inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister for Textiles, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar on June 23 at 10.00 AM. Our Dynamic Secretary for Textiles, Smt. Zohra Chatterji has kindly consented to be the Guest of Honour at the Inauguration.
As I write this piece, I am actually returning from an extremely interesting Conference organised by EUROTEX in Brussels. Representatives of Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Africa, Turkey, and of course the EU submitted their Presentations on their Countries’ experiences and expectations from various FTAs signed, the current status of their respective Apparel Industries.
I am told my Presentation on what India expects from the proposed FTA with EU was very well received and appreciated.
But what amazed me was the extent of awareness and interest most Delegates displayed about our recent Elections, and even more so about our new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
“Do you expect Indian Economy to revive again?”, “Will he reverse the FDI Policy?”, “Is he as much of a Dictator as he is made out to be?”, “What is your initial reaction?” were the kind of questions which were flying thick and fast from whoever I met. It is obvious that the World is very seriously looking at India, perhaps with renewed interest, and “aapna Modi bhai” has made a huge impact even internationally!
By the time you get this copy, I am sure the much looked forward to (or maligned – depending on which way you look at it) EOSS should be just about ready to take off. From what I have been hearing, it does look as if the Retailers are being a bit cautious this time, and hopefully the Sale period will not be extended beyond four to five weeks. More on this, next month!
In the meantime, SS’14 has not gone too great, more so for Men’s wear Brands, though the Ladies wear segment appears to have done reasonably well. Kids’ wear too, has just about kept its head above water. News from the MBO segment is also not too bright, though they may not have to worry too much on the inventory front, due to their conservative and cautious buying.
The last month saw the passing away of one of the tallest pillars of the Indian Garment Industry – Capt. C. P. K. Nair, Chairman of the Leela Group. Though in his later years he was more involved with the Hotel and Hospitality business, he never lost contact with his earlier passion which was Garments. One of the Pioneers of Exports of Garments from India, he was an Outstanding Leader of Men, a visionary par excellence, and an inspiration to all who came in contact with him. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times, and each time I came back awestruck by the man’s brilliance and humility – a rare combination indeed.
CMAI, which honoured him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in December 2006, Salutes this Passionate, Pioneering, Inspirational and outstanding giant of a man.
Finally, looking forward to meeting all of you at the NGF!