66th NGF: A Starry Spec­ta­cle!

Apparel - - Contents -

A re­port on the 66th Na­tional Gar­ment Fair

The 66th Na­tional Gar­ment Fair, an ea­gerly awaited event in the Do­mes­tic Ap­parel In­dus­try, was a huge success. The Two-Day Trade Show was held on Jan­uary 29-30, 2018, at the Bom­bay Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre, NSE Com­plex, Gore­gaon (E), Mum­bai. Kash­mira Mirza and Amanda D’Souza re­port from the Venue. Pho­to­graphs: Vikrant Saple.

The dawn of 2018 sig­nalled a new be­gin­ning for the Ap­parel In­dus­try. Af­ter much ea­ger ex­cite­ment for the event, which wit­nessed the largest par­tic­i­pa­tion of any sum­mer fair, day one of the 66th Na­tional Gar­ment Fair fi­nally ar­rived. The ex­cite­ment lev­els were at an all-time high when the 66th NGF was kicked off at the Bom­bay Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre, NSE Com­plex, Gore­gaon (E), Mum­bai, on Jan­uary 29, 2017, at 10 AM.

DAY ONE Hall 1 of the Bom­bay Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre was abuzz with ac­tiv­ity. The Fair was in­au­gu­rated at 11 AM by Mr Rahul Me­hta, Pres­i­dent, CMAI, by light­ing the tra­di­tional lamp along with Mr Ashok Shah, Chair­man, Fair Sub-Com­mit­tee, Mr Ro­hit Mun­jal, Joint Chair­man, Fair Sub-Com­mit­tee, Mr Ra­jesh Masand, Vice Pres­i­dent, CMAI and Mr Jayesh Shah, Jt Hon Gen Sec­re­tary. Mr Rahul Me­hta, then, cut the cer­e­mo­nial rib­bon, sym­bol­is­ing the start of the Fair. Post the in­au­gu­ra­tion, es­teemed mem­bers of the CMAI, namely Mr Rahul Me­hta, Pres­i­dent, CMAI, Mr Ra­jesh Masand, Vice Pres­i­dent, CMAI, Mr Ashok Shah, Chair­man,

Fair Sub-Com­mit­tee, Mr Ro­hit Mun­jal, Joint Chair­man, Fair Sub-Com­mit­tee, Mr Jayesh Shah, Jt Hon Gen Sec­re­tary, Mr Mo­han Sad­hwani, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, CMAI, Mrs Sharmila Nad­karni from Desi Belle and others vis­ited var­i­ous stalls and in­ter­acted with some of the ex­hibitors.

As with the ear­lier edi­tions of the NGF, this time too, the ex­cel­lent or­gan­i­sa­tion and plan­ning done by the CMAI was very ev­i­dent and there was vis­i­ble ex­cite­ment amongst the ex­hibitors and vis­i­tors right from the start. There were 354 brands par­tic­i­pat­ing this time, a marked in­crease from the 64th NGF, where there were 266 brands.

This year, the ex­hibitors were asked to send in their pho­to­graphs in ad­vance for the ID cards that would be made ahead of the ex­hi­bi­tion, in­stead of the ear­lier prac­tice of mak­ing the ID cards at the venue.The ex­hibitors were handed their ready badges at the check in it­self, which saved a lot of valu­able time. The max­i­mum size of the stalls was 48 square me­tres and no dec­o­ra­tions were per­mit­ted. Pho­tog­ra­phy and mu­sic was also not al­lowed. Menswear, wom­enswear and kids’ wear brands par­tic­i­pated in this edi­tion of the NGF.

Speak­ing to Ap­parel, Amit Si­maria from Cat­mini said,‘‘The foot­falls at the NGF are al­ways ex­cel­lent. The fair gives us great ex­po­sure. We get to in­ter­act with all kinds of play­ers: whole­salers, agents, re­tail­ers. We also get to in­crease our brand aware­ness among cus­tomers. Although we’ve taken part in the July fair twice, this is the first time we’re ex­hibit­ing dur­ing the Jan­uary fair. Book­ings can be done any­where, but this kind of net­work­ing is only pos­si­ble at an event like this. There is no other or­gan­i­sa­tion that can match CMAI when it comes to ef­fi­ciency in plan­ning and or­gan­i­sa­tion. This is the only as­so­ci­a­tion of its kind in In­dia that draws such a large pool of ex­hibitors and agents and dis­trib­u­tors. The NGF is a very good and safe plat­form for man­u­fac­tur­ers like us.”

Ahead of day one, Deepak Nath­wani from Get Wrapped said, “This is the third time we are tak­ing part at the NGF. We are hop­ing for some good book­ings. We are look­ing for­ward to get­ting some dis­trib­u­tors and whole­salers for our prod­ucts. We look for­ward to net­work­ing and builld­ing busi­ness re­la­tion­ships with them.”

Ra­jiv Gala from Anora had a few sug­ges­tions to im­prove the fair, say­ing, “Post Di­wali, there has been a slump in the buy­ing habits. So, we’re ex­pect­ing a good Sum­mer sea­son, with a surge in pur­chases. We’re hop­ing for a good turnout at the fair, which would help that. As for sug­ges­tions for im­prove­ment in the or­gan­i­sa­tion and plan­ning of the NGF, it would be great if we got a clearer pic­ture of the lay­out of the stalls. I wouldn’t have cho­sen this par­tic­u­lar stall that I’ve


pro­cured, if I knew the proper di­men­sions. The NGF is get­ting big­ger and bet­ter each year. We are hop­ing to im­prove our net­works and get in touch with new clients through this Fair.”

As for buy­ers and vis­i­tors, they too, seemed to share the ex­cite­ment. Gul Ahmed of As­pire En­ter­prises who came all the way to Mum­bai from Su­rat for the NGF said, “This is the sec­ond time I have at­tended the NGF. I found the 66th NGF pretty amaz­ing. It is def­i­nitely help­ful for some­one like me, a sports­wear man­u­fac­turer. We get to track trends and keep up with all the lat­est in­no­va­tions.”

Chetan Kam­ble of Aarti Col­lec­tions, an­other buyer from So­la­pur, shared a sim­i­lar opin­ion, “The NGF pro­vides good ex­po­sure and pro­motes good com­pe­ti­tion. I am in the gar­ment busi­ness for 15-20 years and I’ve at­tended the NGF many times. This fair gives a great plat­form for in­ter­ac­tion with other busi­ness­men. The or­gan­i­sa­tion and lay­out is pretty good.”

Af­ter a try­ing year which was still reel­ing from the im­pact of de­mon­eti­sa­tion and also had to con­tend with the new sys­tem of GST, ex­hibitors were hope­ful of wel­com­ing the New Year on a pos­i­tive note with the 66th NGF. The CMAI mem­bers too, were very ex­cited about this Fair—which was ev­i­dent from their con­ver­sa­tions that cen­tred on the success of this event, which wit­nessed a very good turnout of both ex­hibitors and buy­ers.

Day one ended on an up­beat note, as the APEX awards were held for the first time along with the NGF. Speak­ing of the de­ci­sion to club the two events, Mr Ro­hit Mun­jal, Jt Chair­man, Fair Sub-Com­mit­tee said, “The idea be­hind choos­ing to have the APEX Awards along with the Na­tional Gar­ment Fair was to en­able a greater num­ber of deal­ers to at­tend the Awards Cer­e­mony with greater con­ve­nience. Hav­ing it at a com­mon venue at the same time, when net­work­ing is at its peak, is only apt for the in­dus­try. We are plan­ning to make the Awards a reg­u­lar fix­ture of the Sum­mer Fair.”

With such en­thu­si­asm and pro­duc­tiv­ity on am­ple dis­play, the first day of the 66th NGF truly lived up to its theme, ‘Cap­tur­ing Op­por­tu­ni­ties’.


Af­ter the re­sound­ing success of Day One, there was en­thu­si­asm about Day Two amongst both, the ex­hibitors as well as the buy­ers. The sec­ond day of the fair be­gan with great gusto. Crowds of ea­ger buy­ers swarmed Hall 1 of the Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre. Ap­parel spoke to var­i­ous stake­hold­ers to get their opin­ions. Ashutosh Shah, from Chen­nis said, “I’ve been in the tex­tile trade since 2005. The NGF is a re­ally good plat­form for peo­ple who want to show­case their new prod­ucts to whole­salers, re­tail­ers and con­sumers. I think the or­gan­i­sa­tion and lay­out is quite ex­cel­lent.”

Yu­van­shu Sharma of At­tempt Cloth­ing Co, a reg­u­lar ex­hibitor, said, “It feels very good to par­tic­i­pate in this Fair. We par­tic­i­pate ev­ery year. The or­gan­i­sa­tion and plan­ning of is also very good. We are sure that the Fair will ben­e­fit us in terms of both, book­ings and net­work­ing. A lot of our ex­ist­ing cus­tomers visit this Fair so it works well for us.”

Hiren Khan­dol of Big Boy said, “This is the first time we’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Jan­uary edi­tion of the fair, even though we’ve been reg­u­larly ex­hibit­ing at the July edi­tion, since 12 years. Our main aim is to in­dulge in good mar­ket­ing.”

Nilesh Karani of B:Kind praised the plan­ning and or­gan­i­sa­tion of the fair, adding, “We are 100 per cent sure to ben­e­fit from this Fair.”

Some vis­i­tors had higher ex­pec­ta­tions for the NGF: “I am look­ing around for con­sumer fab­rics. I try to at­tend the NGF as of­ten as pos­si­ble. I am find­ing this edi­tion a bit smaller than the last one, though,” mused Ab­hishek, a buyer who spoke to Ap­parel. Vi­jay Pa­tel, a buyer from Harshidh In­dus­tries, had a dif­fer­ent grouse, “I’m a reg­u­lar at­tendee of the Sum­mer Fair. So far, hav­ing checked out about 80 per cent of the fair, I haven’t no­ticed a ma­jor shift in trends or any eye­catch­ing cre­ativ­ity. Noth­ing much has changed in terms of pat­terns and de­signs.”

For some ex­hibitors, two days didn’t seem enough. Akash Chauhan of Aebbe opined, “As per the walk-ins I’ve al­ready seen, two days seems too less a time. I hope the CMAI ex­tends the num­ber of days for this fair, too. Only then will our in­vest­ment be prof­itable, as there is scope for far more busi­ness.” How­ever, he did have won­der­ful feed­back for CMAI. “The or­gan­i­sa­tion and plan­ning is great this year, as com­pared to last year which wit­nessed a few fi­as­cos. This is my third time at the NGF. I be­lieve pa­tience and con­sis­tency is the key to suc­ceed in this in­dus­try. The more you show up, the greater the aware­ness of your brand, and so your busi­ness will grow. Our main pri­or­ity is to boost our brand and im­prove our busi­ness. The mar­ket is get­ting more com­pet­i­tive by the day, be­cause of threats from power brands. The NGF gives us a plat­form to prove our­selves as wor­thy com­peti­tors to the power brands. The col­lec­tion that my brand puts up and the at­ti­tude we have to­wards mar­ket­ing is on par with big­ger brands.”

All in all, the two days of the 66th NGF were un­for­get­table and suc­cess­ful. The CMAI has cer­tainly raised ex­pec­ta­tions for all fu­ture fairs.

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