A Preview To The 67th NGF

CMAI or­gan­ised a Press Con­fer­ence On Thurs­day, July 5, 2018, at Sam­rat Ho­tel, Church­gate, to brief the Me­dia on the up­com­ing 67th Na­tional Gar­ment Fair sched­uled to be held from July 16 to July 19, 2018, at the Bom­bay Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre in Gore­gaon, Mum­bai

Apparel - - Contents July 2018 - Shrad­dha Phulgirkar re­ports.

A re­port on the preview to the 67th Na­tional Gar­ment Fair

The event kicked off with a quick in­tro­duc­tion of the hon­ourable dig­ni­taries - Mr Rahul Mehta, Pres­i­dent, The Cloth­ing Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia, Ra­jesh Masand, Vice Pres­i­dent, Babub­hai Ayar, Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Jayesh Bhai, Ju­nior Gen­eral Sec­re­tary and Ro­hit Mun­jal, Act­ing Chair­man, Fair Sub-Com­mit­tee.


Af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion, Mr Rahul Mehta took over and wel­comed all gath­ered mem­bers to the event. Start­ing his talk on an inspiring note, he pointed out that CMAI was re­lent­lessly break­ing its own record each year, when it comes to the na­tional gar­ment fair. “It’s a mat­ter of pride for us as we’ve out­num­bered our last year’s fig­ures in terms of size, vis­i­tors, par­tic­i­pants and even area. This year’s gar­ment fair will be spread over 6,50,000 square feet, cov­er­ing all the halls at the Bom­bay Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre. There will be 916 ex­hibitors in 986 stalls dis­play­ing 1087 brands and the ex­pected count of re­tail­ers is a large 50,000. This is go­ing to be In­dia’s largest ever gar­ment held so far. The fair will dis­play lead­ing brands in men’s wear, women’s wear, kid’s wear and ac­ces­sories.”

For the bet­ter­ment of the fair, CMAI has made two ma­jor changes from last time. Firstly, un­like last year’s fair, this year’s booths will be given handed over pre-dec­o­rated to the par­tic­i­pants. The pri­mary ob­jec­tive is to es­tab­lish a sense of ho­mo­gene­ity be­tween dif­fer­ent booths ir­re­spec­tive of the size of the booth they opt for. “We hope that re­tail­ers will wel­come this move.” Se­condly, the as­so­ci­a­tion has added a day to the fair, mak­ing it

a four-day event. Ex­plain­ing the rea­son be­hind this move, Mr Rahul pointed out how they had al­ways ex­pe­ri­enced a need for an ex­tra day as they of­ten re­ceived re­quests for ex­tend­ing the fair be­yond the stip­u­lated time of the event. Ad­di­tion­ally, with the in­crease in the foot­falls, the par­tic­i­pants of the fair would need more days to eval­u­ate their op­tions. Af­ter men­tion­ing the facts, he added, “It’s an ex­per­i­ment that we’re try­ing out de­spite the in­crease in our costs. If it suc­ceeds, we’ll stick to the de­ci­sion in the com­ing years.”


Mr Rahul Mehta later went onto giv­ing an overview of the ap­parel mar­ket. “We’re hop­ing the do­mes­tic in­dus­try picks up and goes back to its ini­tial growth rate of 10-12 per cent as op­posed to the cur­rent 5-7 per cent.” He also ex­pressed his con­cerns about the ex­ports seg­ment, “Ex­ports ap­pear to be in cri­sis. The gar­ment in­dus­try is the largest em­ployer in our coun­try and the drop in ex­ports would di­rectly im­pact the over­all em­ploy­ment sce­nario, which is very wor­ry­ing.” He fur­ther added that with the govern­ment’s in­volve­ment in try­ing to ad­dress these is­sues, he hopes the sce­nario will change soon.


The sec­ond agenda of the day was un­der­stand­ing the reper­cus­sions of Ma­ha­rash­tra’s plas­tic ban on the ap­parel in­dus­try as a whole. Mr Rahul ap­plauded Mr Ra­jesh Masand’s ef­forts in rep­re­sent­ing the in­dus­try bril­liantly to the govern­ment ever since the ban was an­nounced. He also gave a per­sonal opin­ion about the ban, be­fore let­ting Mr Ra­jesh Masand take over, “As ci­ti­zens and a re­spon­si­ble in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion, we agree and sup­port the govern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to ban plas­tic in or­der to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment. Our only con­cerns were the lack of clar­i­fi­ca­tion as to what can be used and what can’t and con­fu­sion about cer­tain prac­ti­cal is­sues. But we’ve been ex­tremely happy with the rec­i­proc­ity of the govern­ment to new sus­tain­able ideas.”

Mr Ra­jesh re­in­forced the As­so­ci­a­tion’s thoughts on the plas­tic ban by ex­plain­ing how the govern­ment has agreed to keep the PP bag that’s cur­rently be­ing used in pack­ag­ing out of the purview of the ban. How­ever, as a re­spon­si­ble move, the as­so­ci­a­tion has taken a call to not let the plas­tic bag go out from the re­tailer level. Af­ter hand­ing over the gar­ment to the con­sumer in a paper/cloth bag, the plas­tic will be dis­posed of through a sys­tem­atic re­cy­cling process as it is go­ing to prove ben­e­fi­cial in the long run. Mr Rahul also high­lighted the baby steps that the as­so­ci­a­tion has been tak­ing to ex­press their sol­i­dar­ity with the govern­ment and beat plas­tic pol­lu­tion in their own way. Ex­plain­ing a few, he said, “Each re­tailer who’s tak­ing part in the ex­hi­bi­tion will be given an ID badge without plas­tic. Need­less to say, there won’t be any plas­tic carry bags al­lowed at the fair. Ad­di­tion­ally, in­stead of smaller SKUs, a larger bot­tle will be pro­vided to par­tic­i­pants of the fair to min­imise the waste cre­ated.”


To­wards the end of the meet­ing, Mr Rahul spoke about the lat­est new ven­ture that CMAI is stepping into. CMAI has part­nered with As­meeta Texpa in Bhi­wandi, Kalyan to set up its first train­ing cen­tre that shall of­fer cour­ses for sewing ma­chine op­er­a­tors – ba­sic & ad­vanced, su­per­vi­sors, qual­ity check­ers & fin­ish­ers & pack­ers and will train up to 4,000 trainees per year. “Set­ting up a com­plete train­ing cen­tre of our own will en­sure that the qual­ity goes up sub­stan­tially. I re­quest you all to join us when we for­mally in­au­gu­rate it post-mon­soon.”

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