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
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.
INDIA’S LARGEST EVER TRADE SHOW
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.”
APPAREL MARKET OVERVIEW
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.
UNDERSTANDING THE PLASTIC BAN
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.”
CMAI’S FIRST APPAREL TRAINING CENTRE
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.”