REVIEW: GTE AHMEDABAD 2017 – PLATFORM TO SHOWCASE LATEST TECHNOLOGIES FOR A DEVELOPING MANUFACTURING BASE
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 the 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.
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 here, strategy has to be formulated as per the mindset and needs of the region,” reasoned Anil Anand, MD, HCA. For those who have a presence in the region, the prospects of business have proved to be tremendous. “In the last 6 months, we have set up more testing labs than we did in the last 6 years,” shared Manjit Singh Saini, CEO & Executive Director, 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 two major products, for which the city is known 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-andlarge 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. Indeed, over the three-day period, the visitation was average, but many of the exhibitors were happy to be participating as this was the first event of such stature to be held in the city.
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.
Local companies 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. 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.
Every exhibitor shared that the visitors they met were very interested in the technologies. Irrespective of how big or small the manufacturer was, the thirst for information was noteworthy.
Visitors thronged various booths at GTE Ahmedabad