ED ITO R IAL
Saving cost is one of the biggest agendas for every garment exporter today… Every company is looking at how to reduce its running cost and save enough so that the bottom line is healthier.
While some companies are working within the factory to squeeze out an extra penny, others are exploring new destinations that are cost-effective. All said and done…, a solution has to be found!
When the ‘cost’ bug hit the industry many years ago, we saw factories being shifted from established hubs to interiors outside the city limits. While many Delhi based companies opened factories in Manesar, the fate of most of them is a sad story today…, only a few found success like Sarita Handa; others have either rented out the premises or are operating at below optimal levels.
The biggest reasons that exporters quote when questioned about the failure, is difficulty in getting trained manpower and the travelling woes of the middle management leading to fast turnarounds.
Similarly, other hubs too saw movement to the interiors… Laguna went to Kanakapura on the outskirts of Bangalore, while GO GO International travelled to Holenarsipur, Hassan, again on the outskirts. How fruitful these moves have been, is debatable and open to interpretation.
Armed with past experiences, companies are now therefore more keen to travel to Tier-2 cities, being backed by State Government support. Here, besides the initiatives being offered, which are quite attractive, there are facilities like airports, schools, hospitals, etc, which a company needs to set up a people-oriented industry like garments.
I have been saying for long that moving to outskirts is not a very viable option because the ecosystem for conducive business is not available. Rather the smaller cities like Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar are much better options.
The number of investments that we are seeing in these cities from companies like Shahi, Matrix, Pearl, Orient Craft, Texport, Arvind, Madura Garments, Page Apparel, Kishore Exports, Shakti Wear, Meenakshi Ltd., JP Sports Apparel to name a few, is impressive. I am sure once these factories set the trend and prove successful, many more investments can be expected.
While in India, we are still struggling to save cost mostly from workers’ wages, the West is looking at high technology to get manufacturing back without the pressure of wages!
Exhibitors at Texprocess Americas this year echoed the future of apparel industry with the theme ‘Digital Apparel Microfactory’: A manufacturing set-up where various different technologies are combined together to fill customers’ orders in quantities as low as one. It can be started in even a small room and has become the strength for manufacturers based in USA. This issue of StitchWorld highlights this trendsetting concept and how the companies are embracing it.
Exploring new product categories apart from apparel has always been StitchWorld’s interest. This time, our team visited HH Interior’s factory and explored the quality and manufacturing aspects of car seat covers. A must read…
Continuing with our Poll section, read interesting views from industry experts on the topic ‘ Will mass manufacturing return to the USA?’
Deepak Mohindra Editor-in-Chief Read and comment on my blog at http://stitchworldmagazine.blogspot.com