Buy­ing Agen­cies' busi­ness down; com­pa­nies are on toe

Apparel Online - - India Canvas -

Chang­ing con­di­tions of ap­parel ex­port busi­ness is also hav­ing neg­a­tive im­pact on the buy­ing agen­cies’ busi­ness and some are ei­ther quit­ting or re­build­ing, while some are on toe to cope up these chal­lenges. Some medium-level buy­ing houses have re­duced their staff and are con­sol­i­dat­ing over­all; sim­i­larly some top level buy­ing houses are also strug­gling to sur­vive. To men­tion some, At­ti­tude Con­nect (Fash­ion En­gi­neer­ing), Gur­gaon, al­most a decade old buy­ing house, has re­port­edly re­duced its op­er­a­tions to a large ex­tent. As per the cred­i­ble sources, the com­pany was mainly work­ing with Un­der Ar­mour brand; it added Bed Bath & Be­yond (BBB) also but could not sus­tain. Ear­lier there was staff of nearly 40 per­sons in the buy­ing house, which has now re­duced to less than 10. The sources fur­ther added that the com­pany gave enough time and sup­port to its staff to change their job due to shrink­ing busi­ness, and hence the staff re­dun­dancy. It is also try­ing to slowly re­build it­self now. Anju Singh, Di­rec­tor of the com­pany said to Ap­parel On­line, “Yes busi­ness is down com­pared to last year.” But she re­fused to share any other in­put.

Some of the buy­ing houses down­sized their busi­ness in In­dia, and as well trans­ferred their sourc­ing op­er­a­tions to Bangladesh. Roopak Ma­lik, MD, Tex­tiles Sourc­ing Lim­ited told, “I have greatly down­sized the agency busi­ness as the mar­gins are too low now and lead times are get­ting too dif­fi­cult. I don’t do any­thing in In­dia but am do­ing for Bangladesh in men’s trousers, shirts and sweaters and that too for 3-4 cus­tomers only.” Cur­rently Roopak is in­volved in teach­ing mod­ules for ap­parel ex­ports man­age­ment for a fash­ion in­sti­tute in Hy­der­abad and in Dhaka, do­ing con­sul­tancy projects. Im­pulse, one of the most trusted names in In­dian buy­ing houses, also went for some con­sol­i­da­tion. As per con­firmed sources, “Ear­lier all the teams of Im­pulse were work­ing in iso­la­tion as all the buy­ers, ac­counts were be­ing man­ag­ing in iso­lated way. Now ev­ery­body has come to­gether as con­sol­i­date – be it de­sign team, fab­ric team, fac­tory ba­sis, etc. Now re­sources are shared with each other, and the cen­tral team is hav­ing proper and re­quired co­or­di­na­tion.” In a re­ply to Ap­parel On­line’s email, Su­nil Arora, MD of the com­pany said, “In prin­ci­ple, Im­pulse never com­ments, nor shares in­for­ma­tion on in­ter­nal poli­cies & prac­tices.” The com­pany also started work­ing re­cently for the Korean, Mid­dle East and Ja­panese mar­kets, which were un­ex­plored so far for the com­pany. So far, the re­sponse from these mar­kets is not very en­thu­si­as­tic as these mar­kets are quite tough. “Things have start­ing mov­ing, and hope­fully it should do well,” sources said.

Some top buy­ing houses are also re­duc­ing staff at the re­gional of­fices, es­pe­cially mid-level pro­fes­sion­als.

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