FROM THE ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF’s DESK…

Pos­i­tiv­ity breeds growth…, so take the plunge!

Apparel Online - - Content -

July and Au­gust are re­ally busy months as far as in­dus­try events go… It’s al­most like hop­ping from one venue to the other and that too across the coun­try. But this is also the best time to feel the pulse of the in­dus­try and in­ter­act with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers.

The good news is that the mood now seems to be up­beat and though the ‘crib­bing’ on fail­ure of Govern­ment to give sup­port con­tin­ues, most of the ex­porters seem to have moved on.

At the fab­ric, ac­ces­sory and tech­nol­ogy fairs, com­pa­nies are re­port­ing good en­quiries; and at sourc­ing fairs, the strug­gle to of­fer ‘price’ is the only real chal­lenge… Busi­ness is def­i­nitely there for tak­ers! A mid­dle-level ex­porter whom I met re­cently shared that or­ders are float­ing around, but there are few tak­ers since the cost of money has in­creased and putting fresh funds into new or­ders is a risk.

Everyone is talk­ing about the China ef­fect and how buy­ers who never vis­ited In­dia are seek­ing part­ners again; the risk fac­tor re­mains, no one has any idea if the buyer is gen­uine or look­ing at mak­ing fast bucks. In fact, the buy­ing agents are also very cau­tious, as they are be­ing ap­proached by many small re­tail­ers from Europe to help them place busi­ness, and few fraud cases have al­ready been re­ported.

Ear­lier, nei­ther the ex­porters nor the buy­ing agents were so care­ful… They had an ex­tra cush­ion to take risk, but not any­more. With liq­uid­ity al­most dry­ing up, there is no mar­gin for er­ror.

It is a very unique sit­u­a­tion, but is adding to the over­all pos­i­tiv­ity, as or­ders are very vis­i­ble.

Also adding to the buzz, is the dy­namic do­mes­tic re­tail sce­nario. There are op­por­tu­ni­ties and most ex­porters are now en­ter­ing the do­mes­tic mar­ket as a se­ri­ous busi­ness. As one ex­porter said: “A buyer is a buyer, ir­re­spec­tive of which mar­ket he caters to, so why dif­fer­en­ti­ate?”

Today, the best sur­vival strat­egy for an ex­porter, as I have said be­fore, is to have at least 20 per cent busi­ness in the lo­cal mar­ket. This bal­ance not only keeps the fac­tory busy, but also the funds flow­ing.

Fur­ther­more, hav­ing a foot in the lo­cal mar­ket means an in­vest­ment into the fu­ture… No one can deny that the In­dian re­tail mar­ket is the des­ti­na­tion next for not only global re­tail­ers, but also for global man­u­fac­tur­ers.

The way re­tail­ers, both global and lo­cal are expanding, is un­prece­dented and the scope for more ex­pan­sions is still huge.

Not cap­i­tal­is­ing on this growth op­por­tu­nity, only be­cause one has been an ex­porter, could ac­tu­ally be sui­ci­dal! I am sure the de­mar­ca­tions are go­ing and what we at Ap­parel On­line had pre­dicted years ago – mar­ket con­ver­gence – is be­com­ing a re­al­ity.

Play­ers now have to open their mind and grab ev­ery op­por­tu­nity… The gen­eral vibe of pos­i­tiv­ity is just the right back­ground for new di­rec­tions and ini­tia­tives and I raise a cheer to all who show the courage to do so!

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