FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’s DESK…
Positivity breeds growth…, so take the plunge!
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!