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CONTENT World Wrap


A look at Back-to-School 'Season' once again As always

retailers have vied for the consumers’ attention by rolling out early promotions and luring the price-conscious consumers; and this year it seems to be no different with brands pushing Back-to-School (BTS) sales as early as possible… p12


Sustainability ‘No Child Labour; No Discrimination’ in Indian Apparel Industry: FWF

H2F Fair Review: Shanghai,China – Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, Gateway to Chinese market p28

Fashion Business The Big Bow Galore! At the

end of a long season’s runways shows, international designers have given the fashion industry a superlative list of styles. One of the biggest styles to hit the runway this Fall season is something sweet, dainty and oh, so ladylike – bows galore...

Lead Strategy Relocating factories to newer pastures…, the debate continues p18 33

FFT Trends Spring/Summer '17: Colour Directions – Playing with the Colours of Calmness and Nature

Tex-File Bianco continues to grow with responsive strategy for Indian textile industry p24

Fair Review Garment Technology Expo, Bangalore: Technology brands present their latest offerings to garment industry p42


Q-and-A After 27 years, Dr. A Sakthivel is stepping down as the President of Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA). How do you see his overall efforts and achievements for the growth of Tirupur as well as for the Indian apparel export industry? You must be having some experience/memory with him…, do share the same with Apparel Online.

Ashok G Rajani, Chairman, AEPC, Gurgaon Dr. A. Sakthivel has been a prime mover of visionary projects like TEA and Netaji Apparel Park. He has also given praiseworthy contribution to the Indian financial sector with his association to UCO Bank, IDBI and ECGC. He has been a great institution builder and helped AEPC redefine itself in the post-quota era with new strategies for export promotion and policy advocacy. I think the industry has learnt a lot from him and will always look up to him as a friend and guide.

Elango Viswanathan, MD, SNQS Internationals, Tirupur Like a true leader, A. Sakthivel has kept up to his commitment. During the run up to the previous TEA elections, he told the export fraternity that this will be his last term as he wants ‘youngsters’ to take over the charge for the future course. He has steered the development of Tirupur for the last 27 years and has


always put the interest of the association as his top priority. He has won several national and international accolades. We have been friends for the last 30 years and have travelled with him in public life for the last 5 years. I will always rate him as a great negotiator with the politicians, trade unions and bureaucrats when it comes to the challenges facing the industry. He has run TEA without any allegiance to any political party and wish this tradition continues. He has only stepped down from the post and not from our hearts.

Vivek Khandelwal, President, Garment Exporters Association of Rajasthan (GEAR), Jaipur

Raja M. Shanmugham, MD, Warsaw International, Tirupur

R. Ramu, Partner, Fashion Knits, Tirupur

No one person should continue for years as it means stagnation; this has been witnessed in Tirupur and in AEPC at the national level. The declaration is an acceptance of the fact that people want change, which was obvious during the last elections. I think the industry and the nation should vote for change to surge forward and become a super power nation in the future.

Dr. A. Sakthivel is a motivation for us, whenever and wherever he met us, he motivated us for the development of Jaipur and discussed about various growth avenues for Jaipur. He is in fact a great supporter of Indian apparel export industry. I still remember when he was elected Chairman of AEPC, he assured us a visit to Jaipur first and offered full support too.

I know Dr. A. Sakthivel from day one, from the inception of association and have become a close associate of him after becoming an EC member of the association from year 2000 onwards. I have never seen such a person who is so dedicated to solve any issues related to the industry. I wish to share that all the projects which have come in the past 27 years, have been made possible due to his efforts only; and now Tirupur stands as a role model

among all the export hubs. If any exporter called him for any cause, he would make efforts to resolve it and call them back to inform them that their work has been done, which is a quality that needs admiration.

T.R. Sivaram, Royal Classic Mills, Tirupur Dr. A. Sakthivel and TEA have become a synonymous name in Indian apparel industry because of his consistent and dedicated efforts of past 27 years towards the benefit of export community and members of TEA. His tenure can be classified into ‘Before quota regime (15 years)’ and ‘After quota regime (12 years)’. The first period was most crucial for TEA members as all first-time exporters were taking baby steps of understanding the AEPC policy, restrictions of the importing country, international banking norms, customs procedure and so on. His support for many startup exporters are laudable and his entire tenure of past 27 years was accessible for all the members of TEA – just over a phone call or a casual personnel visit, and that too without any prior appointment.


The Cauvery water dispute issue is now more than hundred years old, but it is only recently that violence has hit Karnataka so severely. How do you see the overall impact of this development…? Do you think this situation will have a long-term impact on Bangalore’s apparel export industry, or will buyers understand that this is a temporary disruption? If you have a factory in and around Bangalore, how much loss you have noticed due to these recurring strikes?


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A look at Back-to-School 'Season' once again BTS spending to reach US $ 75.8 billion

As always retailers have vied for the consumers’ attention by rolling out early promotions and luring the price-conscious consumers; and this year it seems to be no different with brands pushing Back-to-School (BTS) sales as early as possible. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, the BTS spending for K-12 and college is expected to reach US $ 75.8 billion, up from last year’s US $ 68 billion as the average family is anticipated to spend more freely on school and college supplies this year.

ontrary to the earlier predictions, the average family with children in grades K-12 has completed almost half (48 per cent) of their shopping as of early August, slightly down from last year (50 per cent) as per NRF’s recent survey. “It is evident that many families are still considering price and value when shopping for their Back-to-School and college needs. Shopping early and often, is a trend we have seen from many budgetconscious consumers over the last few years. In the weeks ahead, parents will take advantage of the aggressive deals that retailers will offer as they get ready to welcome the Fall season merchandise,” confirms Matthew Shay, President and CEO, NRF. This year parents are expected to spend an average of US $ 673.57 on electronics, clothes and notebooks, compared with US $ 630.36 spent last year. In total, parents of kindergarten through 12th-grade students say they will spend US $ 27.3 billion on school supplies this year, up from US $ 18.4 billion in 2007.


To tap consumers, retailers are providing an array of products from a US $ 195 headband to a US $ 1 glue stick catering to all consumer segments. Such is the case that luxury brands like Kate Spade that are known for its luxury handbags are also offering gold-accented staplers, monogrammed planners and US$ 30 ballpoint pens to help raise sales during the increasingly important BTS shopping season. The discount retailer

According to NRF’s recent survey: •

Families with children in grades K-12, plan to spend an average US $ 673.57 on apparel and accessories, electronics, shoes and school supplies, up from last year’s US $ 630.36 for a total of US $ 27.3 billion.

Consumer confidence in the economy continues to grow and is a significant factor in how families, will spend for Back-to-School this year.

College students and families with children in college plan to spend an average of US $ 888.71

Similar to K-12, 30 per cent of college consumers say the economy will not affect their shopping plans, up from 26 per cent and the highest level in the survey’s history.

Dollar Tree is focusing on the other end of price spectrum by offering products such as a US $ 1 pack of tape, glue sticks and pencils rather than just fancy notebooks. A growing list of designer notebooks, luxury desk accessories and even beanbag chairs, catering to wealthy Back-to-School shoppers is quietly coming to power against the budget departmental store’s products. Now shoppers can buy a US $ 195 Gucci Headband, US $ 572 Versace backpack and US $ 28 Terez pencil case on the Saks website, while Restoration Hardware has a new teen line that includes US $ 2000 ‘riveted aluminium’ desk and US $ 250 faux fur beanbag chairs. While Nordstrom stores are providing a mix of US $ 495 Burberry girl’s cross body bag, US $ 32 backpack and a set of US $ 17 gel pens, traditional retailers catering to the middle-class consumers are struggling to slash prices in this aggressive race vying

for consumers. Sales at many such stores have slumped and once-famous retailers such as Macy’s and Sears have had to shut down their stores. Nonetheless BTS items are also expected to buoy sales at discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx, whose appeal is increasingly wide and which aims at the growing number of poor students and families in the US. According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, in 2007 around 9 million public school students came from low-income households and in 2014 there were more than 11 million. In order to tap in more consumers, these discount retailers have pushed their promotions earlier in the season that has in turn pushed people to research more about the products. According to the recent data released by Google, BTS search queries rose sharply in the week of July 11, a full week earlier than last year. Others such as Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, have used tax-free holidays to encourage shopping of school-related items. Most importantly, many retailers are promoting uniforms heavily with retailers such as Target promoting 50 per cent off-prices on the uniforms. “Our people said that whether its Burlington or Target or JCPenney or Sears, the uniform section was the hottest part of the competitive space for Back-to-School. About twice as many stores this year as last are doing specials on uniforms,” reveals Craig Johnson, President, Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting group. With retailers offering an assortment of products and strategizing it in the best way to vie for the consumers attention, each retailer whether discount, luxury or mid-segment are trying their best to offer the best to its consumers so that they not only visit the store but also convert it into a sale. As Back-to-School season is the second biggest shopping period of the year behind Christmas, while families will spend more than before; how they will do it and where they will do it, remains to be seen.



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‘NO CHILD LABOUR; NO DIS CRIMINATION’ IN INDIAN APPAREL INDUS TRY: FWF Finally comes a report by an NGO that projects positivity for the Indian apparel industry. Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) India Country Study 2016, in a detailed 56 pages report, states that there is no child labour in the country’s garment industry today, a stark difference from the situation that was alarming in year 2000. Similarly, the report also gives thumbs up to fair practices claiming that there is no discrimination either on religion or caste, and women are paid equal wages for equal work. According to the report, there have been no worker complaints on discrimination in employment in India. Although the report does have some strong opinions on several industry-related issues, it is heartening to see that at least it reflects some good points which are in fact the strength of the industry.

WF has been active in India for the last 13 years and its 40 members (mostly those in fashion and sportswear) source from more than 160 Indian factories. Of these factories, 45 per cent are located in north India, while 55 per cent are based in south India. FWF provides training through its Workplace Education Programme (WEP). In next four years its strategic partnership activities in India aim to combat


low wages and violence against women, and enhance social dialogue. The Foundation is also involved in training for supervisors. Recently, FWF organized a national stakeholder roundtable in Delhi where the India Country Study 2016 was presented and the way forward discussed. For this report, the initial audits were conducted in apparel manufacturing hubs like Delhi, Noida, Tirupur and Karnataka

between 2013 and 2016. Issues highlighted were discussed with many stakeholders like Associations/Councils/NGOs/Governmental Institutions such as Labour Department etc. On the issue of child labour, the report says, “Various stakeholders agree that child labour is generally not visible in garment factories, although it is still present in small establishments (10-15 workers) and in textile

mills. During the FWF audits, evidence of forced and/or bonded labour was difficult to find and was mostly linked to forced overtime. Though since 2013, violations have been found in two to three factories in relation to the employment of people 15 to 18 years old. Some factories were found to have a lack of maintenance of appropriate license and permission from the labour department when employing young workers. In 35 per cent of audits conducted between 2013 and 2015, age records of workers are not appropriately maintained or verified by the management. It also says that there is an increase in the number of adolescent workers employed in the Tirupur region, as they represent a cheaper alternative workforce that is able to work for longer hours, an average of 72 hours per week.

related to non-payment or delays in payment of wages. As far as overtime is concerned, between 2013 and 2015, it received several complaints, although it is often mentioned together with other issues, such as lack of payment and dismissal. Since 2013, it has received numerous complaints of occupational health and safety (OHS) violations. Similarly, there were complaints regarding non-payment of social security benefits and PF.

Scope for improvement

No complaints from workers on freedom of association

FWF also says that nearly all factories in north India and in some factories in the south, there is no system in place to communicate to workers regarding voluntary or pre-announced overtime hours. This happens all the more in factories with no policies and procedures in place. Similarly there is violation in the area of occupational health and safety. In the north, the second most recurrent violation is the lack of internal and formal means of communication, followed by the absence of legal contracts. In the south, the second highest number of violations is in the area of payment of wages, followed by the lack of internal and formal means of communication. “Most workers are actually hired through recommendations of fellow workers or contractors, who help recruit workers from their native villages,� it further added.

FWF has put in place a complaints procedure, which it claims serves as a safety net. When a complaint is filed, FWF informs the member(s) sourcing from the factory in question, and investigates the complaint. All the complaints are published on the FWF website. Talking about the nature of complaints, the report says that there has been no worker complaint on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. In 2014 and 2015, FWF received three complaints

The report insists on the need to increase the activities of Labour Departments, setting up the Department of Labour in Noida as an example. The department only has 12 labour inspectors who, in 2015-16, carried out 21 inspections in the 964 garment factories established in Noida. It also added that the Department of Labour in Noida reports a high level of compliance with the law under its jurisdiction, which is not the case throughout the country.

Another positive point that has been highlighted by the report is that discrimination based on religion and caste was rarely observed during the FWF audits. Though there is gender discrimination in the type of tasks assigned to women, like in the north of India, female workers are employed in unskilled work like thread cutting and packing while in south India, although women occupy skilled positions, such as tailors, they are seldom employed as line supervisors.

The report says that female workers are often employed in unskilled work like thread cutting and packing, but are seldom employed as line supervisors

On Trade Unions/Internal Complaints Committees A similar kind of report has also been issued about Vietnam garment industry which too has interesting observations and findings like it rarely finds cases of proven forced labour, discrimination against women among their 300-odd factories‌

Findings from the FWF audits from 2013 to 2015 highlight the fact that 99 per cent of audited factories had no trade union in their premises. Audits found that no functional grievance mechanism was available to workers in 79 per cent of factories in north India and 64% in south India. Factories in the south often have collective bargaining agreement (CBA) policies. Works committees and Internal Complaints Committees, if present, discuss minor issues related to working conditions (for example broken toilet taps), rather than focusing on the main issues of concern such as wages, overtime, and sexual harassment.



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Kickstarter campaign to raise US $ 177,000 for Denim Project Recently, Denim Project that produces garments made from 98 per cent denim waste has launched a kickstarter campaign to raise US $ 177,000 by September. The amount raised will be utilised in buying machinery, source waste fabric and convert it into fibre so that it can later be converted into garments. This project aims to save around 183,000,000 litres of fresh water. “The purpose of my engagement in Denim Project has, from the start, been to change our production, to show how ‘easy’ it is to save water and the environment. My dream is to set a positive footstep within my

reach. I think that should be the goal for everyone. Especially the ones fortunate enough to have kids,” informs Jesper Kejser, FounderCEO, Denim Project. A great initiative to cut down textile waste, this campaign further focuses on sustainability as up to 15 per cent of fabric intended for clothing are wasted during the cuttingprocess. According to experts, thisestimated waste can provide every person on the planet three new T-shirts per year and contains enough water that could have supplied 25 million people annually, which equatesto 38.5 billion litres of fresh water. The Denim Project was founded to make

a change by creating garments by cutting waste, thereby becoming the most resource-neutral denim brand in the world. All those fabrics that are discarded by brands is sorted

out by colour, re-fibre and spun into yarns and then Denim Project adds 2 per cent stretch to the 98 per cent wasted fabric and designs a new brand line.

Currently, FTA has a membership of more than 1,800 businesses who are committed towards more sustainable trade and demonstrate trust in FTA, to prepare businesses for the challenges of the future. “With the proliferation of trade agreements and new sustainability

regulations, keeping on top of these important issues remains a continued challenge. FTA will help us maintain our knowledge base in the EU and ensure we stay ahead of the market as it evolves,” informs Rick Darling, Head of Government and Public Affairs at Li &Fung.

Li & Fung joins FTA Li &Fung, the global leader in consumer goods design, development, sourcing and logistics has recently joined the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) as its latest member. As part of the FTA’s sustainability services, Li &Fung has selected its international trade policy services

and has become a participant of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). “Li &Fung is committed to responsible sourcing and to its engagement with BSCI, whose benefits include, social audits of the supply chain, training activities and dialogue with stakeholders,” revealed the FTA.



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ver the last one month I have had some really gruelling interactions with various sections of the industry – from big exporters to medium level players to technology providers to consultants and even people in the corridors of power. The topic was one – ‘relocating factories to newer pastures’. And though there is a consensus on the fact that growth can no longer happen if companies continue to operate in metropolitans mostly due to the increasing cost of real estate, continuously rising wages and scarcity of workers. What is interesting is that most players are not really motivated to shift base and Governments have little or no idea on what needs to be done to attract investment in new areas…; actually they know very little about the industry.


The investors’ meets that states are holding have become a fashion statement…; all that they talk about is how much investment has been promised. I was also invited to the Odisha investors’ meet held in Bangalore recently…, but the response was very lukewarm from the garment industry…, obviously the focus was on the big-ticket industries. One thing I am very sure of is that the garment industry has as yet not been able to impress upon the Government the importance of this industry in fulfilling the prime national agenda of generating employment that is the top priority of every political party, whether in power or not. Nowhere do we see the stalwarts of this industry sitting at important industry

platforms or being asked opinions on budget and other critical policy discussions. We are the ‘tailors’ who have made it big! I have repeatedly said that every advanced economy in the world has grown on the back of the garment industry…; it is the only commercial activity after agriculture that has the potential to employ large number of people on small investments and with just 30 days of training. I am surprised that states that are trying to entice garment companies to set up factories in their territory are still clueless about this reality. What are still important are the big figures in terms of investment and not the number of jobs that can be created. Why would any garment manufacturer invest Rs. 100 crore to start a factory, when a much smaller investment is enough to get a factory up and running, while generating larger employment opportunities? Since we all know that an investment of Rs. 1 crore has the potential to give employment to 120 people, generate export business of Rs. 1 crore and give employment to another 120 people in the support industry… Which other industry can boast of this strength! Take the case of the car industry or other high-ticket industries… An investment of Rs. 12,000 crore in general generates 7,000 jobs in the main factory and another 7,000 jobs in the ancillary units… With this kind of investment in apparel manufacturing the

problem of unemployment can be eradicated… Is there a comparison…? I tried to explain this to the industry’s Secretary at the Centre, but it elicited no response. The Governments also don’t seem to understand that a garment factory cannot exist in isolation; there has to be a synergy with other ancillary inputs – from fabric to accessories to value-added services to logistics and even infrastructure, to accommodate the huge worker base that would be employed. Has any effort been made to understand the industry…? How many meetings have been organized to know ground realities from the ‘horse’s mouth’ as they say… If anyone knows of such efforts do let meknow. Some requirements can be sourced from outside…, but what about skilled labour; and it is not only about sewing operators, it is also the pattern masters, the embroidery machine operator or screen printers. One company cannot have all of them in-house, there has to be a pool of skilled workers in and around the areas… We need training centres, hostel facilities, medical facilities and other basic amenities to ensure that workers are ready for the job, which is performance-driven. But, then there is also the management; why would anyone be ready to go into the interiors, unless there is some level of comfort. Governments are announcing one Apparel/ Textile Park after the other but companies are not interested… Has anyone ever tried

to analyse ‘why not’? It is not only about giving cheap land and few other financial benefits… What about labour laws, wage policy, support infrastructure, connectivity to nearest town, logistic facilities (very important to export units)…, the list is endless. But no one is listening. In the past all movements away from the home city have been spearheaded by the industry… Orient Craft took the industry from Delhi to Gurgaon; a big move at that time. Tirupur moved to the outskirts (Netaji Apparel Park) led by TEA, while Mumbai companies just took the easy way out, moving to Bangalore or Tirupur when the industry was very nascent in this hub. But now there has to be support from the Government. Firstly, labour is not what it used to be… Many of them do not want to migrate and would prefer to work from the comfort of their cultural environment; and secondly, due to MNREGA benefit, the industry has become demanding and workers prefer to look for easy jobs with less pressure… How do we make the industry interesting for them… Is the Governmentlistening? Another important factor is that the garment industry is very ownerdriven and not many success stories exist where the corporate type of professionalism has worked for the company… I can give many examples of failures, but success to only one – Shahi – their model of functioning though is not impossible, is also not easy to duplicate. In the articles that follow, we have traced the experience of a foreign company (Aquarelle) that has set up a very successful manufacturing format in India and is now ready to expand; a company (Indian Design) that has already moved away from its original roots into Andhra Pradesh and even Bangladesh and is now looking at options in Odisha; and finally what the Government of Odisha, the hottest destination today have to offer…, the ground realities are laid bare for all to read! Editor-in-Chief

Nagesh Badida, Executive Director (extreme right) and Parameswar Chopparapu, Global Manufacturing Director, Aquarelle Group (standing next to him) with their senior team at the Aquarelle factory that manufactures casual shirts

Aquarelle Getting the best out of India with clear ‘glocal’ strategy The Indian garment manufacturing industry has never been a hot bed for investment by foreign enterprises and there are very few success stories to emulate. Yet, Aquarelle the casual shirts division of the Mauritius-based CIEL Textile Group (Apparel Division) which has 20 factories located in four countries – Mauritius, Madagascar, India and Bangladesh, is a growing company which is proud to be Indian by team but international in its functioning. The Team of Apparel Online visited their factory on the outskirts of Bangalore and was impressed with the professionalism that they observed. In conversation with the top management of Nagesh Badida, Executive Director and Parameswar Chopparapu, Global Manufacturing Director, Aquarelle Group, the strategy behind the success is decoded…

Choosing India over China… The team at Aquarelle stresses that they have seized to consider themselves as a ‘foreign’ company as an Indian team handles the operations on a day-to-day basis, but feels international because of their existence in different countries. “I feel like a foreign company because of our management philosophy and principles which are common to all our factories in every country,” says Nagesh. India was zeroed in as a better option than China after much deliberations. The top management felt that China was already a big manufacturing base with many stateof-the art companies, so there was no sense competing for orders in China against the Chinese, the choice of the



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country had to be where opportunities in garmenting still existed.

People are the biggest challenge…

The next best bet was India for many reasons, including the fact that the company already had a tie-up with an Indian company Essar Textiles (now known as Consolidated Fabrics Ltd. (CFL) which owed 25% of shares in Woven Fabrics in Mauritius and there were some Indians, including Nagesh, already working for the company in Mauritius. Further, Mauritius is pretty similar to India culturally, with 70% of the population originating from India. Since Bangalore already had a culture for manufacturing of men’s wear and

Yet, these positive points in no way negated the challenges that international companies face when setting up business in India. The biggest being the handling of labour, which according to most is not as disciplined as in other countries including China. “You can have good or bad people, but more important is how you structure the training process and how you carry those people around,” argues Parameswar. Nagesh adds that their Chairman strongly believes that a company grows not from its infrastructure and machines, but by its people. This is a philosophy that has no compromise. “We treat our workers well and not like garment making machines; we educate them as to what is our concept, what is the culture and what we expect from them, and for that we have some 10-15 days of training sessions that focuses on the do’s and don’ts in the Aquarelle Group and how we recognize their hard work and pay them back in terms of incentives,” shares Nagesh.

Whenthe marketing team meets the customers they don’t talk on Indian, Madagascar or Mauritius lines, they introduce Aquarelle as a global company thatcan produce the same product from any country be it in Madagascar or Mauritius orIndia.

the labour is very well tuned to men’s shirts, it was the first preference for setting up a casual shirts factory. No doubt, purchasing land and building a factory by foreign companies is a big hassle with many procedural hurdles, with the Government thrust at that point of time being more on bigticket industries. “We were lucky to find a built-up property with all infrastructures in place near the city otherwise we would have faced the usual issues related to Government policies and it would have been difficult to get the factory up and running so fast,” reasons Nagesh.

The HR team at Aquarelle is very strong; their job is to communicate and create linkages and update workers constantly on what is happening in the company… That’s an ongoing process. “Since we are a global company, most of our processes are standardised and structured, and followed in all four countries, yet culturally there are differences with every country having its nuances, so we have to look at how to manage them individually and that is something that is left to us. In terms of today, if you look at our products, be it our services or deliverables, they are more or less consistent. If you look at our working you would hardly find any deviation in the process from country to country,” avers Nagesh. So the formulae is simple – Local nuances will always remain, and so will the importance of local expertise to hold and manage the factories and the people. But at the end of theday, the same road map will be carried forward. To build local talents and deal with the people, the formula may

be international but thinking will be local.

Standardisation of processes… On the other hand, there are a lot of things – cutting, sewing, finishing; and general operations or hard core manufacturing which is similar everywhere. So for everysingle product the clarity of operations is very clear. “We have a unique GSP (Global Standardisation Processes) which we are driving in for the last 3 years. We have a team working on the system to make all factories uniform. So what runs here for casual shirts runs the same in the other two factories in the other countries. The product nuances according to the customer is handled and managed by the local people… Like you talk about a certain sewing automation process, whichhappens as long as it makes cost sensein the country,” says Parameswar.

Marketing Aquarelle, not acountry… When the marketing team meets the customers they don’t talk on Indian, Madagascar or Mauritius lines, they introduce Aquarelle as a global company that can produce the same product from any country be it in Madagascar or Mauritius or India and GSP ensures that no matter where it is produced the goods remains standardised. Interestingly there are some areas of blurring in this very straight jacket approach, mostly in terms of pricing. “If the shirts are 100 per cent cotton then they are produced in the same price bracket at all the three manufacturing destinations, but if something is made on regional basis then the prices vary. For example, if denim or any hand-working job is required and if it turns out be a common product in 100 per cent cotton then we give the customers the liberty to pick their preference locations from where they want pick the products. If it is India you get India prices,” explains Nagesh. Having operations in manycountries has its advantages, which thebuyers

also recognize. “Mauritius is dutyfree to the US and I will not even try to compete with Mauritius in this market. Our flagship customer, J Crew predominantly have their business done in Mauritius, even then they know we are in India too and India is restively cheaper, but after the dutyfree advantage we lose outhands down, so there is no competition.Again for production in Madagascar, though again it is more expensive than India the proximity advantage it enjoys attracts buyers looking for quick turnarounds,” avers Parameswar.

Motivating thelocal management… So what keeps the Indian team motivated to show growth, when India is thriving on private business. “The biggest difference that I see from an Indian company is the entrepreneurship concept which these guys put in. We have corporate culture and we are all salary-based, but there is a balanced approach so that one should feel that he is working in his own company, as they give a lot of freedom; they recruit top guys and make them responsible for A to Z of the company. Second thing is the entrepreneurial way of working. Even if I am spending one rupee, I would think twice and think what the better way is,” shares Nagesh. The level of performance is aided by the group philosophy where a certain percentage share of profit, as rider on sales per business unit is distributed. “So we access that part of the profitability and multiply it my ‘X’ numbers, which is given to the top people and the other people who have really worked hard so I can say that this is really motivating for me,” shares Nagesh. He goes on to elaborate, “Let’s say the business turnover of my operations is ‘X’ number of dollar millions, then they get a certain percentage of that straight away. In our case we devise a certain percentage of shares for the staff and others. Our whole concept of business is based on transparency and performance.”

RELOCATION IMPEDIMENTS… THE HOW AND WHERE OF RELOCATION In principle everyone agrees that factories should move into new regions where the manpower is easily available and also that some basic requirements are essential to set up a factory which the local Governments should assist in as Naseer Humayun, MD, Indian Designs says: The Government has to understand that in the process of setting up a garment unit there is a huge investment done by an entrepreneur to develop skills in people who hitherto have had no experience in a manufacturing unit, nor have any idea of the discipline needed in a factory.” But the critical question that arises is do the State Governments really understand what is required, and is the industry ready to move from its comfort zone?

What companies should take into account before making any shift… One thing is clear, it is a big strategic decision to move to a new place and investors can no longer get into this industry assuming that the returns are high. Any company ready to make a shift to new location should be aware that it will take at least a year or two before the unit can stabilize. During that time one will have to ensure that sufficient orders are there. A unit which has insufficient orders and low feeding and insufficient working capital is more likely to fade away into the twilight. Trained labour is a scarce commodity. Provision should be given to factor in costs of training. One can tie up with all the Skill Development organizations that are there, but still it will take at least six months before a ‘trained tailor’ becomes productive. Gone are the days when a new entrant can poach upon the neighbours’ labour force.


Doing that makes one open to quid pro quo sanctions.

Companies cannot afford to look at this industry as a cottage industry but should look at it as an organized sector involving deep planning at all stages. Treat it at par with any engineering industry involving high labour. From the word ‘go’ sustainability in all operations should be a key factor.

Also companies cannot afford to look at this industry as a cottage industry but should look at it as an organized sector involving deep planning at all stages. Treat it at par with any engineering industry involving high labour. From the word ‘go’ sustainability in all operations should be a key factor. ‘Efficiency’ is the key word. ‘Efficiency’ not only on the shopfloor but in all operations. The industry here is still used to huge wastages. These have to be cleaned up and systems set to set off alarms if wastages look possible. As CEO, Ravi Kumar of Indian Designs says, and he knows whathe’s talking about, “Size matters! No buyer of repute today likes to associate himself with a small unit. Almost everybody buys on credit. Deep pockets are required. New entrants should pay attention to the new buzz word in the industry – automation. Higher investments involving less dependability on inconsistent labour using automation should be studied


Odisha, the next frontier for apparel manufacturing! • Proactive Government takes the lead • Bhubaneswar the nerve centre for new cluster • Shahi and Madura already in the state

Naseer Humayun (L), MD, Indian Designs with his CEO Ravi Kumar

before closing in on machinery. The scarcity of middle-management, especially on the shopfloor, is a huge factor to build in. Having said all that, this is still an industry that keeps one on toes with its distinct quirks. And for somebody who has been long enough here, like me, I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else. It is fulfilling, jobwise and especially when one looks at the huge contribution to society and the contribution to the upliftment of women especially.” Broadly the incentives or enticements required by a new entrepreneur from the Government are free, or the land is nominally priced; subsidised uninterrupted electricity and water supply, also subsidised travel facilities or adequate bus facilities for employees and hostel facilities for employees to be built and managed by the Government. Wage rate, which is a major attraction to these areas, should be frozen or nominally increased yearly for the next five years, and providing CETP facilities and other facilities as may be mandatory by law to run a garment unit. Nothing that cannot be provided, yet Governments of many states are either not getting the formulae right or are not making a genuine effort to understand the nuances of the industry, which makes it different from many other industries. Yet not everyone is convinced that moving to a new place is a good strategy. “Even if the Governments of certain states are giving incentives, why would I move from Bangalore which has the right ecosphere to ensure production of my product category to the satisfaction of the buyer,” argues Sanjeev Makhija,

MD, Goldenseam who manufactures casual bottom wear with many special washes and finishes. His logic is echoed by other companies that are making value-added products. They all expressed concern of getting the right workers with years of experience, and by understanding of the craft will I get workers and companies that understand my product and deliver at my terms in a new place,” echo many other similarly placed exporters. It is important that the Governments evolve to understand the requirements of the industry before the confidence can be built that moving to a new destination will be a smooth transition. The concern of finding a compatible ecosphere to work in at a new place is for real. Some companies have already burnt their fingers in the process. Also managing factories far away from headquarters can be difficult as the management of both Richa Global and Pearl Global discovered through their ventures into interior Karnataka years ago. The area people are talking about most of late is Andhra Pradesh where the Government has taken a very pro-active approach. After the failed attempt to invite industry to the state some years ago, fresh efforts are on with a better understanding of the industry and many companies are showing interest. Among them is Bangalore based Indian Designs, which is among the companies that has taken the bold step of setting up a factory in Bangladesh also. The company has a factory coming up in Hindupur in AP, near the Karnataka boarder, even Madura is building a factory in the region that has an Apparel Park, facilities of which are supported by State Government.

22 Apparel Online India | SEPTEMBER 16-30, 2016 |

Developing a new centre for an industry is always a challenge, but when the industry is the apparel industry, which not only entails many variables, but also involves huge human resource management, the task is a wee bit tougher. Picking up the challenge, the Government of Odisha is very keen to establish the garment industry in the state and is willing to go the full distance to understand the special needs of the industry and create a business environment that is flexible, responsive and compliant to the growth of the industry. Team Apparel Online, led by Deepak Mohindra, Editor-in-Chief, recently met and discussed the uniqueness of the industry with Sanjeev Chopra, Principal Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Odisha and Sanjay Kumar Singh, Commissioner cum Secretary, Skill Development and Technical Education and CMD, Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation. The positive and passionate attitude of these top officers was very encouraging for the prospects of the industry in Odisha.

“We have been talking to stakeholders in the garment business and have realized that a common policy format for the textiles and apparel sector is not viable, asthe need of both sectors is very different.” –Sanjeev Chopra, Principal Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Odisha

“There are no real success stories for apparel parks and we are aware of the critical areas that hamper the development. So we want to pre-empt and address the issues...” –Sanjay Kumar Singh, Commissioner cum Secretary, Skill Development and Technical Education and CMD, Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation

he city of Bhubaneswar is a clean and green city with all the amenities that justify its position as the capital city of a state on the growth curve. Being endowed with abundant natural resources, the state also boasts of a strong disciplined worker base of both men and women who are culturally open to migrate for better employment opportunities. “The labour from Orissa forms the backbone of many successful textile/ garmenting hubs in India, including Surat, Bangalore and Chennai. It is now time to use this workforce to develop the industry within the state,” argues Sanjay, batting strongly for the development of the apparel manufacturing industry in Odisha.


The state boasts of many training centres for apparel industry under the Skill India and Integrated Skill Development Programs, and since the exposure to the apparel manufacturing industry is wide-spread with large migration already happening, the synergy is obvious. “The Government of Odisha is very proactive on skill development and it is a major agenda for them right now… The whole political environment at the moment is geared and focused on upscaling employment... Which industry can be better than garmenting to create job opportunities in large numbers with relatively less capital investment?” reasons Sanjay. With large tribal population being integrated into the workforce and wages in Odisha comparable to Bangladesh, the state no doubt is an attractive destination for those looking for competitive edge in garmenting. The serious intent of the Government in developing this sector is evident by the fact that a textile policy is being framed for the first time and a separate chapter is being written especially for the garment industry. “We are now looking at a separate chapter for apparels, as we realise the need, which will delay the policy, but is important for long-term growth,” says Sanjeev. The openness of the Government officials in listening to experts and admitting that ‘out-ofthe-box’ thinking is the only way forward, is indeed a fresh whiff of air, signifying the changing attitude of those in power. While mining has in the past been the major revenue generator for the state, unfortunately it has

not been able to generate enough employment. Of late, one of the biggest realizations has been of the potential significance of the apparel industry to the domestic economy of the state. Under a new agenda, five industries are the focus areas for development, and textile and apparel find a mention. In fact, one of the main purposes of setting up IDCO was to ensure that the right infrastructure is established to support excellence for apparel manufacturing. There are many ‘plus points’ for the success of the garment industry in Odisha which Sanjeev and Sanjay both endorse like trainable and response labour force is only one of the. The state is rich in natural resources, it has its own port in Paradip, besides other ports like Dhamara and Gopalpur and some others being developed under publicprivate partnership, an international airport in the capital, good roads and train connectivity, huge land bank owned by the Government, also being a surplus energy producing state there is good and cheap supply of electricity. “If we charge say Re. 1 for a unit of electricity, the rate nearest to us is Rs. 1.5 that is the difference,” explains Sanjay. The Government has in the meanwhile already started the process of developing air connectivity to Dubai and Singapore, as they are major centres for world trade. Tenders have been invited and tax on aviation fuel has been reduced to attract airlines to start direct flights to these destinations. Two major garment companies Shahi and Madura have already set up units in the heart of the city. In fact, Shahi and Aditya Birla Group (Madura) are being presented as poster boys for investment in Odisha and now Jockey (Page Apparels) has signed an agreement to set up a factory in the state and Color Lines has promised to invest, following an elaborate twoday investor meet held in Bangalore recently to update industry on the incentives that the Government is offering. While the major thrust was on the IT sector, with the CMalso making an appearance, a session was held for the garment industry in which some local companies did attend.Expressing satisfaction at the outcome of the event Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “We have received a total investment announcement of Rs. 90,490 crore during the two days

The preferred destinations…

with employment potential of more than 70,000. We are now organizing Make in Odisha conclave on December 1-2 this year at Bhubaneswar to take the work forward.”

The ‘Make in India’ thrust has motivated many and the time to move away from comfort zones has arrived. But where to move, is a question mark. Many of the technology providers believe that Odisha is the ideal place to set up a garmenting business today. “Look at the amount of female workers in Odisha, a state where the social ethos encourages women to work unlike Bihar. With a traditional base in textiles, the basic foundations are in place,” reasons Pavan Kapoor, MD, IIGM. His opinion is strongly seconded by Anil Anand, MD, HCA. “The State Government is very active in promoting investment and there seems to be a serious intent looking at the number of high level conclaves being held to woo the industry. Also Shahi, which is a trend setter in taking factories to new areas has already set up a unit, there must be something positive,” he argues.

The area that is being promoted and developed as a Fashion and Apparel Park – Ramdaspur – is on the outskirts, nearly 25 km from Bhubaneswar. The area is being developed like a mini city with all amenities to facilitate comfortable stay for management and families, also common facilities are coming up for manufacturers like ETP, dormitories, training centre, etc. As a strategic move, ancillary units are being approached to open shop in the cluster to develop the right ecosphere required for successful manufacturing of garments.

KP Prasad of ATE shares that his company has recently supported the new unit of Mumbai based Maxima Fashions on the borders of Karnataka and Maharashtra in an area that has only untrained labour. He also shares that many companies in Mumbai are contemplating to move into the interiors, but it is too early to take names.

Sanjay is quick to add thatRamdaspur is not a typical textile park, and the terms and conditions are very flexible. Freshness is in the way officers’ areas open to ideas and are very determined to make the cluster a benchmark in industrial park development. “There are no real success stories for apparel parks and we are aware of the critical areas that hamper the development. So we want to pre-empt and address the issues before hand,” says Sanjay. One the interesting experiments that the Government is contemplating is to build the sheds with all facilities so that companies can just walk in and start business. “The plug and play model could make it worthwhile for companies to explore the opportunities, as it ensures easy entry, but we will also mix it with independently-owned units so that companies are more serious to make it work,” adds Sanjay. However, the road is still long and many critical directions need to be discussed and addressed to ensure smooth implementation of the ‘intent’. For one there is no study on what could be the potential products that could competitively be produced in the state, also just inviting the exporters and manufacturers is not enough, there has to be interest from the buyers to push the industry to invest; Ethiopia is a classic example of how buyers can play a pivotal role in developing manufacturing bases, and lastly, but the most important, is how to put across the message to an industry that is reluctant to move out of its comfort zone.


Bianco continues to grow with responsive strategy for Indian textile industry or the last 25 years, theItalian top brand Bianco has been a trusted name for advanced technology machines for the entire textile industry of India, catering to a full range of machines and accessories for both textile and technical textile industry. The machines are entirely designed and manufactured by the company in-house in Alba Italy; it also manufactures small accessories machines in their factory in Mumbai. In conversation with Apparel Online, Andrea Pelissero, Member of Board Bianco S.p.A, shares the company’s strategy for the entire Indian textile market and what makes it the preferred choice for Indian customers.


Post 2005, the market has seen increasing awareness amongst consumers regarding best product quality that has eventually led to a surge in demand for advanced technology machines. “25 years ago the market was very small for us but after 2004-2005, the market is booming,” asserts Andrea. The company has seen a surge in its business in India, with a market share that is more than 75 per cent compared to its European competitors. What makes the company a success for the Indian consumers, is its growing adaptability to the consumer’s need and market

Andrea Pelissero, Member of Board Bianco S.p.A

condition with customised machines along with standard high efficiency machine range. Bianco has accepted the price-sensitive nature of the Indian market and aligned its strategy keeping this in mind. “We realize that the Indian market is not for making quick profits, but rather it’s a

market for volume. Indian customers are buying a lot of machines, but without giving much profit at the end of the year. When we mix good markets (giving profits) with a market like India with volume, we have a collaborative average of profits in order for the company to sustain growth,” claims Andrea. Apart from this smart strategy, the company is working close to its customers by having a strong outreach pan India through 3 agents; one handling North India, which includes Delhi, Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Kolkata, namely Dipti International; the second covering Gujarat and Maharashtra, known as Comtex Engineering; and finally the third covering south India, such as Bangalore, Coimbatore, Hyderabadand Chennai, by name Lords Consultancies. In fact each of its agents has developed a fleet of technicians through the company’s support, who are regularly trained in Italy and provide prompt after-sales services and delivery of spare parts that is stocked with them. Over the years the company has benefited from India’s large pool of buyers; and this is mainly what setsthe company aside from its competition. “First priority should be the buyers, and India has a lot of potential buyers. Secondly, we are a good quality brand accompanied with good pricing and we adjust to consumers’ demands and never try to let go of thebusiness;

In last two years the company sold 70 pieces of Happy Scour globally, and in India the first machine has been bought by Babbu Sachdeva, MD, Mercury Fabrics, Bianco’s best elite Indian customer

E SS E N T I A L S “When we launch a new machine in Italy, we ensure that various trials are done in Europe before proposing the same worldwide.” “For skewing, we have a machine called weft straighteners. This is a machine to specifically solve the problem of skewing. All our machines are heavy duty construction developed with tensionless concept and therefore are able to minimize 50 per cent of fabric elongation and fabric stability compared to our competitors. We are 10 per cent price-competitive.”

and thirdly our agents are verygood and organised as Bianco’s policy is that we believe a lot in relationships,” explains Andrea. The company is also manufacturing all small accessories machines like Weft Straighteners, Centring Device, Dry slitters and some accessories machines in its own local manufacturing setup in Mumbai since 2004, which is targeted at customers looking for ‘cheaper’ options. This push from the expensive Italian made machines to cheaper Indianones have come solely from the fact that in places such as Surat there are a lot of potential customers, who make polyester fabric for sarees and other Indian garments using economical fabric. “Though these units are huge, but practically they would not import the machine from Bianco as they don’t have the financial power and neither they have the export licence. So we started this manufacturing unit to give them Bianco machines without having the import licence, without spending more money. It’s an economy range for Bianco, without compromising on the quality of machines andits productivity,” informs Andrea. A continuously growing Indian market with a more quality-conscious consumers and a pro-Government policy is providing scope for companies such as Bianco to push further growth and investment in the Indian market. “It’s a growing market and I think in the next few months it will grow even more. Now the yarn cotton price is going down and reaching a point of stability; so the market will improve very soon. And the new Government is also giving a lot of benefit to the textile industry and the direct exporter is also getting help from the Government, which will eventually push the textile industry,

and for us it will increase scope to sell our machines,” believes Andrea.


The company is known in India for its Tensionless Slitting Line, Balloon Padder, now new age Open and Tubular Compactors, and Rope Opener and Weft Straighteners, which are among the top finishing range of the company. Within the last 3 years the market has provided better opportunities for Bianco making it the biggest manufacturer of open-width felt compactor, thereby reflecting a mature market for technology as these machines itself is not for increasing production, but rather to provide value addition to the fabric. “This means that market is mature and is looking to gain and jump up, one more step on the quality scale,” states Andrea. The company provides a mix of machineries for woven and knitting, and is therefore able to cater to all kinds of blends, fabrics and compositions along with terry towels.

“Apart from India, Bangladesh is also one of the key markets for Bianco, as now Bangladesh is also investing a lot in technology for textiles. They used to import a lot of fabric from India, but now it’s a good time for them. They do everything by themselves because they don’t have any secondary industry. Practically all the people are working in garmenting.”

Recently, the company has developed two new systems – one is weight gsm fabric control system – ‘Bianco Weightex’ that is capable to provide online gsm fabric control without contacting the fabric through X-ray technology, thereby improving the fabric quality. “Thanks to the sensors, the machine does not stop and customers are able to get better efficiency in their production while maintaining consistency in gsm throughout the fabric,” maintains Andrea. The other new system is called ‘Bianco Happy Scour’ that allows the consumers to do the scouring process but with reduced consumption of chemical, water and energy while saving time as well. The company has also attained Green Label certification for this process

The factory of Bianco follows all sustainable practices from building to processes

and it also reduces the processing cost for its customers. In fact, all the machines from the company qualify to meet sustainable parameters and the company gets its certification revised time to time. “Thanks to this scouring process we are able to reduce the overall cost by 10 times,” adds Andrea. In last two years the company sold 70 pieces of Happy Scour globally, and in India the first machine has been bought by Babbu Sachdeva, MD, Mercury Fabrics, Bianco’s best elite Indian customer, after he saw the machine at the Milan show last year. Though the Bianco Italian manufactured machines are more high-end and technologically advanced than the Indian produced ones, but nonetheless through its wide range of products targeting different market segments, Bianco has made its niche in the textile industry. In fact, by targeting the right product at an affordable price towards the Indian audiences, the company’s share of business is on an upward climb with many manufacturers eager to invest in the latest technologies. Bianco Italy has just completed the moving of activities to a new location in Alba, very close to the previous one, with a strong expansion of its production space. The new centre consists of over 10,000 square metres of office space, and more than 30,000 square metres of production area. “This new arrangement will allow the company to grow and be increasingly competitive in the market,” explains Andrea. “Thanks to a new and even more efficient organization, Bianco will be able to optimize and speed up the production process, increasing the quality of products and services,” he concludes.



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Government to set up ‘Green' Textile Park in Chhattisgarh Government of India is planning to set up a ‘green’ textile park in Chhattisgarh with an investment of around Rs. 12.26 crore. The Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation (CSIDC) has already identified a land parcel spread over 30 hectares in Raipur

district for the development of proposed park. The park will comprise solid waste management practices, rain water harvesting with treated water supply system, storm water management, and a common effluent treatment plant. The proposed textile

park is also envisaged to house a testing laboratory, design centre, training centre, trade & display centre, warehouse/raw material depot, and packaging unit. The project is aimed to provide ‘one-stop’ integrated facilities with manufacturing support, welfare and common

infrastructure facilities to the prospective textile industries. It may be mentioned here that the Indian Government has also approved projects worth Rs. 99 crore for the upgradation of key industrial infrastructure in Chhattisgarh which will further uplift the sector.

VICUNHA TEXTIL content with its participation in apparel shows

India's cotton import likely to double this year

VICUNHA TEXTIL, a Brazilian denim expert, is content with its participation in apparel trade fairs as it noted good response from the visitors, particularly for sustainable denims.

India, which is world’s second largest producer of cotton, is looking to explore overseas market for cotton import as the country’s cotton production is expected to fall by 12 per cent to 33.8 million bales in the year ending September 30, 2016, according to India’s Cotton Advisory Board.

“A good selection of customers, mix of loyal customers and new once visited our booths, while some were closing deals on Spring/ Summer 2017, others were making their final selections for Autumn/ Winter 2017-18. We look forward to a successful ongoing season. The athletic range is still growing from strength to strength with

article ‘Squash’ remaining a firm new favourite now with additional options considered in textures such as article ‘Spinning’. Dark looks were in demand and so too were denims with more character in the warp, a definite vintage revival,” said Thomas Dislich, Managing Director, VICUNHA TEXTIL for Europe and Asia. “There was one thing that stood out and that was the number of companies interested in sustainable fabrics, a good news for us as this just happens to be in our DNA. We find ourselves

working with many companies who are now actively promoting their products as such. As the largest individual consumer of BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton coupled with the fact that VICUNHA creates zero landfill, we had much to offer. Of course three selected garments that we chose from the UdK – University of Arts Berlin, students project ‘Denim Otaku’, that we ran earlier in the year, attracted much interest as visitors marvelled at their creativeness with VICUNHA fabrics,” he further added.

“There was one thing that stood out and that was the number of companies interested in sustainable fabrics, a good news for us as this just happens to be in our DNA,” says Thomas Dislich, Managing Director, VICUNHA TEXTIL for Europe and Asia.

The fall in domestic production during the current year was mainly due to the back-to-back years of drought and an outbreak of damaging pests. Even though India received a strong amount of overall rain during the monsoon period in the current year, lack of early rain when the farmers needed the most, has proven to be the matter of concern. While the country has already procured around 1.5 million bales of cotton so far, another two million bales are expected to be imported. India has also reportedly signed contracts for additional 4,00,000 bales. These imports will double the country’s total cotton imports this year. However, B. K. Mishra, Chairman of Cotton Corporation of India assured, “Cotton purchases from abroad will not go beyond 2 million bales.”



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Fair Review: Shanghai,China

Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, Gateway to Chinese market Known as Asia’s leading home textile event, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Shanghai, China witnessed almost 1,150 exhibitors from 30 countries. The four-day long show was organized in 1,60,000 sq. metre area spread across six halls. The mega show was dominated by Chinese exhibitors as well as Chinese visitors but it also witnessed 22 Indian companies which includes giants like BSL Ltd; Alps Industries Ltd; D Décor and some medium level or emerging companies from across the nation. Though the fair was comparatively slow but exhibitors are of the opinion that it is one of the best ways to enter the Chinese market where people have enough money to buy. Apart from China, the event was also visited by buyers of few other countries.

he show was segmented into categories like upholstery fabrics, bedding & towelling, digital printing, designer studios and sun protection systems & window accessories. Helping buyers make sense of all the sourcing options on offer, domestic exhibitors either feature in product categories, regional pavilions or in specially zoned halls. The Glamorous Brands Hall featured some of China’s leading home textile, brands, such as Jinhua Textile, which has more than 500 franchise partners and over 3,000 partner stores throughout China. It displayed embroidered curtains and screens and more at the fair.


While The Taiwan Textile Federation and Taiwan Weaving Industry Association pavilion feature a wide range of upholstery and blackout fabric, exhibitors in the India Pavilion focused more on handcraft home textile products. “Arrangements at the fair were good but visitors were dominated by Chinese, while I was expecting some US or European buyers which were missing. This fair is not conducive for our products and was thus a total failure for us,” says S. Jagadees, Sri JothiImpex, Karur. The company displayed a wide range of home furnishing products in 100 per cent cotton mainly.

Niche products from Design 2100 Inc

A variety of products was offered by Mahesh Carpets

Universal Overseas, Delhi too had similar opinion, and was not happy with the overall response of the visitors. “We have a complete range in home segment and we displayed handloom items which are hard to copy but we did not get the response we anticipated,” said Ram Gopal of the company. Among the regular participants at the event, Delhi-based Mughal Art Traders however, had a better experience at the fair. “No doubt

Sweet Dreams, Realistic Utopias, Happy Manifesto and Exquisite Temptation are trend directions from Shanghai.

the fair was not as enthusiastic compared to last year, but I must say that this event is meant for those who are willing to work with Chinese buyers, and they must have some niche which can sell in China. In my opinion the Chinese market is giving better opportunities than Europe today. Chinese have more money than Europeans and less expenditures. As labour cost is increasing in China, niche or hand-made products are being imported rather than

Trend Dire tions c from Sweet Dreams: Shangha Under Nature’s i influence, this lifestyle looks to the great outdoors, communes with the elements and cultivates the kind of mystery found in the wild.

Pakistan, Korea, Nepal and many other countries but could not recall anything unique worth remembering. “We are trying to do cushions, wall &poufs to add something extra in our platter and offer them to its clients,” he added. Mahesh Carpets, manufacturer/exporter of handmade carpets and kilims had a major focus on flat weave rugs with intricate designs in many colours as China is a country that likes colours. But some of the regular exhibitors were very dissatisfied with the experience. Participating from the last four years, Muhammad Salman Malik, Managing Partner of Design 2100 Inc, Noida expressed disappointment with the last two editions of the fair. “Earlier we used to get good orders from this fair and we completely enjoyed it. But from the last two terms we have observed that the fair is converting into a retail platform as very small buyers visit it and most of the small or medium level companies prefer to sell off whatever products they have displayed there and make little profit rather than looking at a long term business perspective. We have decided not to participate again in the show,” he said, adding that repeat orders or regular business from Chinese buyers were also missing as he found new buyers rather than repeat buyers. “I have not seen any kind of loyalty in Chinese buyers,” he said. Design 2100 Inc is into soft as well as hard goods and it displayed a home collection which had mainly handwork.

Shezan Mukhtar Shah (L) with one of his Japanese buyer

Realistic Utopias: The ambience is aesthetically pleasing, precious and refined. It goes back to essentials. This quest for excellence is reflected in luxurious simplicity and a minimalist, albeit sophisticated, lifestyle.

Happy Manifesto: This theme unites folklore, influences and knowhow in an energising and stimulating mix. The luxuriance of these associations of graphic and cultural references is positively extravagant.

Exquisite Temptation: This design mode has a predilection for collaging shapes in a clash of periods and cultures. Late 19th-century Victorian meets family crests as well as surrealistic and theatrical objects. There’s an esoteric aura and magic in the air.

Booth of Sri Jothi Impex in the fair

manufactured in the country,” says Shezan Mukhtar Shah, Export Manager of the company, calling the fair a gateway to enter the Chinese market. Mughal Art Traders offers products like wool scarves with hand embroidery/pashmina. Its FOB ranges from US $ 8 to US $ 1000. According to Shezan, currently paisley designs are more in demand. Working in China market from last 4-5 years, the company has 6 regular buyers and is happy with its growth. Some of the Indian exhibitors felt that due to the dull economic condition of China, the visitor footfall was comparatively less, despite that the fair is a great window for someone to peep into the China market and reach out to a complete new set of customers. Having the same opinion Chirag Maheshwari, Partner of Mahesh Carpets, Varanasisharing his experience about the buyers’ opinion said, “The buyers have become very specific these days. They know what they are looking for and they do not like to explore new lines.

MuhammadSalman Malik, Managing Partner of Design 2100 Inc.

Overall the markets are running slow, be it US or Europe. The same feeling I got in China. The real income of the people is very high but the companies are not very aggressive in placing orders. Just like the US, even China likes to order lesser quantity in the start and they do not mind paying extra cost for not meeting the MOQ order.” Chirag, handling marketing and business development, also came across products from Belgium,

A few buyers from other countries showed interest in displays by some big players like Mumbaibased Birla Home Decor (part of Sutlej Textiles andIndustries Ltd.), which displayed its range of curtains and upholstery in 100 per cent polyester, polyester cotton, linen blend with polyester/cotton. The company received buyers from South East Asia, Middle East and some from Russia too. “The whole world is sourcing from China, so buyers have to come there and we are able to meet them on this platform. Though buyers from US and EU are comparatively less but visitors from other markets were present in good numbers,” said Amit Suryavanshi, Marketing Manager of thecompany. The company recently increased its capacity and is focusing more on capturing various markets.


Spring/Summer'17 ColourDirections

Playing with the colours ofCalmness andNature T

aking inspiration from the world of art and the desire to disconnect from technology and unwind, designers this season have gravitated towards a palette that is first and foremost calming. Paying homage to the beauty of natural resources, colours emerging in the spring collections are also inspired by the contrast of urban design and lush vegetation, leading to unexpected colour combinations and collections reminiscent of architecture, travel and nostalgia. By creating looks that truly represent the world we live in, both constructed and organic, designers sought to awaken a sense of reflection, followed by playful escapism. Artists, many of whom are known for bold colour usage and strong shapes and lines, played an influential role in this season’s styles. Team FFT explores the five shades that will shape the year’s summer collections…

RoseQuartz The soothing, calming nature is led by Rose Quartz, a blush shade that is persuasive, yet has a gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. This quintessentially feminine colour is everywhere for resort, from head to toe. Like a serene sunset, flushed cheek or budding flower, designers like Delpozo and Apiece Apart created relaxed looks with long gowns and dresses. Rose Quartz reminds us to reflect on our surroundings during the busy but light-hearted like spring and summer months.

Fiesta The high energy Fiesta is a harbinger of excitement, encouraging free-spirited exploration to unknown but welcoming locales that represents a bright orange shade that borderline on red. A strong and fiery, yellow-based red, the vivid Fiesta provides a stark contrast to the calming, softer nature of this season’s palette. Mugler offered a sensual off-the-shoulder dress with slits whereas, Tibi went for a casual yet striking look, using the shade only on the sweatshirt and styling it with wide-legged striped pants.

Buttercup Yellow While the majority of the spring/summer palette trends lean towards calmness, a few diversions from the theme emerge that offer a contrast. With Buttercup Yellow designers reveal a shining beacon transporting its wearer to a happier, sunnier place where they feel more alive. Rochas went for an out-and-out look with a sunflower coloured cut-out coat, on top of a yellow printed dress. Adam Lippes put the shade in focus with oversized yellow pants in satin, worn with a navy knit sweater.

TeakBrown A transitional colour that will take us through the seasons, Teak manifests as another strong neutral for the season. With its natural earthy quality, the softness and subtlety of this shade creates a stable foundation when combined with the rest of this season’s palette. Chanel presented a beautiful knit dress and matching sweater in the shade that made it give off a beach vibe and Red Valentino’s collection featured a leopard print satin skirt and a Teak coloured sweater on top.

Serenity Weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, Serenity comforts with a calming effect, bringing a feeling of respite even in turbulent times. A transcendent blue, Serenity provides us with a naturally connected sense of space. Thom Browne merged this soft shade with other pastels, like pink and mellow yellow on a patchwork shirt and long skirt. Jil Sander’s interpretation was more basic as she paired a billowy-sleeved peasant top and a knee-length skirt boasting of gathers on the waist.



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At the end of a long season’s runways shows, international designers have given the fashion industry a superlative list of styles. One of the biggest styles to hit the runway this Fall season is something sweet, dainty and oh, so ladylike – bows galore. From neatly tied to fringed to beaded, bows in all sorts of shapes, sizes and varieties are popping up everywhere from, tops, sleeves to the shoulder of dresses. Statements bows were displayed in designs suited to any taste; the big bow game was strong while still remaining authentic. Tallying things up from the international influences, Indian exporters have got a high and are ready to mark this style for their new collection to prove how sexy showing off bows could be.

The Big Bow Galore!

One-shoulder tops and dresses saw a huge resurgence this season, thanks to the recent comeback of pretty bows. However, the bows were just not a decorative item. A continual strand of the fabric was tied on the shoulders creating gathered and ruffle like structured bows. Isabel Marant, shoulder bow style defined a knotted bow on a black satin mini dress glided with ruffles, while Alexiz Mabille played



Isabel Marant

This season the bow has supplanted any delusion that it belongs exclusively in the Thatcher era or uponthe twee heads of mawkish Disney characters. It’s no longer just an emblem for girlish style, instead having been revived in all manner of shapes, sizes and varieties to become the new ‘it’ embellishment for Fall 2017. In sync with the industry’s recent preoccupation with femininity – think dreamy ruffles and a spate of Victoriana inspired collections – this season beautiful bows combined the ethereal with the flamboyant.

with big satin bow strands hailing till the waist. Moschino vamped a bow with a frill covering an arm and the other accentuating the shoulder with an embellished brooch entrancingly resting on the chest. Shalini Bisht, Director, Bits and Pieces, discussing the bow trend for Fall said, “The bow trend is visible but not only as an accessory; and for our Fall ’17 collection we have garments with statement bows, both on the short and long dresses. The satin strands are extending from one side of the shoulder of the dress that tie in a huge beautiful bow; these bows not only beautify the garment but add an elegant vibe to the dresses.

Shoulder pee-ka-bow



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For a unique arrangement, many sleeves seen on the runways had no other details except the bows interestingly clinging to the elbows, cuffs and other areas of the sleeves. Alexandre Vauthier added a delicate detail of big bows on an embellished sheer maxi dress providing a sensual appeal to the inner outerwear trend. Dolce and Gabbana took the stage adding fuller loose bows detailed with statement buttons to the cuff covering the entire wrist. Marni added a similar detail, giving a slight twist. These bows stayed fixed above the elbows, stretching firmly to the placement creating a puffy sleeve pattern extending from the elbow and getting wider and puffier at the wrist. Zakir Hussain, CEO, Cotfab, who is creating causal and formal shirts for women informs, “Bow add beauty to the garment. We

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have gone slightly different this time, by adding mocked and fixed bows on cap sleeved tops. Formal shirts too have subtle fancy bows on the cuffs with statement buttons. These small detailing have made the designs look versatile and preferable by the international markets.”

Bow blotch Sidelining every other style, designers like Marc Jacobs, Viktor Rolf and Ronald Venderkemp chose to emphasize heavily on the


bows! Sinfully intricate, translated mostly in duo colours, delicate and big bows were seen overlapped and ruffled on the garments. Few in gauzy organza tied up to look fluffy and large against the chest while some just bunched either on the waist or on the neck. Double bows appear at Viktor Rolf, again in gauzy net material against a transparent frilled dress, while feline print come into play with bunched tied up bows all over the dress at Ronald Venderkemp.



Blingy big bows embellished with sequence appeared at Marc Jacobs, amusing the audience to no end. Puneet Rishi, Director, Aspiration Clothing sharing his thoughts on the same said, “Bows are on demand for international markets. There are bows in many of the designs. Following the trend from international runways, we are using bows in a similar fashion. And this time the bows have gone bigger, having the uncanny ability to evoke bold and vibrant look at the same moment. Then just as quickly it can be transformed into subtle and understated looks.

For a unique arrangement, many sleeves seen on the runways had no other details except the bows interestingly clinging to the elbows, cuffs and other areas of the sleeves.

MarcJacobs 2 ViktorRolf


Pretty bow dress Surprisingly bows found another perfect yet uncommon influence on Fall runways which no longer stayed restricted to a specific garment area; however the whole garment looked like a huge bow framed with intricate craftsmanship. Designers like Moschino, Maison Martin and Giambattista Valli decoded their tops and dresses with vivid folding and gathering styles. The gallant creations appeared like huge bows resting on the body. Mini bra tops were prudent on the runways declaring unique aesthetic appeal to the glamour, mini jacket by Maison Martin with centre knotting and ties clasped the hands to the body accentuating the silhouette of the garment! Holding the bow style high for the season, exporters seem lured and are ready to use them irrespective of


1 MaisonMartin 2



their sizes. Ravi Poddar, Director, Cheer Sagar concludes, “We are developing new range of designs in small bows which are still holding its significance in the garment. Arriving with the concept of everyday styling, bows are being used in amuch more mature and elegant way in comparison to the archaic placements and sizes, which signified them only as an accessory.” Rounding up the queue of styles, it turns out to be evident that bows galore will remain as one of the most called-off style for the Fall collection.

Haider Ackermann joins Berluti

Mixed media

FASHION FILE The only thing better than one interesting print is a bevy of them, pieced together to make up the season’s must-have pieces. Fausto Puglisi infused two different floral prints halfand-half on a short full-sleeved dress, whereas Christian Dior merged three different patterns of mini-florals on loose slip dresses. Alexander McQueen took it a notch higher by incorporating 5 to 6 different patterns, each used on a different panel of the garment. Carven used different fabrics to display the mixed media trend and so did Altuzarra, with various textures.

by Fashion Forward Trends

A/W 2016-17

Colour Story

Haider Ackermann is the new Creative Director of Berluti, the brand has confirmed. Ackermann, who has helmed his eponymous label – which counts Tilda Swinton and Kayne West among its famous fans – since 2003, will show his first collection for Berluti during the Autumn/Winter 2017 menswear shows in Paris in January. Known for his contemporary signature style of layered designs and his use of draping, Ackermann will bring a fresh approach to the luxury brand, which was founded in 1895 as a footwear label and launched its first ready-to-wear collection in 2011. “It just felt right,” Haider said. “Like having a new lover. Menswear is a very interesting world nowadays because the customer wants more of an individual identity. But he also wants timeless,so you are always balancing on that line.”

Topshop discloses changes for next show Topshop’s forthcoming Spring/Summer 2017 show will adopt thesee-now, buy-now model, the brand revealed this morning as it announced its new Runway-to-Retail initiative. Customers will be able to purchase selectedpieces from the Topshop Unique collection online and in certain storesimmediately after the show on September 18, which this year, is heading east. Taking place in the London landmark Old Spitalfields Market, the brand will also host a pop-up stall – inkeeping with the spirit of this season’s venue – opento the public where the collection will be available to buy following the show’s finale.The label joins the likes of Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford, which have also announced plans to shift tothe see-now,buy-now model.

Oscar de la Renta appoints new Creative Directors



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Oscar de la Renta has appointed Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia – the design duo behind labelMonse – as the new Co-creative Directors. “We are beyond thrilled to go back to the house where we learned the fundamentals of fashion from Oscar and the business of fashion from Alex. Having further learned so much this past year with Monse, we will applyall of those lessons to expand the vision that this amazing house has already established,” Kim and Garcia said. Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen commented: “For many years, Laura and Fernando worked here directing our design teams. Oscar respected their talent, and their work with him

brought tremendous critical acclaim and success to the company.” Kimand Garcia’s first collection for the brand will be for Autumn/Winter 2017.



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Silk Appeal to double its production capacity

Sri Sowbarnika Tex invests in Pad Batch Colouring Technology ri Sowbarnika Tex, a 20-years-old company based in Tirupur is spreading its roots, multi-


dimensionally in many of the segments of textile industry. Beginning as a garment trading office, the company is now into garment manufacturing and export, including chemical manufacturing (for screen printing and silicon softeners), and screen printing machinery manufacturing. Recently, the company has taken a giant leap in processing technology and invested into salt-free colouring process. Claiming that this is the first machine of its kind to be installed in Tirupur, Senthil Kumar, Proprietor of the company informed Apparel Online, “We have invested almost

Senthil Kumar, Proprietor, Sri Sowbarnika Tex

Rs. 2 crore in Pad Batch colouring technology. Our motivation to invest such a huge amount in this technology was my determination to offer salt-free coloured fabric to buyers as well as to adopt go green policy, as a gentle gesture to our Mother Earth. Past issues in regard to dyeing in Tirupur, convinced me that, we can gain more by using advanced technology. Some people in Kochi and Erode have already invested in this technology. Initially, we may not have much benefit of this investment but in long run it will help us to grow by 25 per cent.” The Pad Batch colouring technology, being provided by Kusters Calico, a German-based company, is closely related to continuous dyeing but it only requires the use of special padding mangle and a means of winding fabric onto a roll. He further added that once he uses this technology, others will also follow for sure. Senthil insisted on collective efforts and knowledge sharing as the only way to grow. “I tried to see the working of this technology but could not succeed as exporters using it didn’t allow me to go into their units,” he said. The company has 130 stitching machines and is exporting kids and ladies garments to Italy, France and Canada. Talking about its other textile-oriented businesses he adds, “We have developed oval type screen print machines with some basic support from overseas companies, the machine we offer is a complete solution.”

umbai-based Silk Appeal is planning to double its capacity. The company manufacturing scarves and shawls is doing good business despite the challenges in Europe which is its main market. Kavita Peswani and Shiven Ramdassaney of the company are very upbeat and shared their future plans with Apparel Online. “We have a small stitching unit, and now we want to enhance the infrastructure by increasing capacities and also adding machines which currently we don’t have, for that we are exploring all kinds of machineries which we require like digital printing and washing/laundry solutions, etc. We have plans to double our capacity,” said the duo.


Silk Appeal is manufacturing scarves and shawls in various fabric blends from 1992 for the international market and is quite creative with use of hand embroidery too in their products.


AEPC Elections: New team to give tough fight in Mumbai, 85 in Jaipur, and rest in other apparel manufacturing hubs like Ludhiana, Kolkata and Chennai.

Carrying forward the fight for change and transparency in Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) – an official body of Indian apparel exporters – for the ‘sake’ of small- and mediumlevel exporters, a team has been created to give a strong competition to the old team in the upcoming elections of AEPC’s EC (Executive Committee) members. Elections are to be held in the end of this month. Flag bearers for the ‘change’, JL Sehgal (Kiran Associates, Gurgaon) and Rajiv Kapoor (Affordable Exports, Delhi) have already started campaigning with their team and fellow exporters. The team, contesting the elections, includes names like Naresh Sadh, AK Dyeing, Noida; Zakir Hussain of Cotfab India, Jaipur; CD Mehta of Shah Originals, Mumbai; TR Vijaya Kumar of CBC Fashions; Raja M. Shanmugham of Warsaw International; and Muruganatham of Gomathy International, Tirupur.

Team Apparel Online has the inside information that the announcement of this team and its impact have created a buzz and apparel exporters in all major hubs are now keen to vote this time, unlike previous years. The team is also spreading the letter of Secretary, Ministry of Textiles to the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, highlighting the present mess created by the management of AEPC. Promotional poster released by new team during the campaign to win the AEPC elections

“Future of AEPC is with us, we will win and change the AEPC for the benefit of all exporters,” said Rajiv Kapoor. The team is enthusiastic with the response it is getting from the member exporters of the council as they have ensured them of their vote and support.

These member-exporters are the apparel exporters and AEPC members who have the voting right to elect EC members of the council. Generally, AEPC has around 8,000 members across the country, but out of them only 900 are member exporters – 373 in Delhi-NCR, 190 in Tirupur, 122

Online voting for EC members’ selection process will commence from 27 to 29 September 2016. The 37th AGM of AEPC will be held on September 30, 2016 in Delhi where the results will be announced. For filing the nomination, last date is September 16, while last date to become a member exporter (eligible for voting) is September 23, 2016.

Apparel Industry in Bangalore facing heat of bandh Apparel manufacturing units in Bangalore (Karnataka) are facing the heat of strikes/bandhs with 5 bandhs in the last 50 days which have seriously impacted the business. There are more than 800 apparel manufacturing companies in Bangalore which have their units in and around the city. The bandh on 9th September was a complete shutdown to protest against the Supreme Court decision to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Public transport was paralyzed in the city, both Government and private vehicles were hardly seen on the roads. Surrounding areas like Bellary and Hassan is impacted similarly.

Even on the 12th September, some of the factories were closed down 2 hours earlier due to violence, but on the 13th September, there was a complete shutdown. Exporters are helpless, and are just waiting and watching for the situation to calm down.

The Bangalore garment industry offers employment to 5 lakh worker, and industry experts analyse that such bandhs cause loss of about US $ 15.38 million (Rs. 100 crore) per day to apparel exporters. More than this, due to delay in production, last minute air shipments create much headache for the garment exporters. “These bandhs are causing delays in delivering shipments on time. We are just about managing, but if it continues, than it would be a huge loss to us,” said Pratap Kumra, MD, Wonder Blues. Adding more to this Atul Ruparelia of Maestro Fashion says, “Overall there is massive

loss due to such issues, there is no solution or option in front of us. We can’t take risk and open factories whenever bandh is called for.” Will these kinds of bandhs have any long-term impact on Bangalore’s apparel industry…? Answering this critical question, P Radhakrishnan, Head-Karnataka State Council, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce &Industry (FICCI) says that Cauvery issue is quite an emotional issue for the people of Karnataka and it is hard to say how long the impact of the issue will continue to cause disruptions. Just 4 months ago, in April, there was violence due to change in PF withdrawal system.



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Garment Technology Expo, Bangalore

The purchasing team from Global Mode and Accessories Pvt. Ltd. which created quite a buzz at the event, seen with the Owner, Aman Mehra and Project Manager, Arun Sahu

R Selvan, (extreme right) Executive Director, Mehala in discussions with some visitors at the booth

Technology brands present their latest offerings to garment industry he three-day event brought together the industry in its quest for solutions to run factories more productively, and very few companies were looking at machines for expansion. Most of the brands admitted that there was really nothing new to showcase, but as many local brands are searching options to upgrade their factories, the machines were definitely interesting for them. In fact, a bevy of local brands were seen at the event exploring new ways to improve quality and productivity. “Since labour in Bangalore has become very difficult to retain, it is becoming important to use technology to replace them wherever possible,” said Karan of Versalis International that is manufacturing jackets for the local market. He was also enquiring


about options to source the product from Vietnam, considering how difficult it is getting to good quality jackets made in India. The hub which is known for trouser and shirt manufacturing has seen an increase in the number of companies investing in knit production capabilities. “I am showing machines for jeans manufacturing and knits because these are the two major categories that are on an uprise currently,” said Anil Anand, MD, HCA. He added that showcasing in Bangalore was more focused as the industry had a product niche, while in the north, everyone was making everything. His views were shared by Pawan Kapoor, MD, IIGM, who pointed out that companies were very clear on what they wanted when visiting the fair and rarely did one


find exporters just walking around ‘having a look’.

The event had many latest innovations in sewing, printing, embroidering, cutting rooms and washing and finishing equipment. Automation in sewing saw a new angle, with companies working towards improving mobility and offering technologies that can work from mobile phones.

The composition of the visitors also reflected the same and most of the companies were represented by their senior managers meeting up with regular suppliers and sharing notes on what they need now. Teams from ITC, Texport Industries, Madura, were among the prominent ones seen at some booths, though this is just the tip of a long and impressive list of visitors. However, this does not mean the owner level visitation was missing. Right from Indian Designs, Golden Seams, Gokaldas Images (from Bangalore) to Sree Santhosh Garments, Tirupur and Global Mode and Accessories, Delhi were represented by their owners, creating quite a buzz among the technology suppliers.


With over 400 brands displaying cutting-edge solutions for the garment manufacturing industry from IT interventions to attachments and folders, the recently concluded 23rd edition of Garment Technology Expo held in Bangalore had something for everyone. Visitation came from all major garment exporters and brands that operate from the city, and exhibitors expressed satisfaction at the quality of footfall with many claiming to have received some serious enquiries.

Pavan Kapoor, MD, IIGM was happy with the footfall at the event with many Bangalore-based customers coming in

The purchasing team from Global Mode and Accessories Pvt. Ltd. along with the Owner, Aman Mehra and Project Manager, Arun Sahu created quite a buzz as the Delhibased exporter, considered one of the biggest manufacturers for H&M, is setting up a factory in the Binary Apparel Park in Karnataka. The team was scouting for relevant technology and took great interest in the seam sealing technology of H&H. “The team showed interest in the seam sealing technology as they want to upscale their offerings, and we are hopeful that the interest will be converted into sales,” said Anshuman Dash, Marketing Director, H&H Asia Group Ltd. The Morgan team was ecstatic to see Naseer Humayun, MD,Indian Designs at the show. The company had already shown interest in their cutting systems and it was an opportunity to take the discussion forward. “For the new factory we are putting up at Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh, we want to invest in best of technology, as per the philosophy of the company and investing in

Randeep Sahani, (extreme right) GM – Industrial Sewing Machine Division from Brother International (India), with somecustomers

a computerized cutting solution makes sense,” said Ravi Kumar, CEO, Indian Design. India Design is considered among the fastest expanding companies in India and the technology providers were happy to see him at the Expo. The event had many latest innovations in sewing, printing, embroidering, cutting rooms and washing and finishing equipment. Automation in sewing saw a new angle, with companies working towards improving mobility and offering technologies that can work from mobile phones. Embroidery machines from Husqvarna Viking come enabled with a touchenabled tablet that worked on an iOS platform and is connectable to Wi-Fi, allowing users to download any designs available on the internet. Typical offered a similar solution, but in terms of production handling. The sewing machines showcased by the company come equipped with the app based technology, which keeps track of the production rate of each and every employee in the line. Each machine will have a QR code, which when scanned by a mobile phone, allows

E SS E N T I A L S Most of the companies were represented by their senior managers meeting up with regular suppliers and sharing notes on what they need now. Teams from ITC, Texport Industries, Madura, were among the prominent once seen at some booths, though this is just the tip of the long and impressive list of visitors.

the user to control the operations of the machine. The Android-based technology also aids in keeping track of the machine’s maintenance records. Displaying for the first time, the one-of-its-kind Rhinestone Setting Machine from NC Korea, Rajiv Jain, Director, Needles and Elements informed Team AO that the machine comes with the ability of setting 160 stones a minute. “The machine is here to automate the manual task of setting rhinestones in apparel and accessories, which is a critical value addition in the industry,” said Rajiv enthusiastically, though he was a bit disappointed that people were looking at actual cost and not ROI. With a large memory storing up to 1,000 designs, the machine can work with stones of any size and even comes in a 6-colour version. In the washing segment, Xcel Stiro displayed one-of-its-kind washerdryer-extractor, which combined three activities performed in washing into one machine. With a cycle time of an hour and 30 minutes, the machine uses less water, less labour and less electricity as compared | SEPTEMBER 16-30, 2016 | Apparel Online India




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ROSL scheme to boost apparel export cleared

D. Anandakumar, (extreme right) Executive Director (Asia Operation), Morgan Dynamics, explaining the nuances of his technology to Naseer Humayun and Ravi Kumar of Indian Designs

In a bid to support Indian apparel exports, Revenue Department of the country has started the process to operationalize the Rs. 5,500 crore (US $ 846 million) Rebate of State Levies (ROSL) Scheme from September 20 (and will remain effective for next threeyears). Under this scheme, exporters will be compensated for state levies. As of now, apparel exporters get only duty drawback on the central levies imposed during the process of manufacturing goods for exports. Earlier, the Cabinet had cleared Rebate of State Levies (ROSL) on export of apparel to refund the state levies which were not refunded so far. It will provide for remission of state leviesin

addition to the duty drawback scheme on export of garments on an average basis only. Also a part of the process to operationalize the scheme, Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC) has stated that officers who are designated as Drawback DDOs at the respective Customs locations are to be designated as the DDOs. The scheme is in linewith the recognized economic principle of zero rating of export products and in recognition of the fact that at present only central levies are rebated by way of the drawback scheme. The rebate willbe disbursed from budgetary allocation of Ministry of Textiles using the Customs EDISystem.

No impact of strike on apparel factories The Vibemac team led by KevinReddy, Sales and Production Manager (third from left) at the Turel booth

to the normal 3-machine setup. The consolidated machine also requires less space and takes the same time that the current set ups take. Though most of the companies represent international brands, one company that stands out as a true representative of the ‘Make in India’ movement is Krishna Lamicoat. The company is known for its cutting room accessories like specialty papers and films. The most recent addition is the sustainable film made from used packaging material, which was tested for the first time at the fair. The company has always invested in R&D and is today exporting their products to many

countries. “We are expanding our factory and adding capacity as the cutting room in manufacturing units is getting more automated and many factories who earlier considered cutting solutions as cost, now realize the actual saving they are making on fabric. This has expanded our market,” averred Ashok Chhajer, Director, KrishnaLamicoat. Though the event was a success, the participants did point out that due to slow market conditions many projects that were expected to seal the deal at the event did not happen…, yet the silver lining was the interest that exporters and the domestic manufacturers showed for new technology.

In a move to demand better wages and protest against the Government’s changes in labour laws, trade unions of India called upon nationwide strike on September 2, but fortunately no impact was seen on apparel factories as almost all the units are running smoothly in all the hubs of the country. Apparel Online confirmed the input from exporters in various apparel manufacturing hubs like Delhi-NCR, Jaipur, Tirupur, Bangalore, Ludhiana and Mumbai. All of them denied about any impact of strike and only some impact was observed on work due to closure of (some) banks and transportation services in various parts of the state. However, bus services crumpled due to strike in Bangalore which caused some

issues there, and the impact of bandh was quite visible. Earlier it was said that the possible fallout of the strike could mean a complete shutdown of all the factories, excluding Government offices and medical shops. Experts say this shows that even workers understand what is feasible, rather than just supporting unions blindly. It may be mentioned here that minimum wage for unskilled non-farm workers of the Central Government has recently been increased to Rs. 350 a day from the current Rs. 246 (up 42 per cent) while the unions are demanding minimum wage of not less than Rs. 18,000 per month. However, states are free to follow this decision of Central Government.

Review Gartex India 2016

A GOOD BEGINNING WITH QUALITY VISITORS Gartex India 2016, organized at Pragati Maidan, Delhi by MEX Exhibitions, proved that a good and organized fair has many takers. Though the debut show was mainly focused on digital printing, but it also had few exhibitors from other segment like machinery for stitching, machines for value addition, fabric manufacturers and accessories. The biggest achievement of this wellmanaged show was the good quality visitation from across India and the Delhi-NCR in particular. Team Apparel Online too met many exporters, domestic brands, medium level manufacturers, teams of industrial engineers and merchandisers at the fair, looking for relevant technology. Exhibitors as well as visitors were on the whole satisfied with the show, though it was small and many requested for a bigger show next time. “We are very happy with the feedback, and satisfied that so many visitors came in. We will carry on with the show and make it much bigger and wider in its product offerings over the next two years,” said Gaurav Juneja, Director, MEX Exhibitions.

he USP of the first ever Gartex India show was the presence of all


big companies of digital printing with their latest models (from entry level to high speed industrial use) be it Mimaki India, DCC, NEGI Sign Systems &Supplies Co., Apsom Infotex, Apsom Technologies, MS Orange, Arrow Digital, Tanya Enterprises, Britomatics India or Monotech Systems, to name a few. Visitors too took the repertoire of digital offerings enthusiastically. Commenting on the same, Ravi Poddar, MD, Cheer Sagar, who had come in from Jaipur said, “Sampling is becoming difficult and is costly too as far as traditional printing is concerned, so digital printing is good and is the only option for us.” The company is expected to install a digital printer in the next one month. Achyutananda Nayak, IE, Choudhary Fashions, Jaipur was also a visitor to the show with his team. Who added, “As of now our digital printing job-work is being done from Mumbai and we are planning to do it in-house very soon.” The company has upgraded some of its machines recently. Vikas Jain and Manish Chopra, both VP – Merchandising, Monte Carlo Fashions Ltd., Ludhiana were also busy exploring digital printing as the company is planning to add two to three digital printers in the near future. The company is focusing more onfashion along with its regular basic products to strengthen itsportfolio. Many good exporters from Jaipur visited the show as a part of Garment Exporters Association of Rajasthan (GEAR) delegation. Some of them were of the opinion that as more and more companies are offering digital printers, prices are now little more competitive and more choices are available. The team also liked laser marking and cutting machines and wished to add it in their products as engraving ondenim fabric is a bigcraze.

Sanjeev Kumar Mehan (second from right), Senior Manager (Order Control Group), YKK India interacting with the visitors

Parvesh Gorshi (L) and Rahul Gupta of High Heads, Chandigarh exploring fabrics

Gaurav Juneja, Director, MEXExhibitions

The growing trend of digital printing seems a concern for companies working on other segments of value addition and these companies are now also planning to add digital printers to their facilities. Satish Chand, Swastik Embroideries, a well-known job-worker of Noida opines, “In the long run, digital printing may affect our business as it is a growing trend.” The firm is planning to add more branded and advanced embroidery machines also. Not only the user, but even companies like Baba Textile Machinery, Delhi who is selling more than 1,000 embroidery machines per year, has plans to add digital printers in his portfolio of offerings. Murari Lal Parasurampuria, Owner of the company said, “We are talking to some Chinese companies of digital printers to represent them in India. It may take one year as we are quite busy

Dato Hjh Ida Suraya Bt. Mustapha (C), Tn Hj Muhammad Nur Adhhli Ikram bin Dato Mohd Fauzi (L) and Damodhar (R) of Bianco Mimosa, Malaysia exploring embroidery machines

(L-R) Lalit Arora, Jimmy Mode International; Aseem Kumar, Fashion Images Overseas; Vimal Shah, Goodwill Impex; Ravi Poddar, Cheer Sagar; and Vivek Khandelwal from Patterns India

The event also witnessed few overseas visitors and one of them was Dato Hjh Ida SurayaBt. Mustapha, MD, Bianco Mimosa, Malaysia with his team. The company mainly catering to domestic market of Malaysia is willing to start export soon and exploring Indian garment manufacturers to source fabric/garment from India. The players showcasing from the fabric and accessory segment, included YKK India, Dona Doni Fashion, KC Astir & Co. and Pashupati Overseas.

Vikas Jain (L) and Manish Chopra, both VP –Merchandising, Monte Carlo FashionsLtd.

selling our embroidery machines.” Apart from embroidery, the company displayed laser cutting machines, which is currently in great demand with around 40 installations every month of the same. Harsh Bhatia, Merchandiser Manager, RB Knit Exports, Ludhiana appreciated such value-added machines. “I liked the new development in embroidery machines for aari, sequinwork. Broader width of such machines is another feature I like,” he said. RB Knit Exports is exploring newer markets like South America for which it is upgrading its facilities. Exporters from less discussed areas like Pune, Chandigarh and Hyderabad too visited the event. One of them was Parvesh Gorshi, High Heads, Chandigarh who is currently into men’s wear products (western as well as ethnic). “We are planning to add

Zakir Husain Saify (C), Manager IE & PPC, Richa & Co., with his team

jeans and casual wear in our product basket which is comparatively a new product category. So I am here searching for fabric options,” he said. The technical teams who visited the show like Zakir Husain Saify, Manager IE & PPC, Richa & Co., Gurgaon and Rajesh Kumar, IE, Sunlord Apparels Mfg.Co., Noida were expecting more options in stitching and allied technology, and were a bit disappointed as there was only one exhibitor – Fucen – inthis segment. “We are disappointed to see only printing machines with stitching and finishing section missing,” said Zakir. Richa and Co. is working towards Lean systems while Sunlord Apparels Mfg. Co. is starting a new factory in Karur for soft toys. Similar was the experience of merchandising teams as they were expecting more fabric and accessories companies.

ESSENTIALS Gartex witnessed visitors from different industries like footwear, apparel, home furnishing and accessories sector. The event focused on the trend of value addition with a number of digital, sublimation printers, laser machines and embroidery machines on display.

Big chunk of unorganized domestic market too was seen at the show and was enthusiastic about the market. Some of them are in the process to add capacity while few are working towards upgradation of their infrastructure. Susheel Nasa, MD, R K Sports (Select brand), Rohtak having a factory of 300 machines in Delhi, is planning to shift the factory to Kundli as minimum wage is expected to increase in Delhi, and NGT may issue any ‘unfavourable’ order regarding industries. Many manufacturers from Gandhi Nagar and other such areas of Delhi also said that they are adding all kinds of machines. Some players from other industries are also looking to foray into apparel, like the team from Kolkata-based Manna Realcon, a real estate company visited the fair and discussed how they can enter and establish themselves in this industry. Bangalore-based TINTA, initiated by Mayur B is also working to start its Tee business very soon with production capacity of 5,000 pieces per month.


US apparel imports continue with downward trend… First 7 months difficult for retail


– July 2016

Though US retail is performing better than what is seen in the European Union, a slowdown for sure is being noticed with apparel imports from all major destinations taking a dip. India could register only 1.47% growth in volumes, while the values took a negative turn of (-) 0.34% in the period Jan.-July 2016. The average UVR for India was US $ 3.52 which was higher than US average of US $ 3.03, during the review period.

3.95% VolumeDecrease

Average UVR

Value Decrease


(per kg of fabric equivalent)


Global Apparel Imports by the US: Jan.-July 2016

Percentage decrease in UVR



6 5

US $ 3.13

4 3 2 1 0


Change in Values

6.87% Cotton

0.56% MMF

0.82% Silk & Veg

Total global apparel imports by the US — Jan.-July ’16 Type of Apparel Cotton

3.08% Cotton

1.86% MMF

5.83% Wool

2.10% Silk & Veg

[The information has been extracted from US custom site and further analyzed.]

Jan.-July ’15

Jan.-July ’16

% Change



























Silk & Veg

Change in Volumes



7.91% Wool

US $ 3.03














Qty & value in mn M2 & US $

Total apparel exports to the US by India and its competitors — Jan.-July ’16 Countries India

Jan.-July ’15

Jan.-July ’16

% Change


































Sri Lanka














Qty & value in mn M & US $ 2

2 4 6

Vietnam registers growth

Men’s shirts take a beating in exports from Bangladesh

1 3 5

in exports of trousers to the US

Avery core productfrom Bangladesh, men’s shirts havenot performed as per expectationandin the first seven months of the year, the country registered a decline in both value and volume, while the value dipped (-) 5.54% the quantities were down (-) 3.14%.

In the period under review, export of trousers, astrong productcategoryfrom Vietnam, witnessed 9.05% increase in quantities and9.41% gains in value. In the same period, Bangladesh noticed gainof 7.28% in quantities and 3.57% in value.

Exports of ladies skirts to the US by India registers decline

Undergarments too register downfall in exports for India Undergarments, considered avery basic category, saw adownfall in the total imports bythe US in the first seven months of the year, while values declined (-) 4.61%, volumes fell (-) 4.80%. India’s export of undergarments to the US also noticed decline in both quantity of (-) 2.70% andvalue by(-) 4.94%. In foundation garments, India grewsubstantially by 16.61% in quantity and 26.04% in value terms.

In the first seven months of 2016, import of ladies skirts by the US witnessed a significant fall of (-) 14.96% in quantities and(-) 15.39% in value. India too registered negative growth in value as well as in quantity terms. While there was decline of (-) 24.99% in regards to quantity, the values fell (-) 23.34% during the period.

Suits/ensembles advance from Vietnam

Ladies dresses from Bangladesh shows growth

In suits/ensembles, export to the US byVietnam saw positive growth of 22.54% in value terms while quantity growth was only 1.28%. Bangladesh saw decline of (-) 23.13% in quantity, while the value of exports decreased by (-) 26.94%.

In the first seven months of 2016, while the US witnessed growth of 0.18% in value and6.14% gains in quantity in the import of ladies dresses, Bangladesh registered massive increase of 40.94% in terms of value, and 51.28% gains in volumes.

Item wise percentage increase in total apparel imports by US from India, Bangladesh and Vietnam: Jan.-July 2016 as against Jan.-July 2015 Exports to US

Total Imports by US APPAREL TYPE

Qty % Change

Value % Change

Qty Actual

India Value Qty % Actual Change

Value % Change

Qty Actual

Bangladesh Value Qty % Actual Change

Value % Change

Qty Actual

Vietnam Value Qty % Actual Change

Value % Change

Babies Wear















Foundation Garments















Jackets & Blazers















Ladies Blouses















Ladies Dresses









































Men's Shirts

































































-5.13 28,422,524 1,574.14


3.57 26,769,676






-4.84 14,567,942



-1.58 12,975,003



0.57 45,934,194









-4.94 15,754,776



-6.60 24,056,376




Ladies Skirts




Qty. in Doz.; Legwear in Dpr.; Babies Wear in Kg.

Canada Apparel imports January

- July 2016

Canadian economy starts to show signs of slowdown After a fairly strong start to 2016, the Canadian economy showed signs of stalling in Q2. GDP expanded at an annualized rate of 2.4% over the previous quarter in Q1, supported by strong private consumption and exports. However, monthly GDP fell in May following feeble growth in April, as wildfires in Alberta (the largest oil producing province) and low oil prices combined to create the worst monthly GDP figure since March 2009. In addition, manufacturing output and utilities also contributed to May’s drop. Meanwhile, the housing sector remains robust. Housing prices grew 2.0% in July over the previous



Indian Exports

Sri Lanka Exports




While the knitted segment saw decline of (-) 15.99 %, the woven segment registered decline of (-) 7.41% in value terms.

B’Desh Exports


Market Update

Though its wovenexports increased by5.14% in value, exports in knitted garments increased by 6.44%.

In knitted segment there was dip in value of exports of (-) 0.57% and in woven, the growth was of5.68%.

While it saw 13.16% growth in woven category, in knitted segment the country registered growth of 9.08% .


Pakistan Exports



The country lost in knitted as well as wovensegment. In knitted segment the loss was of (-) 8.62% andthe fall was of (-) 6.89% in wovengarments.

Vietnam Exports

2.82% In wovencategorythere was growth of 0.59%, while in knitted segment it registered decreaseof (-) 6.04% in value of exports.

In the wovencategorythere was growth of 14.72%, while in knitted segment value of exports registered decline of (-) 12.14%.

US’ apparel import decreased by 4.98% During the January-July 2016 period, US’ apparel import decreased by 4.98% to US $ 60.23 billion from US $ 63.39 billion in the same period last year. According to the data of US Department of Commerce, only two countries: Vietnam (2nd top exporter to US) and Bangladesh (4th largest exporter to US), noticed growth as Vietnam’s exports grew by 1.83% to US $ 6.51 billion while Bangladesh noticed 0.87% year-on-year increase to US $ 3.36 billion in the first 7 months of 2016. Despite losing market share by 8.49% in the US, China is still at the top with the export of US $ 21.39 billion in the period under review while total apparel export to US from other top nine apparel exporting countries in the same period stood at US $ 24.08 billion. India, which is on third spot in apparel export to US, exported apparels worth US $ 4.39 billion in the said period, noting a 0.97% fall. Spending on apparels and home furnishing products by US people is increasingly falling, this trend could hurt the businesses in future. Bangladesh’s competitiveness eroded by 15.62%, Vietnam’s 8.38%, China’s 3.08%, and India’s 2.29%, though due to lower gas prices US people have more disposable income but most of them are spending more on rent, personal services and cell phones.



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Mimaki aggressive for Indian market; opens office and showroom in Delhi

Besides developing new products and supporting sustainability, Mimaki is taking special care of its environmental footprints, be it use of UV LED printing technology (for saving on energy) or in providing greener inks. (L to R): Team Mimaki – RakeshBhatia, Kazuaki Ikeda, Tomohiro Ikeda and Mandar Nalawade

Tomohiro Ikeda, MD, MIPL proudly stands with the newly launched Tiger-1800B printing machine

imaki, the Japanese leader in digital printing solutions is completely geared up to grab the Indian digital printing market. The group, targeting to achieve a turnover of US $ 1,000 million in next 10 years, is expecting 300 per cent growth in textile and apparel segment and is sure that India will play an important role to achieve this target as it takes India as the most important market. Recently the company initiated Mimaki, India Pvt. Ltd. (MIPL), the new international subsidiary of Mimaki Engineering, to facilitate its growth. Top management of the company including Kazuaki


Ikeda, President, Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd. (Japan); Tomohiro Ikeda, MD, MIPL; Mandar Nalawade, Director, MIPL and many other officials of the company gathered in New Delhi on the occasion of opening ceremony of the office of MIPL, which is its first office in India. The company is looking at expanding its base in the country with more offices in future. The Western region will be serviced by an office in Mumbai, which is also going to be a textile lab centre. Training facilities and various printers of the company will be available here. Later such offices will be opened in other textile hubs of India. Talking exclusively to Apparel Online on this occasion, Kazuaki Ikeda said, “India is a very important market for us. We are expecting almost US $ 100 million worth of business from India in the next few years.” Sharing the company’s vision and future plans he added, “The company will offer newer products and give best services to its customers. In this endeavour we hope to introduce our first 3D printer to the industry within the next one year.” The India Team of Tomohiro and Mandar is very upbeat and confident of prospects. “We are quite enthusiastic about further installations of Mimaki printers in

India as we are getting good response about our printers. We are expecting very good growth in all the hubs of India,” averred Mandar. The company already has more than 1000 installations (in all segments) in India and in the last 10 months it has installed almost 150 printers. The company has also launched itsPro series (belt type direct-to-textile inkjet printers) which includes Tiger-1800B, Leopard-1800B, and Fox-1800B, in India. At the recently held Gartex 2016, the newly launched printers were highly appreciated by the visitors. Though many players are entering into the digital printing segment, MIPL is undeterred by competition.The company does not see Chineseprinters as competitors despite the pressure on prices being created by these printers. Whereas European companies are concerned, Mimaki’s association with LA Meccanica is a strength assome of the products are from Europeas well. “In this regard we are in lead compared to all the companies,” says Mandar. The office and showroom/demo centre in New Delhi is very impressive. Spread over 3,000 sq. feet, the showroom is centrally located in the capital and there are 12 printers displayed here which are for sign graphic/industrial printing and sublimation printers for textile. The corporate office of 2,000 sq. metres is in the same building. This office will help the customers and the company to coordinate better. The office includes a spare parts store and takes care of all-India operations including assisting distributors, all marketing activities will be managed from here. The company associates like Insight Print Communications, Angel India Cad Cam etc. were also present on this occasion and appreciated the company’s support.


Tomohiro Ikeda, MD, MIPL AO: What is Mimaki’s strategy to capture market share in India‌ TI: Mimaki India has been established as the new subsidiary of Mimaki Engineering. But we are not new to the country and we started to build up the organization in the Indian market even before we entered printing. Now we are focusing on the textile segment. Currently, more than 90 per cent of dyeing (textile business) units in India are using traditional methods of printing, but are now moving into digital and inkjets, so the market is huge. With the demonstration centre in Delhi, we can show companies even before they buy the machine, what can be achieved‌ We want to give total solutions for textile industries. As direct manufacturers of the technology, our Japanese printer quality is very good and reliable, which is another edge for us.

AO: What are customers looking for in digital printers, today? TI: Not every customer wants speed. Only few big customers who are already into digital printing understand a high-speed machine. More than 50-70 per cent are new entrants to the segment. So, customers need variety of options, like entry point machines and high speed machines. We are giving them these options. Further, reactive printing or sublimation printing (transfer) is a trend in India. If the customer already has a big textile mill, then he has a big market printing. Even, if the customer does not have knowledge of reactive printing, but wants to go into textile business, then it is easy to do so with low investment, so digital has to face all these competitive situations. But, we also have low-investment machines and with the environment-friendly nature of the machine and depth of colour and imaging, the industry has a fresh option.



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One-stop solution is a commonly used term in apparel and textile industry to describe operations having a wide spectrum of products and services, be it raw material or variety of readymade garment. Most companies dealing in accessories are also moving in the direction and getting good growth also. Tirupur-based Venkatachalapathi Traders, parent company of Mithra & Company/ Rainbow Inc/Dharniss Traders, is also such a group which is offering ample variety in accessories like sewing threads, buttons, sequin, zippers, gum tape, spot lifter, needles, cutting equipment, finishing

Venkatachalapathi Traders

products and is growing in multi-directions.

PLANNING FOR AGGRESSIVE MARKET OUTREACH aving its own dyeing unitwith ZLD and a strong technical know-how is an edge,claims Kesavar Senthil, CEOof the company. Sharing his strategy and future plans with Apparel Online, Senthil said,“We have clients across India; so in next few years we will have our own well maintained offices (like showrooms as well as stockists) throughout India, be it Delhi, Mumbai or other such apparel manufacturing hubs. We are starting with Bangalore, as very soon we will have our office there. It will help us to serve our clients better, as well as to increase our foot prints in Bangalore market. Decreasing lead time is a challenge for all and exporters need


Kesavar Senthil (C) with CGRamesh, GMMarketing (L) and Manoj Pandey, AGMMarketing of Uflex Ltd., Noida

everything immediately, they are saying – ‘not tomorrow but yesterday’. Local offices will help a lot in this way too. Once GST rates are finalized, things and processes will be clearer and hopefully easy, than we will expand more aggressively in all the possible ways as currently ‘C’ form is a big issue for us.” Kesavar is enthusiastic about its thread division as it produces quality sewing thread that has made its presence felt in the industry. “Our thread (for knits as well as woven) quality is same compared to any international thread company. Many top thread companies of India have visited our facility and want to work with us but they have condition of work with them exclusively, which is not acceptable to us as we have to sell our own thread directly to our regular users. We are looking for international players that don’t have manufacturing facility in India for collaboration. We are hopeful to have such collaboration in near future. Once it happens, we will grow much faster. In Tirupur we are supplying our thread to more than 1,000 factories and all of them our satisfied with the quality,” he says. Though Kesavar feels that he is lacking just because of not having buying house nomination which few other thread companies, especially multinationals have, but he surely

believes that sooner or later his company will also have the same. “Buyers are now little open on this front and believe on supplier’s guarantee/undertaking later which we are also providing,” he says. Having the advantage to do production of all its offerings in proper and organized way, the company has a large customer-base across the country. It is among the few accessory manufacturers that follow compliance norms completely, offering Oeko-Tex certified accessories too. The company is also agent of Uflex (basic raw material for sequin) and witnessing good demand of double colour sequin. Many top exporters of Tirupur are working with the company for such products. The company is also focusing more on its interlining now. About the growth and further business opportunities, he is quite enthusiastic. “We are making our company strong as a brand, so more and more garment manufacturers can believe us. Every year we are achieving 30 per cent growth. Our own dyeing factory proved a good support for us and it helps us to grow by 50 per cent,” he avers. Timely payment collection is the only challenge for which Kesavar is concerned and he suggests that there should be some system for accessory providers also like exporters have LC.








Next Sourcing looking to add more vendors he Tirupur (India) office of Next Sourcing is looking for apparel manufacturers who are good in R&D, with focus on newer fabric blends and have good printing setups. As of now, the company has over 10 vendors in Tirupur who are supplying to it on regular basis round the year. It sources all kinds of knitted


items from Tirupur, including men’s, ladies’ and kids’ wear. The company majorly procures infants’ and kids’ wear. Currently, Next sources almost 2,00,000 pieces a month from Tirupur alone. Karthik Shetty, Product Developer and Karthik,Fabric Technical Manager of the buying office in conversation

with Apparel Online, shared the current direction of developments from the hub. “We are using textured fabrics more than other fabrics, and we do a lot of work at the yarn stage to get different looks for the fabric. As of now, garments made of 100 per cent modal and poly cotton are more in demand. Also, we try to incorporate new

The company is also looking for printers that are good in producing digital and reactive prints, especially from North India.

(L-R) Karthik Shetty and Karthik exploring fabric

value-addition techniques, effects, washes, etc. in products being sourced from Tirupur. To further support these efforts, we are looking for garment manufacturers who focus on R&D,developing new blends of fabrics for all kinds of products,” said the duo. Apart from this, the buying office is also looking for printers that are good in producing digital and reactive prints, especially from North India. “We feel that reactive print is not as good here as it is in North India; also the prices are little too high in Tirupur,” they said. As per the website of Next, it trades from more than 500 stores in the UK and Ireland, and around 200 stores in 40 countries overseas. Next Sourcing provides around 40 per cent of Next Brand stock from its global supplier base, sourcing from 18 countries. It employs 3,700 people in 12 countries, including 2,700 in factories which it owns.

Fashion Brand Analysis