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CONTENT Top Trends 2016


AO identifies the 10 biggest influencers of the year ‘Re-Shoring’ l Landmark Votes l Terror l Menswear l China l State Initiatives l ‘Special Package’ l Economic Reforms l New Minister l ‘Push for Change’… P12

FFT Trends Key Silhouettes A/W ’17-18 The colours,

embellishments and details, all depend heavily on the general silhouette of the upcoming season. An emphasis on outerwear and sweaters reflects the weight of both classifications in an undeniable cosy yet chilly season...p31


Fashion Business ‘Borrowing from the Boys’! Womenswear collections draw inspirations from menswear for S/S ’17…

Sustainability Sustainable Business Leadership Forum (SBLF): Sustainability as a lever to drive productivity and resource efficiency

Today, businesses are being built on 3Ps – People, Planet and Profit – and sustainability is being used for driving productivity, resource efficiency and closed loop systems in making organizations more sustainable...

Remember how menswear‘borrowed’ elements from Womenswear in the A/W ’16-17 collection? Seems like the term ‘androgyny’ is definitely the most influential in the current seasons as designers draw womenswear inspirations from menswear and vice versa...

Export Statistics The slowdown of apparel imports by the US enters 10th month The slowdown in the US

apparel imports has not seen a reverse trend over the initial 10 months of the current year as all major destinations, except Vietnam, are taking a dip in their apparel exports to the country...p42

Resource Centre Geared up for product development, Vardhman launches new shades in ‘Rangoli’ and new slub patterns ‘Expressions’ Indian

textile and apparel industry’s increased focus on product development can be visibly noticed nowadays. The entire supply and value chain is more active on innovations and fresh offerings...p46

7 Apparel Online India

FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’s DESK… There are some years that are very dull and uninspiring, and summing up the Top Trends for those years can be a very challenging job… But then there are years like 2016, which threw up one surprise after the other, both on the global and local level, keeping people and the industry guessing and gasping. I feel that 2017 is going to be a year when the industry needs to be ‘watchful’ not only on how the events of 2016 will playout, but also on issues that may not be so obvious. Firstly, be watchful of how labour equations could change, more opportunities are being created near home; so workers may not like to come back to the metros. Also, with transparency being built into the system and more social security available, workers are going to be more empowered, active and reactive. Secondly, the AEPC needs to be watchful of where the Government’s thrust is… If it remains handloom, maybe it is time for the industry to align with the thrust and integrate handloom into its product basket… Only AEPC can lead from the front on this and get collective benefit for the industry. Going back to the year that was..., starting with terrorist attacks in Europe, the US and Dhaka to Referendum on Brexit to ‘Special Package’ for the garment industry to demonetisation and the election of Trump as President of the United States, just last month – the year has been a roller-coaster ride. Interestingly, business has gone on as usual and though each event/ happening had immediate fallouts, the impacts have not been too long lasting… But there is scepticism that the real impacts may actually playout in the coming year, once the euphoria of the situations settle down. With some positives and some negatives, consumers have continued to buy, some because they are happy, others to ward off depression… After all there is no better therapy then ‘retail therapy’! Among the global events that can truly be considered ‘Top Trends of the year’, we have included Re-shoring, which is not really a product of this year alone, but the type of momentum and focus seen this year makes the concept a trend to watch out for… And with Trump coming in, I can foresee this trend gaining significant momentum in 2017, as the push for bringing back jobs to the US will be among the majoragendas.


Deepak Mohindra


Ila Saxena


Veereshwar Sobti


Sahil Sehgal


Dheeraj Tagra


Neha Chhetri


Sanjogeeta Ojha


Kalita Lamba


D K Chugh


Raj Kumar Chahal Peeush Jauhari Satyapal Bisht Deepak Panwar


Himanshu Kumar


Mayank Mohindra


Renu Mohindra

Another trend which we have included is the growing focus on menswear as driver for growth at many retailers. This trend needs to be highlighted, as for years retail has been driven by womenswearand Indian exporters have relished the trend as ‘affordable’ ladies fashion has been their forte… It is time to expand the restricted product basket and divulge deeper into menswear.


China is becoming a bigger force, countering increasing production cost in the country by going global. This year they stamped their dominance in manufacturing by opening a garment unit in the US, this after already having few establishments in the textile segment… It’s like taking the fight to the enemies ground..., pun intended!


On the Indian front too, there was a lot of action this year... There is positivity in the air as the Government has for the first time come out in support of the apparel industry with a ‘Special Package’… How much the industry will actually benefit, is anyone’s guess, but no one can deny that the spotlight is on the garmenting industry. Even State Governments are falling over each other to attract investments from the garment manufacturing industry and the significant twist this year is the direct involvement of industry to frame the policies that will be the guidelines for investment. The year also marked activity centring around elections at the various associations… Reforms were the buzz words this year and moving into the next year, we all look forward to see how GST and demonetisation will impact the industry, if they do…, 2017 is going to be exciting!

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Q-and-A 2016 was a year of happening all around… There was a special package for Indian apparel exporters; India got new and active Textile Minister; Government of India pursued with economic reforms; various states became more active to fetch investments in textiles and apparel sectors, besides associations like AEPC, TEA and GEAR got new heads. Brexit and US elections also took place… What kind of overall impact these initiatives/changes will have in 2017? How do you see 2016 for our industry? Even in 2017, we will be moving closure to cut on subsidies. Do you have any prediction about the coming year?

Neeraj Jain, JMD & Head (Yarn Business), Vardhman Textiles Limited, Ludhiana We feel the year 2016 was reasonably good from the international perspective, but India had difficulty due to very high cotton prices during the year. At the same time ‘special package’ was very much a welcome step and the minister seems to be quite efficient, reasonably good and very aggressive also. So, we hope the way the Government is moving aggressively and taking decisions on many fronts, there could be some possibility that textile and apparel industry may get an overall boost in 2017. On the issue of TPP and the stand of US President-elect Donald Trump, I feel it is still at a very initial stage, as during the election debates many things were said. We have to wait and see what their policies would be. So, the year 2017 is going to be very challenging for India in addition to TPP, and Trump taking over the US reign, besides our own challenges. I think some issues on GDP slowdown, due to the Government’s decisions, may have some impact for initial couple of months. As far as demonetization is concerned, immediate impact seems to be a little negative on domestic consumption, at least for a couple of quarters.

I think once things start getting stabilised, it is going to be good for country in the long run, but again only in case we have better balancing.

Sudhir Dhingra, CMD, Orient Craft, Gurgaon A special package for Indian garment exporters is the first recognition by the Government of India…, the true potential of apparel trade and the substantially increasing employment across the sector. Whilst this will help us offer better prices to our customers and win some more businesses, but it is not enough to meet or beat our competing nations like Bangladesh who pay 1/3rd of our workers’ salary; or for that matter Cambodia or Vietnam which have 60-70 per cent better productivity than our Indian factories. Much more incentives are required to achieve the employment generation targets. Even though we have become more competitive with this package, but it is not enough to meet or beat our competition.

N. Chandran, CMD, Eastman Exports, Tirupur The year 2016 has been a really challenging year across all the

business communities in terms of pricing and bottom lines. However, the Government support helps a lot. The recent announcement of economic reforms is really a welcome step. The ROSL (Rebate on State Levy), drawback on advance authorization scheme are yet to materialize and it is premature to comment on this scheme. For example, the introduction of ROSL by MOT has been announced, yet export community is yet to get refund from the Government, but exporters have been informed that the Government would release the same at the earliest. The recent BREXIT has affected moderately the Tirupur exporters but still we have a good hope and prosperous business opportunities with UK if our Government would take initiative with them for FTA at the earliest. This would bring glorious business opportunities to India. The recent announcement of US President-elect Donald Trump in relation to the cancellation of TPP agreement with Vietnam would give level playing field and would be advantage for India. Also for further trade and tariff/notifications we will have to wait and see once he commences office from January onwards. In relation to cut on subsidies in 2017, we hope that Government will take some initiative to overcome this.

Baljeet Singh, Director, Noorveer Creations, Gurgaon As far as US is concerned, there was lot of scare in the buying sector. We can see that effect in our order books also but we managed as our systems were in place, we adopted lean this year with the help of Rajesh Bheda Consulting (RBC). We were able to manage wage hike just because of this lean system. I feel it is too early to predict about 2017. Despite special package by Government, some exporters put their expansion on the hold as there is no good demand.

R Sabhari Girish, CEO, Award Associates, Tirupur 2016 has really been a year of happening for sure… First time after the formation of AEPC, there was an election which was fought between two factions. Even though the new team – the ‘Team for Change’, could not get into EC of AEPC, it has definitely sown a seed for change. Knowing that there are people who can question, the governing body of AEPC will be more careful in all their activities. With regard to TEA, the new team has taken oath bringing an end to 27 years of leadership

held by the then President. Immediately after formation of the governing body, TEA has taken effective steps in forming 20 committees to take the turnover of Tirupur to Rs.100 thousand crores by the year 2020. One of the major initiatives is to give more prominence to MMF, which can fetch more profits to exporters and also research on performance/ functional apparel has been expedited. A major leap has been attained by venturing into silk and woollen knitwear;


this could be a great hit. Also, efforts to brand Tirupur globally as green production destination is also on the cards. Brexit has not made any dent on the ongoing business. The retailers have absorbed the exchange fluctuations by increasing the selling price of the garment. The pound is bouncing back as we here from our customers that Britain’s economy is getting better and the unemployment is considerably declined from 5.2 per cent to 4.8 per cent comparing same period of the

previous year. With Britain, out of EU the chances of FTA with Britain will be made easy, as most of the issues holding up FTA with EU will not be constraint in the FTA between India and UK. With Donald Trump voted in to power in US, people are very sceptical about TPP. Most of the economists feel that TPP could be put on the back seat after Trump walks in to White House. Trump’s selection to the most powerful position has also raised the question on the existence of The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This

could really work well for Indian apparel industry. Moreover, the recent study has revealed that apparel was among top categories in the Black Friday sale where the retailers have reported of ‘stunning’ sales. I am very optimistic about 2017, where the production will be streamlined, cotton prices could be steady (as Pakistan has banned import of Indian cotton), the currencies could be stable and more business from America can be expected and keep India’s apparel industry busy throughout the year 2017.


Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani, has said that the Government can impose Dumping Duty on fabric imported from China as it is working on a policy to stem the flow of cheap clothes into the Indian market. The MMF sector has been demanding for the same from a long time. Being a fabric producer/apparel exporter, what is your take if our Government executes this policy, and how will it affect the industry?




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1 ‘RE-SHORING’ A REVERSAL OF ‘OUTSOURCING’… Bringing back manufacturing and jobs to the US

Re-shoring or the move to bring production back to the US has been a matter of heated debates in the past few years… While experts slug it out, discussing the pros and cons, the movement has picked up visible momentum, and 2016 saw many interesting indications that re-shoring could be a reality in the not-so-far future. Apparel Online has also been tracing the movement and in our November 1-15 issue many recent developments hinting to strengthening the movement for re-shoring have been brought out, including new investments being made and the direction of possibilities in the garment sector.


t the recently concluded SPESA Executive Conference in November, Mary Lynn Landgraf, senior international trade specialist with US Dept. of Commerce/Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) shared the findings of a global surveyinvolving more than 5,000 consumers in the US, China, Germany and France by the Boston Consulting Group to evaluate consumer mindset. Significantly, of the European participants, more than 65 per cent preferred products made in their home countries, and more than 80 per cent in the US and a surprising 61 per cent in China said they would pay a premium for American-made goods in comparison to products made in China.


With more and more Americans supporting ‘Made in USA’, the movement towards re-shoring can only get bigger. According to a survey conducted by market research firm YouGov, a whopping 81 per cent of respondents said they would buy something made in the US because they believe it will help support the economy and will get them a higherquality product. Google Trends also shows that people are seeking American-made products online. Searches for ‘Made in USA’ and ‘Made in America’ have climbed sharply from just a few years ago, and in May 2016, ‘Made in USA’ hit 94 on a 100-point scale, indicating peak search interest. A momentum for ‘Made in USA’ products is rising. Notably, apparel and textiles is the No. 4 highest re-shored industry, with 3,226 jobs having been created, according to the Re-shoring Initiative Library; and according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s Re-shoring Index, apparel (without the textile component) was the third-highest industry for re-shoring in the US in 2014, accounting for 12 per cent of cases of re-shoring. Brook Brothers,

Dillards and Nike have already made the move, while clothing will be among the additional US $ 50 billion in US products that Walmart has pledged to buy over 10 years, partly by re-shoring. Other positive signs are initiatives such as the Revolutionary Fibers &Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute (RFT-MII) and a strong Berry Amendment making production of defence clothing/ products mandatory in the US. Today, textiles manufacturing, once considered a poster child for job-loss and offshoring, is making a comeback. Supported by revolutionary new technologies, the American textile industry is adding jobs for the first time in decades; has increased shipments by 14 per cent since 2009; and has grown exports by 39 per cent since 2009. Not surprisingly, some Chinese companies have also invested in textiles in the US finding the environment conducive for growth. After years of China being the centre for outsourcing in textiles, in an increasingly common role reversal, companies such as the Chinese textile producer Keer Group are outsourcing production to places where the energy, raw materials, and labour are cheap and convenient – places such as Indian Land, South Carolina, where the company’s new 2,30,000 sq. feet spinning mill is located. Another Chinese firm has established a polyester plant, where fibres are made out of recycled drink bottles, also in South Carolina. There are already around 20 Chinese-owned manufacturers in Carolinas – once a seat of American textile spinning and weaving. Most experts are positive for American manufacturing, and in 2014 alone, 60,000 manufacturing jobs were re-shored. And by 2020, the differential between factory wages in China and the US is expected to



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disappear. Concurrent with the push for ‘Made in USA’ several public and private sector activities were launched to stimulate retaining US companies and jobs, recruiting foreign direct investment, job creation, and re-shoring efforts piloted by both the public and private sector. “European companies are starting to move plants to the US, where the products are eventually sold in order to reduce transportation costs,” Landgraf said. “The US is still the biggest consumer market, an attractive market for manufacturing to North America, and even to export overseas. Smart companies are looking at how things will be impacted in the years to come.”

A manufacturer’s perspective… Sandy Montalbano, a consultant to the Re-shoring Initiative, underlines that automation, robotics, Industry 4.0 and process improvements, all serve to bridge the skills gap, improve efficiency and quality, increase productivity, drive speed to market, reduce waste, cost and labour components and drive sustainability. Bringing back textile and apparel manufacturing is beneficial in that it brings: smaller batches, lowering inventory levels and total cost; more flexibility, driving mass customization, easier style changes and speed to market for fast fashion; advanced technologies; and a local for local model, which has a positive impact on the economy and the environment. Under Armour’s new initiative, UA Lighthouse manufacturing and design leadership centre is coming up in downtown Baltimore where “Under Armour is building the factory of the future, as the company believes that by using lighthouse as an engine, it will allow them to make great product, to innovate the process and drive local for local.

American Giant, a four-yearold company founded by Bayard Winthrop, known for creating durable American-made sweatshirts has garnered a cult following. Winthrop has observed that while manufacturing abroad drives down labour costs, it also requires companies to mark up their products because a significant chunk of their inventory will never get sold – some products will be discarded because of poor quality, slow turnaround time means that some clothes will no longer be fashionable when they reach stores, and designers often make bad bets on colour schemes or patterns and aren’t able to withdraw orders. He makes the case that when a company is large enough to start investing in a US-based supply chain, it can cut down on this waste and keep prices affordable for customers. Driving home the point that things are on the upsurge in textiles, Dr. Trevor Little, Professor of Textile and Apparel Management at N.C. State’s College of Textiles (CoT) declares, “This industry is far from dead.” US textile components employment totalled 1,28,000 in 2014, with 70 per cent (93,000) working in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. Dr. Trevor points out gaps in the supply chain preventing ‘local for local’ in some cases that hurt regional economic development and prevents new career opportunities for graduates. To close those gaps, he recommended that academia continue to partner with industry and Government to prepare future leaders, innovate in such areas as automation, smart textiles and high-performance textiles, develop and optimize supply chains, expand Lean Six Sigma programs and enhance professional training...The sourcing and production circle has almost come full circle.

TWO LANDMARK VOTES One outcome – uncertainty!

Prior to any major election, referendum, vote…, the so-called expert team of analysts start their ‘guessing games’ hinting at directions and likely results. Well, this year they got it all wrong… Two of the biggest popular vote decisions went against what is believed as popular sentiments. The reasons for the predictions going wrong may be in millions, but the truth is that the results of the Brexit vote and US presidential election created a global upheaval, which can still be felt around the world. Both votes going in favour for major change in the way the nation has been moving…, while both the decisions have been followed by unrest, violence and even demands of re-voting, the future of business and other economic parameters is a raging debate that refuses to die down!



Impact of Brexit:Too much at stake… In June, contrary to many predictions and opinion polls, the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union, resulting in mayhem in the stock markets with the British pound hitting its lowest point in decades, another area that has been clouded with doubt and uncertainty is the retail sector. Although it will likely take years (two years minimum) for Britain to untangle itself from the EU, yet many industry experts believe that it would adversely impact the fashion industry that contributes an estimated US $ 38 billion to the UK economy. There is fear that Brexit could also significantly impact the bottom line of many companies that outsource production to countries such as China, which require them to pay in dollars and a weak pound will make them pay more for the same product raising the value of exports, without any increase in the quantities. Many industrywatchers believe that in this scenario the benefit could go to the concept of ‘Made in Britain’, as a weaker pound would also lead to lower rates which would create a good situation for investing in local manufacturing. A recent report by McKinsey & Company suggests a bright outlook for British Luxury brands and the opportunity to grow businesses into global powerhouses. The fact is that UK is now the cheapest luxury goods market in the world in the wake of the country’s vote to leave the EU, which pushed down the value of the British pound about 10 per cent against the Euro. According to Exane BNP Paribas, this will help to buoy the British luxury labels at least in the short-term as weak British pound will boost travel inflows to the UK, helping British goods players like Burberry, Mulberry and Jimmy Choo. Such is

the case that on its UK website, a classic Burberry trench coat retails at £ 1,495 or about US $ 1,995 at current exchange, whereas in China, the same coat is priced 32 per cent higher at ¥ 17,500 or about US $ 2,639. One future direction that Indian industry is looking at is to push for an FTA with UK independently, as the country is the largest market for Indian exporters in the EU. This could prove very significant as the issues which have created a stalemate situation for the proposed FTA with EU are not related to the UK… The industry is waiting to see if this proposal could be muted in 2017.

Probable fallouts after Trump takes charge of the White House… While the world comes to terms with the reality that Donald Trump is the 45th President-elect of the United States, businesses across the world are digging deep to work out strategies if the dynamics of business change. After all, the US is one of the world’s largest markets and its retailers have been outsourcing work to Asian countries for over 50 years. Among the many business interest that the Trump empire has are the home and clothing companies of The Trump Organization, including The Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, which includes dress shirts and ties. Though it is too early to say what direction Trump presidency will go, but many Americans are expressing their unhappiness by boycotting companies doing business with his family and running a number of boycott campaigns. These are more opinionated forums and cannot be a reflection of how businesses will be affected. This is clearly mirrored by the fact that majority of the targeted retailers, including Nordstrom and

E SS E N T I A L S While there is a lot of uncertainty and fear over what the negative impact of Trump’s presidency will be, retailers are hopeful that he will proceed with the promised tax reform. He pledged to bring down the corporate tax from 35 per cent to 15 per cent and such measure will likely have a positive impact on the consumer spending, costs reduction, retail investment and job creation.

Sears, are continuing to sell clothing and home furnishings by Ivanka Trump and the President-elect. Only six retailers have stopped selling Trump products in the recent past. Macy’s dropped Donald Trump menswear in 2015 after he said many Mexicans are rapists or criminals (but the company has kept Ivanka Trump products). On November 12, announced on Twitter that it was removingIvanka Trump shoes from itsinventory. Though Trump has already toned down some of his statements, retailers are eagerly waiting to see what the agenda will be. Right now, based on his campaign plans there is anassumption that there will be changes in trade agreements, tax cuts, labour and immigration laws. Trump has openly expressed himself against National American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), calling them “one of the worst things that ever happened to the manufacturing industry.” Many of such agreements have enabled American retailers to be competitive byrelying on overseas good manufacturing and importing merchandise. Any drastic change in the agreements will have huge repercussions and will decrease the access that US merchants have to imported goods and increase theprices of allgoods. Trump has also been very clear on adding punitive tariffs on goods imported from China. If this scenario comes to life than most retailers will have to increase retail costs. These higher costs are likely to be passed to the consumers. On the other hand, higher prices will prompt the retailers and brands to move to other sourcing destinations in search of competitive goods. That may be good news for nonUS retailers. Emphasis on bringing back jobs will add fuel to the reshoring trend widely advocated by the US apparel manufacturing industry.



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3 A YEAR OF TERROR AND CONFLICT… Business shaken Will 2017 be more peaceful?

The year 2016 has been a year of unrest; terrorism, political upheavals and conflicts have made news throughout the year. Many experts believe that the year will be remembered for the scourge of near daily terror attacks all over the world – from France to the United States to Iraq to Dhaka to Turkey and almost everywhere in-between. The continuous acts of terror have been a great roadblock to normal business in many countries, and retail, especially in apparel have taken a hit. The fact that countries like Turkey and Brazil have seen major turmoil in political stability has made matters worse.


onsidered as a beacon of stability between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey has entered a period of high tension. Businesses have been affected and many buyers have pulled away from placing orders in the country fearing the worst though normalcy has returned since the coup attempt in July. In Brazil, even the euphoria around the Rio Olympics could not divert attention away from the political crises that the country was sinking into. After months of protest Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office in August, following an impeachment vote in the Senate. However, Brazil is still far away from peace, as the political crisis has deepened old political rivalries and slowed down growth for a country that was projected among the fastest growing economies. Brazil’s outlook is grim. The economy is expected to record another deep contraction this year. Latin Focus Consensus Forecast panellists expect the economy to contract 3.3 per cent in 2016, while retail sales are expected to contract 4.8 per cent, though for 2017, the panel sees retail sales growing 0.7 per cent.


In the meanwhile, the surge of terror attacks in Europe has raised questions over whether a potentially durable new threat to stability is settling in. The political challenges for Europe’s leaders are stark, and the impact on the region’s economy may be just as profound. Tourism, a major source of revenue both for the hospitality sector and the retail segment has dwindled. While ‘safe countries, like Spain and Portugal saw increase in traffic diverted from France, Turkey and Italy, the overall tourism intake dropped by an average 7 per cent post the attacks and are expected to continue for some time more. The attacks have also taken a toll on the luxury industry, which relies

heavily on foreign tourists, especially from Asia, for European sales. Leading brands like Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Prada have reported slumping sales as high-spending tourists stay away. Since the majority of luxury shoppers hail from Asia or the Middle East, it is only natural that they are now heading to alternative luxury markets such as China and Hong Kong. Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, cautioned that the regularity of violence across Germany and France, two of the euro zone’s largest economies,may

The surge of terror attacks in Europe has raised questions over whether a potentially durable new threat to stability is settling in. The political challenges for Europe’s leaders are stark, and the impact on the region’s economy ma y be just as profound. Tourism, a major source of revenue both for the hospitality sector and the retail segment has dwindled. prove particularly unnerving to consumers. He said shoppers will continue to purchase durable goods such as washing machines or other appliances, but they might think twice before going out for leisure and products considered luxury like fashion. “A longer-term slowdown in European consumers, particularly in Germany, could have damaging impacts on the EUeconomy,” Kirkegaard said. A report by Deloitte last year, however suggested that

4 cities now bounce back much more quickly from terrorist attacks than they did 15 years ago, it is often said that retail therapy is the best solution to ward of negativity. In Dhaka, the impact of the infamous Gulshan massacre in July has been at many levels. At the macro level, the incident is a hit to the reputation of Bangladesh as a ‘safe’ country for doing business. Uniqlo, the owner of Fast Retailing (FRCOF) announced suspension of all ‘unnecessary’ business travel to Bangladesh while Swedish retailer H&Mreportedly sent an email to all its vendors informing them about a series of upgraded security norms at its Bangladesh office. Puma, though assured to continue sourcing from Bangladesh but added, “… we will decide (travel) on a case by case basis, depending on how the situation is evolving.” Though the expatriate community is putting up a brave front by not abandoning the country, there are concerns. More so by the fact that the unrest was perpetrated by the young, educated boys with a single agenda to kill the non-Muslims. This aspect of the attacks has scared everyone…, even those who have been living in the country for a good number of years. Despite a long history of turbulent domestic politics, plucky Bangladesh has ridden out many storms – from labour unrest, mass transport blockades and large-scale political paralysis to workplace disasters. But the back-to-back terrorist attacks in Dhaka and Kishoreganj has brought the industry face-to-face with its biggest image crisis ever with some expressing fear that security worries have potentials of crippling the garment sector. But with the Government moving in fast to put security measures in place no major incident has been reported since, which augurs well for the industry.

GLOBAL MENSWEAR MARKET CONTINUES TO GROW Brands launch standalone stores

In 2016, menswear grew at a faster pace than womenswear – up 4.5 per cent versus 3.7 per cent, and indications are that by 2019 the segment will reach US $ 40 billion in worldwide sales. This shifting focus of retailers and brands from womenswear to menswear is due to the birth of the style-savvy male consumer on whom the fashion industry is relying on for growth as the overall luxury market growth continues to slowdown.


ontinuously, retailers are restrategizing to gauge the male consumer through assortment of products that not just appeal to them fashion-wise but also resonate with their identity. Such is the case that multi-brand retailers, Nordstrom has grown its menswear offering by 26 per cent and Mr. Porter by 33 per cent. Whereas, premium retailer J.Crew has grown its men’s offering by 68 per cent and contemporary luxury brand Acne by 47 per cent. This further trickles down at the mass market end, where Zara has witnessed smaller margins for growth, upping its menswear by just 3 per cent over the year, in contrast to H&M, which went aggressively, increasing its men’s offering by 260 per cent. H&M’s menswear drive in 2015 was enormous with a 360-degree marketing strategy, proving how valuable menswear market is becoming for the next few years. The menswear push also extended into the retailer’s collaborations, such as 2015’s H&M x Balmain collection, of which 43 per cent was for men, which was quite a move-on from 2014’s Alexander Wang collaboration with its 27 per cent share of menswear.


By 2019, menswear is expected to contribute close to US $ 40 billion in sales to the global apparel market, reveals Euromonitor International latest reports. This growth is being driven by cultural shifts as men become more concerned with their appearance, coupled with large disposable income levels for men, which remain 50 per cent higher in comparison to women’s disposable income levels. Apart from this, online shopping and internet has made it easy for many fashion-conscious men to stay fashionable and trendy through dedicated blogs and websites that concentrate on menswear alone that has helped many take decisions



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and dress appropriately. According to a report from Mintel’s on consumer research, as many as one-third men shop online and hence there are lot of apparel retailers offering casualwear and even bespoke suiting and shirting facilities. Despite facing worldwide retail losses at the end of 2015, new research conducted by banking and financial services company Barclays reveal one market is absolutely thriving: men’s fashion. According to Barclay’s, menswear saw an overall growth of 24 per cent last year with a significant rise in sales since Spring 2015 and has been steadily moving in an upward climb with the movement cementing as a trend to watch out for. On the other hand, market research

It is predicted that the global menswear market will grow steadily and post a CAGR of more than 4 per cent from 2016-2020. analysts at Technavio have predicted that the global menswear market will grow steadily and post a CAGR of more than 4 per cent from 20162020. The consumer’s desire to look fashionable and trendy is one of the primary factors driving the menswear market globally. Therefore, celebrity endorsement has played a significant role in setting fashion trends and also helping to build product and brand awareness. For instance, brands like Adidas, Reebok, Dolce &Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Givenchy, and Gucci invest heavily in employing popular male brand ambassadors to endorse their products. Moreover, department stores are also increasingly investing in celebrity endorsements for their retail apparel brands to attract

customers and compete in terms of brand awareness and recognition. While main markets such as US, UK and Europe are witnessing rapid growth in menswear, rigid markets such as China, where men were once hesitant to spend money on clothing, are also seeing increasing focus by brands on them. One of the largest luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna reported revenue of US $ 1.72 billion and the major share came from China, followed by Europe and Americas. Whereas the luxury apparel retailer, Trinity Ltd., of high-end menswear in China accounted to increase in sales by 19.5 per cent, while owning more than 400 stores in the country. This further is substantiated by Bain &Co, a consulting firm, which predicted that the global luxury menswear segment is to grow at 14 per cent every year. “Menswear presents a great opportunity for fashion brands looking to diversify their product portfolios and reach out to new consumers. The more effectively brands are able to harness wealth and unique consumption cultures of male consumers, the more successful they will be,” reveals Magdalena Kondej, Head of Apparel and Footwear research. Today the menswear market is not just restricted to trouser, shirts and coats, but has also spread into an array of product categories such as activewear, casualwear, outerwear, formalwear and essentials. The rise of the new age work environments coupled with technical innovations are helping consumers to break free from the Monday to Friday work uniforms and casual clothes during weekends. As the global luxury market slows down, all eyes are on menswear market as it is giving the much-needed push to many retailers and brands, not just luxury but mass market as well.

CHINA STAMPS DOMINANCE The Chinese juggernaut continues unabated

However, much of the western world may want to refute the significance of China in the current global political and economic situation the fact remains that the country is ‘unstoppable’ today, looming largely both as a market and manufacturing super power. In the last few years China has been consistently losing on both volumes and value of exports to the world market in garments, implying that the country is challenged by cheaper destinations, forcing it to reduce its prices to keep its huge capacities running. No wonder the country is now downsizing its factories in garmenting, mostly basics.



hile earlier it was considered ‘the factory of the world’, using its huge human resource to manufacture almost everything under the sun at cheap prices, flooding markets with the ‘Made in China’ label…, it has now strategically changed its positioning to become a huge market for luxury goods and is increasingly moving out of its boundaries to manufacture not only in neighbouring countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, but also in countries and for products hitherto unthinkable…, the recent garment factory in the US is a case in point.


Chinese as consumers… In a year when many countries were fighting internal crises, China was progressing with Chinese being noticed for their willingness to invest and spend, while others were keeping a tight purse string. There is sufficient data to support the fact that over the past decade, China and moreover the Chinese, have led the world in luxury shopping. Retailers, luxury brands and property developers alike have fallen over one another to cash in on what they perceived as a burgeoning middle-class, their love of all things luxury and a propensity to spend rather than save. As a result, by 2015 China offered more luxury retail selling space than Japan and was fast catching up on the US, and the Chinese accounted for over a third of all global luxury spending. By 2030, China is expected to add in excess of 3.4 million additional individuals to this wealthy population, making it the fifth largest market in the world in terms of HNWI’s (High-net-worth individual).

Chinese as manufacturers… Supporting their love for luxury is a shift in manufacturing thrust. According to a report recently released by the Economist, over the past 25 years, China’s share of global manufacturing output has risen from 3 per cent to nearly 25 per cent by value, and if the supply chains that Chinese firms drive across other parts of Asia are taken into account, then the figure rises to nearly 50 per cent. But when it comes to the global fashion manufacturing output, China’s share is even greater. Currently, producing 60 per cent of the world’s shoes and exporting 43 per cent of the world’s clothing, China is indispensable for designers, brands and retailers across the globe from fast fashion to luxury. Today, luxury brands such as Burberry, Armani, and Prada manufactures in China, not just because it is cheap but also because they are still able to get good workmanship for the price. In fact, a lot of international brands still continue to source from China despite increasing prices due to their experiential labour force.

Chinese as offshore investors to offset internal increase in production cost… While Chinese as individuals give earlier wealthy nations a run for their money, Chinese companies are making huge investments outside the country making them key targets for nations looking at foreign investments. Of late companies, have been aggressively investing in countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and even the US taking advantage of inherent manufacturing strengths.

E SS E N T I A L S Currently, producing 60 per cent of the world’s shoes and exporting 43 per cent of the world’s clothing, China is indispensable for designers, brands and retailers across the globe from fast fashion to luxury. Of late Chinese companies, have been aggressively investing in countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and even the US taking advantage of inherent manufacturing strengths.

Investment in the textile mills have also been made in the US, mostly for technical textiles, while investment in Vietnam is focused more on spinning industry, followed by weaving. Recently, The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) of Ghana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China National Textile and Apparel Council that will lead to the establishment of a US $ 300 million textile factory in the SADA Zone. Also, as per latest reports, Chinese investor Jiangsu Dongqun Investment Holding Group Co. Ltd. is considering to invest US $ 100 million in the textile industry of Indonesia. In October, this year, Suzhou Tianyuan Garments Company, a Chinese manufacturer of casual apparel and sportswear and a big supplier to Adidas, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Arkansas in USA.



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6 STATE INITIATIVES Efforts to encourage investments in new locations gain momentum with industry-friendly policies

To survive competition and improve bottom lines, new factories have to be located at more competitive locations where not only the labour costs are cheaper, but the right kind of ecosphere has been developed for the smooth functioning of the factory… A good advice, no doubt, but where are these new locations…, is what the industry is asking. While states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra have been trying to encourage investors from the textile and apparel sectors for some time now, albeit with limited success, the year 2016 saw three new regions present themselves as more pro-active and better positioned options.


he past year was an exciting year for garment exporters, as they finally gained recognition for the power they hold as employment generators with the increased effort of a number of states to woo the manufacturer to invest in their region, claiming pro-active support. Two new states to join the bandwagon this year are Odisha and Jharkhand, both of which claim to have huge pool of workers ready for the industry, as they are already the national suppliers of labour to the whole country… Fresh thrust was also made by the north-east with many activities organised to promote garment manufacturing industry in the region.


It almost seems as if each state is trying to outplay each other in attracting investment, but the reality of things is that the people in-charge of building the strategy are not industry experts. The incentives are not enough to enthuse the players to actually make investments, although most admit that they would not mind expanding capacities if given the right opportunity. The question most investors are asking, is whether the region has the critical support infrastructure to aid garment manufacturing and exports. While the states claim that the strategy includes building such infrastructure, the industry is cautious. Early this year, Bangalore-based Indian Design preferred to invest in Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh, near the Karnataka boarder rather than new developed regions for the reason that being near to Bangalore it was logistically better to handle on all fronts. Though teams from Odisha were in talks with the company to consider the state as the next destinations, the management has some reservations. As Naseer Humayun, MD, Indian Designs says, “The Government has to understand

20 Apparel Online India | DECEMBER 16-31, 2016 |

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.” The Governments doesn’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. But one factor that was noticeable this year is the determination of the states to involve the industry in framing policies for investment… This is a clear acknowledgement of the fact that Government officers, however senior, are not suitably equipped to provide necessary impetus to garment exporters for investment. In Odisha, 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 with a separate chapter being written specially for the garment industry. The openness of the Government officials in listening to experts and admitting that ‘outof-the-box’ thinking is the only way forward is indeed a fresh whiff of air, signifying the changing attitude of those in power. “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,” said Sanjay Kumar Singh, Managing Director, Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) in an exclusive interaction with Team Apparel Online, earlier this year. Since its major thrust Shahi, Madura, Jockey, NSL, ITC and

even Bangladesh-based Fortunes, have come forward for investment. While Shahi has already started construction, Fortunes has pledged to invest Rs. 50 crore in a garment manufacturing unit at Ramdaspur on Bhubaneswar’s outskirts and ensure employment for about 4,000 people. Taking a step further, the state of Jharkhand roped in Orient Craft to help create the right policies and environment that are conducive for garment exporters announcing a textile and garment policy that makes the region more competitive than Bangladesh on wages, as the policy offers employment generation subsidy of up to Rs. 7,000 for every

One factor that was noticeable this year is the determination of the states to involve the industry in framing policies for investment… employed person for seven years… brings down wage bills effectively by 50-60 per cent. Incentives on various heads that relate to setting up of business are also available, including 7 per cent interest subsidy and 20 per cent capital subsidy on a cap of Rs. 50 crore. Among one of the attractive incentives is a 50 per cent reimbursement of power tariff for 7 years from the date of the release of electricity connection along with 100 per cent electricity duty exemption for 7 years, which translates to around Rs. 2.5 per unit to get uninterrupted power supply, against the typical Rs. 12-14 per unit in NCR with 60 per cent consistent grid supply, balance through private power generation.

Enthused by the potential of the incentives offered, Orient Craft through a special-purpose vehicle – ‘Orient Craft Industrial Parks’ plans to set-up two ‘plug-n-play’ industrial parks with combined size of 140 acres – to be called Fashion Park, Ranchi I and II – with an aim to make available ‘ready-to-move-in’, plug-n-play manufacturing facilities ensuring speedy start of operations in no time. The Government of Jharkhand believes that apart from setting up the manufacturing hub, supply chain processes, and developing ancillary textile-based industries, the greatest value that Orient Craft brings to table is its commitment to set up 6 Textile Sector Skill Centres to train and empower state’s youth in coming 5 years to the tune of 50,000 youth or more. In the meanwhile, the Central Government is really pushing to develop the textile and garment industry in the north-east. In April this year the Union Government announced a Rs. 1,038 crore (US $ 156 million) scheme in the north-east to boost textile exports, increase jobs and curb the migration of workers. Funded by the Union Ministry of Textiles under the North-East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS), the project is also aimed at developing and modernizing the textile sector by providing regionspecific flexibility in execution. Under the NERTPS, the Textiles Ministry is providing Rs.18 crore each for setting up of a readymade garment manufacturing unit or ‘Apparel and Garment Making Centre’ (AGMC) in each of the 8 north eastern states and is also offering to provide financial assistance to run the units after their commissioning. How motivated the industry will be to invest in these areas is something to watch out for in 2017!



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7 ‘SPECIAL PACKAGE’ A landmark for industry… More support needed to beat competition

After a long time, the apparel industry felt that the Governmenthas appreciatedtheimportance of the apparel sector as a driver for employment generation, a major thrust for any party in power. As Virender Uppal, MD of one of the top export houses of the country and two times Chairman of AEPC puts it, “The year 2016 is special for the industry, as the ‘Special Package’ for Indian garment exporters is the first recognition by the Government of India, of the true potential of apparel trade and substantially increasing employment across the sector.”


nnounced in June, the ‘Special Package’ of Rs. 6,000 crore (US $ 923 million), basically targeted at enhancing the competitiveness of the apparel exporters and envisaging job generation to the tune of one crore in three years, saw great support from the industry with 35 Indian apparel exporters immediately announcing investment plans of around Rs. 623 crore (US $ 96 million) over the next three years that will create employment opportunity for more than 30,000 people… Since then, things have not been as enthusiastic and the industry is very cautious in its approach.


Though the industry was very positive, the finer points were eagerly awaited and many claimed that they would move forward only after studying the provisions and its implication after the necessary implementation process was put in place. The Ministry on its part has been quick in notifying changes and pushing other ministries, notably the Ministry of Labour & Employment to do the needful, not much activity is being noticed from the side of the exporters and no big investments have been announced. The justifications given by many are two – where should we put up a new factory; and though we have become more competitive with this package, but not enough to meet or beat our competitors, namely, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Some of the important provisions of the ‘Special Package’ and current status of implementation: EPFO reforms: The Government will bear the entire employer’s contribution of 12 per cent, under the EPFS, for new employees in garment industry earning less than Rs. 15,000 per month, for the first three years. As an added benefit, EPF will be made optional for employees earning

less than Rs. 15,000 per month, leaving more money in the hands of the workers and also promoting employment in the formal sector. – Guidelines formulated and circulated i n August 2016…, a web portal inviting applications has been opened; 91 units have applied as of now. Labour L aw reforms: The overtime cap for workers in the apparel industry has been increased from 50 hours to 100 hours in a quarter. Also, considering the seasonal nature of the industry, fixed-term employment will be introduced for the garment sector workers. A fixedterm workman will be considered at par with permanent workman in terms of working hours, wages, allowances and other statutory dues. – Due diligence done for amendment i n Factories Act 1948 for increasing overtime to 100 hours per quarter has already been done by MoT and notification for ‘fixed-term employment i n apparel manufacturing sector’ released i n October. Enhancement of Capital Investment Subsidy under Amended-TUFS: The subsidy provided to garmenting units, under Amended-TUFS, has also been increased from 15 per cent to 25 per cent, thereby providing a boost to employment generation. – Provision rolled out i n Ju l y; a total of 203 applications received for garmenting involving project cost of Rs. 276 crore. Higher Duty Drawback rates: Rebate on state levies will be provided on garment exports for next 3 years and drawback on indigenous paid inputs will also be made available, even when fabrics are imported under Advance Authorization Scheme. This move is expected to cost the exchequer



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8 Rs. 5,500 crore but will greatly boost the competitiveness of Indian exports. – Scheme rolled out i n September and approximately Rs. 160 crore worth of claims already lodged. Relaxation of Section 80JJAA of Income Tax Act for additional tax breaks: Looking at the seasonal nature of the garment industry, the provision of 240 days under Section 80JJAA of Income Tax Act would be relaxed to 150 days for the sector. – Already notified and to take effect from 1st April 2017. As the year comes to a close, the Cabinet in another attempt to support the value chain in textiles has extended the benefits of the ‘Special Package’ to the made-ups sector. It has been pointed out by the sector that the policy intervention would greatly help the made-ups segment to improve its global competitiveness in the global market and also create more demand for fabrics, yarns and fibres in the domestic market and thereby help the down sectors that have been suffering due to excess production capacity to a certain extent. The move is being appreciated as proactive on the part of the MoT, which has taken serious view of the representations made by The Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council along with a detailed study conducted by Earnest &Young justifying the need for including the made-ups segment to include under the special export package; the centre has included the made-ups segment under the special export package. It will be interesting to see how the industry takes these incentives forward in 2017, but one thing is sure that the ‘Special Package’ is the biggest game changer for the finished goods segment of the textile value chain introduced in 2016 by the MoT and that too after a long time!

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS Strong steps forward in Economic Reforms…

The Modi Government has been very upfront in bringing in needed thrust to aid growth of the country in all directions… Interestingly, concepts like ‘Skill India’, ‘Clean India’ and ‘Make in India’ have been coined and appreciated on the global platform. However, there was criticism on slow movement in ushering in economic reforms post-2014, but year 2016 proved to be a game-changer, as the Government took two bold steps in a serious attempt to curb black money and streamline indirect taxes for more transparent businesses. With GST and demonetisation, the Government has taken huge steps towards major economic reforms, for a better tomorrow. In a recent tweet, Ratan Tata claimed, “Demonetisation is amongst the three most important economic reforms in India’s history, along with delicensing and GST.” And to think that two of these happened in 2016 – we are all privy to the changing course of India.


emonetisation, of course, has been the biggest surprise of the year, announced late night on November 8th, as most were settling in after work to watch US election results… The aftermath has been a test of India’s democracy andstrength of character of common Indians, to support what most believe will bring a better tomorrow and lead to ‘Cashless India’, the latest of Modi’s concepts. Despite difficulties and chaos to get money to run households, India’s huge population has remained calm and even big business houses have come out in support, trying in their own small way to help their employees to tideover the crunch.


What western countries achieved in decades…, an economy that is run more on plastic money than hard cash…, India is slated to achieve in a few years. The rush to use digital platforms to send andreceive payments has been unprecedented. Almost all e-wallet firms have acquired new consumers and in some cases, it is as high as 150 per cent postdemonetisation, Paytm, the market leader, has seen transactions going up by over 300 per cent in the past month. According to market estimations, approximately 100 million consumers in India are now using e-wallets as an option to make transaction. The textile and garment industry has also come out in support. While at the export level, the business is very regulated and transparent, it is an open secret that many in theindustry are restoring to over/under invoicing in certain areas for dutydraw-back benefits, meeting day-to-day expenses, corrupted by the inspector raj or for investing in real estate. By and large the industry is happy that the ‘Modistroke’ will bring such practices to a halt and allow a level field for those that are genuinely doing ‘clean’ business. It will be interesting tosee

the impact of this move on theindustry over the next year. Another landmark decision, GST, which took more than a decade to be approved by Indian law makers is considered a major economic overhaul to turn the country into one unified market in which businesses can trade goods and services across state lines without having to navigate a prohibitive array of federal and localtaxes. The move is being billed as the most significant reform since India opened up its economy in 1991, as themeasure is aimed at sweeping away a maze of levies that have hampered economic growth by making it harder for businesses to expand nationwide. GST will replace 17 indirect tax levies and compliance costs will fall. While the industry is supportive many doubts are yet to be cleared. Dr. A.Sakthivel, former President – TEA, airing the general view of the export industry said, “The industries and the people will get benefit out of the introduction of GST in the system and atthe same time, there is no doubt, but we request the Government to address any issues arisen in exports furtherto implementation of GST system.� Although there are many riders to its success in various industries, all agree that prices on manufactured goods will go down. Because thetaxes paid at each step of production and distribution are offset by the previous tax payment, the total tax on a good will decrease, lowering the price. The textile industry has 9 broad categories for the purpose oftaxation. The current taxes vary from 4 per cent to 12 per cent based on their categories. Further, textile sector is dominated by unorganized players who are given tax exemptions on the basis of size of their operations. Some of the peculiarities of tax structure in the textile sector include: Differential

taxation for cotton and manmade fibre; Zero duty for cotton fibre as compared to high excise duty structure of nearly 12.5 per cent on manmade fibre segment; and Composite mills are taxed at a higher rate than the powerlooms discouraging integration of production. With the implementation of GST, there will be a uniformrate of tax which will result inelimination of blocked input taxes as GST is a consumptiontax. It is further argued that zero rating on exports under GST will boost exports without the need for explicit subsidy schemes and a level-playing field will be provided to all textile segments leading to integration of production, resulting in increased efficiency. Goods movement within the states will also be much easier as lot of local state taxes which are levied on the borders of states which inhibit free movement of goods will be removed.Experts of the textile industry indicate that GST would certainly help the textile industry to be more organized and synchronized therefore compelling the non-compliant textile players to be a GST-compliant to make sure free flow of credit as well as competitiveness. However, they caution that the proposed 12 per cent GST rate is likely to have a harmful impact on the textile business as the cotton value chain is leviable to nil excise duty. Despite the many questions, the Government is committed to introduce GST by April 2017 and in the meanwhile, discussions and negotiations are underway on how to ensure a fair deal for every industry. According to a survey of corporate India by Feedback Business Consulting Services, which covered 67 companies from various sectors, GST rollout will be positive for the economy and attract more foreign direct investments across sectors due to tax transparency and ease of doingbusiness.



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9 NEW MINISTER OLD AGENDA? Handloom, Weavers and Artisans still the focus direction

On the evening of 6th July 2016 the social and mainstream media was abuzz with the news and comments on the so-called ‘demotion’ of Smriti Irani from the powerful HRD Ministry to MoT. At the same time the entire Indian textile industry was rejoicing on getting a young, smart, effective and aggressive minister, after many years. Apparel Online too carried a strong editorial in acknowledgment of what her appointment could mean for the industry. Contrary to expectation, Irani moved into a shell and distanced herself from the media; refusing even to meet few ‘focused media’ wanting to talk to her when she took control of MoT. The industry was confused…! Will she take the ‘change’ as a ‘challenge’ or just as a ‘duty’ to be done mechanically?



touring the country, meeting lots of people and participating in many national, international events and industry discussions, commenting in her signature style on core issues. During an event in Jaipur, she said, “I have hardly seen any segment of the industry that has come forward with constructive suggestions except for jute. We are ready to discuss issues and find a solution.” Indeed on suggestions from the jute industry, she convened an emergency meeting to end illegal import of jute products from Bangladesh and Nepal and ordered that fortnightly reports will be sent electronically to Jute Commissioner@CBEC _ India to monitor the flow and end-use of jute imports.

Sadly, textiles get limited to handloom, weavers and artisans, though some good work has been done… An initiative “Pehchan” was launched to register and provide identity cards to handicraft artisans under a national database. Already 2,24,742 applications have been collected through awareness camps. The level of insurance cover for handloom weavers in case of accidental death has been increased to Rs. 4 lakh from Rs. 1.5 lakh. There are some other such steps, but nothing which is radically different or strong enough to metamorphose this segment or improve the life of the artisans/weavers in remote parts of the country.

This is the Smriti Irani that the industry is looking for and many believe that though she is not yet declaring any directions for the apparel industry…, the new minister needs to look at the value chain with a new perspective and not get bogged down with old directions. Also she must be updated by the right type of people that small incentives are good for sustenance but if we want the industry to really grow in leaps and bounds then India has to bring out a comprehensive textile policy which is not governed by the strongest lobby in cotton, manmade fibre or only weavers and also seek trade agreements with core countries, losing competitiveness by 19 to 20 per cent just because of import duties is too big a gap to fill with small incentives.

he expectations and enthusiasm levels of industry were already

high as just two weeks prior, the first ever ‘Special Package’ of Rs. 6,000 crore was announced for the apparel sector. Smriti Irani seemed the right person to take the initiative forward. All association heads rushed to meet her and present their agendas with the hope of emphasising on the genuineness of their needs/demands. But soon it became clear that like past ministers, she is here to carry forward PM Modi’s agenda of appeasing the handloom, weavers and artisans segment. On joining office, her statement set the tempo of the following days…, “It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to boost the textile industry.”

The expectation is that the new minister is an observant, decisive person with realistic approach, so she is bound to understand and accept that the apparel industry is the driver of growth for the entire textile industry and the prime focus will shift from handloom to apparel. Smriti Irani has been busy

2017 may see some important steps that will really propel the industry forward. The recent Cabinet approval of the inclusion of the made-ups segment in the ‘Special Package’ announced



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10 earlier is a clear indication that the ministry is listening… the demand from the made-ups segment has been getting stronger and though they have no proper representative body or lobby, the ministry without even giving an inkling of what was coming has effectively silenced detractors alleging step-motherly treatment to the home furnishing industry. Unlike past ministers, Smriti Irani continuously remains in the limelight for her various viral twitter campaigns to promote handlooms and more recently her efforts to open bank accounts for weavers and garment workers. In these 6 months that she has been with the MoT, the only strong focus that has emerged for the textile industry is her acknowledgment that the industry is in need for capacity enhancement in production of textile machinery in the country, under the ‘Make in India’ campaign, but nothing concrete has come to the forefront on this issue too. Take the case of Bangladesh and Vietnam, they have no machinery industry and not even a strong spinning and weaving industry to support the garment industry, yet they came from behind and are now miles ahead… It cannot be about just ‘Make in India’ campaign, there is much more to it… Just 6 months in any ministry is not much to give path-breaking results, and 2017 would be really interesting as well as challenging for MoT, as there is a push to present the long pending textile policy, which minister herself has declared as a hallmark. It will be out soon and worth to see how the team has addressed the concerns with regard to required coordination between/for complete supply chain growth of the textile industry.


Associations at centre of exporters’ interest…

For the Indian garment exporter, the closing year will always be remembered as the ‘year of awakening’, when exporters pan-India come forward to support change at various associations, which have been in the hands of the same group of people for decades. Though AEPC, TEA and GEAR – the three major bodies of Indian apparel industry, dedicated for the growth of industry – witnessed a ‘close fight’ and hectic poll campaigns this year, the biggest upset was ‘change of guards’ at TEA, the first time ever since its establishment in 1990. The association in Rajasthan – GEAR – also saw inclusion of new faces and enthusiastic participation from exporters in the election process. At the national level, the ‘old’ team although retained hold on the AEPC, the fight was not less with surprises, raising the bar for performance many notches higher.


ne reality that has clearly emerged from the ‘election’ exercise is the fact that exporters are looking for change… They want the associations to be more proactive and are willingto participate in the process to achieve collective goals of growth for theindustry. Eventually, it does not matter which team is at the helm of the association… What matters is the vision, activeness and way of working to ensure growth of the industry. The buzz of activity around all three association elections was unprecedented and for the first time the EVS process was put into full use to involve a larger voter base. The conversation at most gatherings of the industry was centred around elections.


The elections at the AEPC were fought for the first time with two distinct groups with different agendas, wooing the industry with ‘promises’ and holding meetings around the country, answering queries; setting the foundation of ‘accountability’. In a very telling statement, after winning the elections Gautam Nair, MD, Matrix Clothing said, “It was a good contest overall. Lot many issues have been brought up by the opposition team which should be noted. We must take corrective measures wherever required, and connect in a much better way with the exporters. Since we have come through popular vote, our accountability is much higher.” Now the question that everyone is asking is whether these changes are going to improve the conditions on ground level and simultaneously within the organization. A major segment of industry feels that nothing is going to change and after the euphoria of the elections, things whether from the new team or old team will follow the old set patterns. Year 2017 will show the scorecard of these associations and how successful they were in keeping ‘promises’. Eight months before the landmark elections at AEPC in September,

KeySilhouettes A/W ’17-18


he colours, embellishments and details, all depend heavily on the general silhouette of the upcoming season. An emphasis on outerwear and sweaters reflects the weight of both classifications in an undeniable cosy yet chilly season. In skirts, the midi takes centre stage, while dresses stick to familiar territory, being constructed in warm knit fabrics, including velvet. Rounded shapes influence tops, while in bottoms wide legged and cropped styles are featured across multiple items. In addition to the five key items, the peasant blouse, cape, parka, long cardigan, A-line skirts and the cropped flare pants will make quite an impact too…

Turtleneck top


urtlenecks are key to the sweater classification, applying to a wide range of looks. Now that the ’70s are still going strong, and the retro luxe glam looks are on the rise, no wonder we’re taking plunges in the past to emulate some of the looks. In shape, oversized silhouettes are explored with rounded shoulders, which emulate the trend in outerwear, though fitted styles are also relevant. Neck details range from classic to funnel or loose – necks, while stitch variation is plentiful from contrast cables to Intarsia and 3D techniques.

Knit pants


hether crease front, flat front or slim, this silhouette will be popular for pants. The sweater classification extends to bottoms this season with the introduction of knit pants. Though jersey track pants continue to be relevant at retail, traditional sweater stitches extend to pants for a new cosy look. Paired top-and-bottom sweater sets are considered. Relevant bottom silhouettes include cropped, tapered and extra-long styles. Styling details like the fold over waist or side pockets achieve a soft look. Novelty details include contrast panels and holes.

Blanket coat


he floor duster will be one of outerwear’s most important pieces for the season, designed in a robe or wrap style. Continuing the trend for oversized outerwear, the blanket coat is a favourite in both women’s and young contemporary markets. As a naturally bohemian item, excess fabric is necessary, with asymmetric lines and kimono sleeves capturing the blanket reference. Lapel interest includes fur lining or double-faced techniques, while oversized collars are also featured. A self-belt draws in the excess bulk, while fringe hem nods to nomadic roots.

Midi skirt


nother A-line silhouette, the midi, will be available in lots of colours and with embellishment, while cut-out fabrics and flocked burnouts keep the silhouette up-to-date. The single most important direction in skirts and dresses is the Midi, short for the mid-calf shape. After several introductory seasons, the midi now reaches a broad audience, appealing to both women’s and young contemporary markets. Most relevant on skirts, slim styles feature details like centre slits and flared hems. Fuller dirndl skirts offer variation with A-line, asymmetric, fitted seams or pleats.

Wide legged pants


ide legged pants land on the seasonal ‘musthave’ list once again as a key bottomwear direction. This wide legged pant is not going anywhere; for the season, styles will be crease front, flat front or wrap waist. Leveraged in a handful of themes, design details tap into relevance for the women’s or young contemporary markets. Womenswear styles tend to favour tailored aspects like high waists, crease front or side panel details. The young contemporary market focuses on the waistline with drawstring, paper bag or gathered details. Cuffed hems are a seamless extension of wide leg pants.



B OYS’! Womenswear collections draw inspirations from menswear for S/S ’17…



Remember how menswear ‘borrowed’ elements from Womenswear in the A/W ’16-17 collection? Seems like the term ‘androgyny’ is definitely the most influential in the current seasons as designers draw womenswear inspirations from menswear and vice versa. Taking a closer look at the trends at S/S ’17 RTW, it seems like exaggerated and oversized shoulders, trench-style tailoring, sports luxe and yellow colour came to the forefront. Whether it’s an extra-long striped selection or a cool collared choice, generously cut masculine silhouettes seem to have retained their place in the women’s wardrobe. Knowingly or unknowingly, some exporters are following the trend where a lot of elements in their womenswear collections are inspired from menswear. Even though designers are getting bold and taking a major step in the world of mainstream androgyny fashion, some Indian exporters are still apprehensive of bringing these details from therunways…


orrowing from the Boys’ – as the phrase indicates, refers to lifting elements from the menswear line to suit today’s womenswear fashion needs. Ankit Nair, Designer, Kanchan International, a garment exporter informs, “Borrowing from the Boys doesn’t always mean literally wearing men’s clothing, it’s about contrast and proportions.” The made for men distressed jeans, band tees, dress shirts, and cardigans are a major hit with the women collections. The trend has expanded with many brands such as Gap, Forever 21 and H&M creating boyfriend fashion products or men-inspired fashion. Fashion experts are clearly noticing a preponderance of relaxed and de-stressed fashion-forward looks becoming popular amidst the ladies, similar to the scenario a few years ago, while the year 2017 makes a swift entry, a shift in terms of developments, from A/W ’16-17 to S/S ’17, can be easily noticed amongst exporters. Being a decidedly lessdramatically-designed garment amongst everything else the boyfriend shirt, the loose pants, the bomber jackets, the blazers, and waistcoats are slowly and steadily again becoming the casual silhouette of thesummers. The menswear-infused womenswear also put a hint towards the ’80s style, which is also a parallel trend for S/S ’17. The origin of boyfriend fashion came from the ’80s and has been revived in the last few seasons. Hinting at the ’80s, while influence of the 1970s still prevailed, shiny fabrics were seen making their way into collections. Exaggerated and oversized outerwear, trench-style tailoring and bright colours are some of the predominant elements. Bombers and knit cardigans were popular in addition to shaggy coats and puff jackets as outerwear was once again the focus of many collections with many designers, barring the bold, in favour of more wearable garments. Moving on the path of androgyny, S/S ’17 dropped hints upon gender bending. Stealyour-boyfriend’s-style has moved on from leather jackets and baggy jeans. Instead, looks consisting of boxy shirt options to pair with feminine fabrics and a simple T-shirt are the way forward. As seen at Rochas, awkward colour combinations

championed the skirts-over-pants trend on the Spring runways, and designers like ALC, Cedric Charlier, Ellery and Osman took the look and mixed varied pants with dresses. The dresses of varied lengths are paired with jeans, culottes, leggings, pyjama pants, joggers, undershorts, etc. Some designers are also making conscious efforts to create matching sets out of this trend to continue with the head to toe fashion trend from previous seasons. Some silhouettes, shone in the collections marking the presence of menswearinfluences, are evident in the collections. Exporters speak about silhouettes like the boyfriend shirt, the boyfriend blazer, oversized sweaters, and their buyer response and orders:

The Boyfriend Shirt DKNY

work best at these combinations, feminism and masculinity walked hand-in-hand. Womenswear borrowed elements from menswear more aggressively than the other way around. Leather elements, sports shorts and tanks, and T-shirts were getting incorporated with capes, laces, sheer sleeves, sportswear-inspired leggings and wide trousers. All the menswear trends that the industry has been gushing about since the last two seasons were all on display in the recent womenswear collections. There were interesting additions that were made to suiting, streetwear, rainwear and sportswear, in terms of fit, texture and colour. While the suits got more relaxed, shorts got shorter, outerwear got inspired by robe coats and classics like denim were reinvented in new ways. In addition to nautical prints and pinstripes that dominated the collections, traces of dip-dyeing were also seen. With the ’80s revival comes the obligatory return of the power shoulder. This season, shoulders have taken on a modern proposition in the hands of Balenciaga. Taking cues from Gvasalia and Céline’s play with proportion, collections mixed peaked shoulder pads with a mini skirt or cropped trouser. Jil Sander, Peter Som, and Chanel

The boyfriend shirt is an easy item to mix into any wardrobe, because the fit is a bit looser and easy. Shalini Singh, Assistant Merchandiser, Joyline, a buying house dealing with brands across US and Europe avers, “The oversized trend for shirts, T-shirts and even crop tops is in a lot of demand these days. Boy shirts with high-low asymmetric hems bring out a new twist.”

The Boyfriend Blazer The boyfriend blazer, is not always about it just being oversize. It’s also about the tailoring and the details. Rachit Poddar, Director, Cheer Sagar Exports,explaining about the boyfriend blazer, said, “Blazer with feminine accessories, like lace hems or a scoop-neck T-shirt are a perfect balance of masculinity and femininity. With crisp tailoring being borrowed from themen’s section, women’s blazers have gone edgier and smarter thisseason.”

Oversized Sweaters Aditi Talwar, Assistant Merchandiser, Orient Craft India, discussing the variations in their collections said, “Though the previous seasons repeatedly reflected the obsession for oversized coats and jackets, knits are in focus this time as they are big this season in more ways than one. Size bigger than the pre-requisite are made as to suit the oversize trend.”



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Mumbai: S m a l l - and

medium-level companies moving f o r w a r d in g a r m e n t i n d u s t r y any small- and medium-level companies of Mumbai are entering the garment segment, as well as expanding or moving towards in-house manufacturing. August Clothing, a shirt manufacturer of Mumbai is installing 100 stitching machines in the next few months. Currently, the firm is outsourcing almost 2,000 pieces every month for export as well as domestic market. “Now we have enough experience of markets and despite overall challenges we are confident about more orders, so we decided to have an in-house set up. All machines that we will install, will be UBT,” said Darshan Sedani, Director of the company.


Doing yarn trading business from last seven years Tejaswini Textiles, Mumbai is also working to enter into the garmenting business. Vijay Singh Kaparwan, Director, sharing what motivated him to move towards garment business said,

Darshan Sedani, Director, August Clothing

“The liberalization and globalization of textile industry and the way the fashion industry is moving ahead is the reason that we want to go in for forward integration. We are looking from a global perspective rather than restricting ourselves to just the domestic market… As far as manufacturing or outsourcing is concerned we are planning to keep things in focus, specially the cost. Though initially the unit will be on a start-up level, but with time we will definitely increase the scale.” The company is working with top players like Siyarams, Welspun, etc. Similarly, Ruksush Uniforms & Exports is also looking for future prospects to working in the export segment. Hitesh Bhuta, Owner of the firm having almost 150 stitching machines and own looms, is in the process to start exports. He said, “It is little difficult but we are trying to add some buying houses with us, as we foresee growth in the segment.”

At ITME 2016 (Mumbai), Team Apparel Online met many companies from across the country and from different segments of the textile supply chain that are geared up for further expansion. Many of them are also entering/expanding into garmenting. Read the upcoming issue of Apparel Online for the detailed coverage of these companies.


s every Indian learns to live without cash, post-demonetization, the struggle is mostly

for everyday utilities where the use of plastic money, as it is commonly referred to, is still alien. In this scenario, the Indian garment industry which feeds a huge worker base is coming forward in various ways to support these workers for their everyday needs. Be it cash withdrawal, currency exchange or necessary arrangement to buy grocery, Indian apparel exporters are helping their workers in all ways possible to minimize effect of demonetization and allow workers to do their job without worry. The most common thing that the exporters have done is to request their banks to open ‘zero balance accounts’ of those workers who had no account earlier, so that the workers can manage things easily. Some of the factories have held sessions to teach the workers about various apps and cashless transactions. It is estimated that in Delhi-NCR alone, around 10,000 such accounts have been opened in the last few days by garment exporters.

Exporters supporting

t h e i r w o r k e r s to cop e up w i t h d e m o n e t i z a t i o n Animesh Saxena of Neetee Clothing, Gurgaon in conversation with Apparel Online informed, “Apart from account opening, we have issued coupons to our workers with which they can buy groceries from specific shops and pay later. Workers are very happy with this.” Cheetah Garments, Tirupur has also shared taking similar steps for the ease of its workers. Some exporters have even issued prepaid cards (loaded with up to Rs. 10,000 in cash) to such workers who do not have bank accounts for immediate needs, till they can handle the situation on their own. In some factories where ATMs are near the units or in some cases within the factory premises, factory management have approached the banks to reserve enough cash there for workers’ needs and simultaneously urged their workers to withdraw minimum amount, so that maximum number of workers can have cash. In some parts of South India, many textile mills have put in place this practice for their workers.

TEA presents pre-budget memorandum to Finance Ministry Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) has expressed its solidarity with Government of India towards the recent initiatives taken on the demonetization of large denomination currency notes. In addition, TEA has presented a pre-budget memorandum to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley where the association has made certain policy proposals for growth of the garment sector in India.

exports to US $ 47.4 billion has been stated, TEA has embarked upon an ambitious goal of lifting the cluster’s textile turnover from present Rs. 35,000 crores, both domestic and exports to Rs. 1 lakh crore by the year 2020. Based on the visionary suggestion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, TEA has prepared a project ‘Vision Tirupur 2020’ containing plans to achieve this ambitious goal.

In line with Government of India’s initiatives for the textile industry, such as the ‘special package’ where its renewed focus of achieving three-fold growth in apparel

In its proposal, TEA has noted the following areas that need development – industry infrastructure, specifying the need of infrastructure facilities such

TEA is not happy with the RBI monetary policy as it was expecting a reduction of at least 0.5% in the Repo Rate. as ‘World class Design Studio’; ‘Research and Development Centre’ and ‘Incubation Centre for Technical Textiles’ to facilitate rapid growth of the existing textile business and enable foray into niche segments creating quantum growth opportunities

to the industry; Labour Housing and Hostel in order to facilitate permanent migration of skilled workers towards industry clusters; Upskilling: There is a need to upskill existing skilled labour force so as to move towards ‘Zero Defect Manufacturing’; and Introducing a Knitwear Board, a focused and dedicated agency similar to ‘Silk Board’ or ‘Coir Board’ to serve as a catalyst for rapid growth of this industry segment. It may be noted that Tirupur is contributing about 46 per cent of total knitwear exports from India with focus on cotton-based garments.

Haryana improves on ease of doing business, really? After almost 11 years, various exporters of Haryana got recognition when the State Government honoured them for their export performance. Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, not only honoured 111 exporters, but also directly interacted with them and listened to their grievances, and assured them of continuous support. Organized by the Department of Industries &Commerce, the statelevel function for the distribution of export awards took place in Gurgaon. Though most of the exporters still have basic problems of infrastructure like poor roads, no proper electricity supply, etc., some even raised individual issues like non-availability of plots in industrial areas or of very high price of plots. The CM said that the Government is serious about all these issues and will see what

can be done. “We are proud that Haryana is on 5th rank when it comes to ease-of-doing business, while earlier it was on 14th spot. Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA) will be operational in next one year and it will help a lot as far as Gurgaon-based industry is concerned,” said the CM. Animesh Saxena of Neetee Clothing raised questions to the CM regarding trade licensing at the event. Talking to Apparel Online, he accepted that there is no real hope that the issue will be resolved as the same involved local agencies. The company has a burden of at least Rs. 75,000 due to this issue. Gunish Jain of Akriti Apparels, was satisfied with the overall efforts of the Government to support the industry. “On ground level things have improved a lot in Haryana, but more needs to be done on infrastructure,” he

HKL Magu, MD, Jyoti Apparels talking to Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, after receiving the award. Magu is quite satisfied with the improvements in Haryana

said. “Corruption has reduced now, single window policy is also beneficial,” says Raj Kumar Malhotra, CMD, Asian Handicrafts, Gurgaon. Irrespective of all these issues, exporters appeared content with the awards as this works as

‘motivation’ for them. As far as apparel exporters are concerned, Shahi Exports, Jyoti Apparels, Neetee Clothing, Akriti Apparels, Orient Craft, Fashion Accessories, Asian Handicrafts and some home furnishing exporters of Panipat were honoured at the event.



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Sustainable Business Leadership Forum (SBLF)

Sustainability as a lever to drive productivity and resource efficiency oday, businesses are being built on 3Ps – People, Planet and Profit – and sustainability is being used for driving productivity, resource efficiency and closed loop systems in making organizations more sustainable. Apparel manufacturers, including SMEs should start thinking and investing in sustainable initiatives from the business perspective. Reimaging sustainability in designing enterprises of the future and many such thought-provoking discussions took place at the Sustainable Business Leadership Forum, instituted by Sustainability Outlook (a division of cKinetics), inDelhi. With active participation from top management of leading apparel and home furnishing exporters to chief sustainability officers of corporate houses that are at the forefront of sustainable initiatives, and presence of representatives from top apparel houses, international brands and many other industries, the day-long event was an interesting platform to exchange ideas on sustainability.


Discussing on designing smart and resilient manufacturing – management strategies and tools, the experts (both top and senior management) shared their experiences related to different

pillars of smart manufacturing that is operational efficiency; resource efficiency; KPI (Key Performance Indicator) tracking; Capacity Building and Automation. Experts also shared, what has worked for them. Biswajit Nanda, VP (Operation), Shahi Exports shared his experience of how product prices have come down in the past despite inflation in material and resource prices. It couldn’t have been possible without overall sustainable initiatives and continuous improvement. He also insisted on making the entire system ‘predictable’. “There may be extensive trials, but it is necessary to have correlation between your lab and bulk production (fabric wet processing operations),” he added. Sharing his success story on operational excellence, TN Thirukumar, MD, Jansons Industries Ltd. highlighted how implementation of various lean tools helped them to excel in quality, produce at a highly competitive price and become the biggest supplier of cushion covers for a well-known buyer in home segment. “Before adopting 5S, our output from one machine was 130 pieces of cushion covers, but now on same machine, our operators can

E SS E N T I A L S Role of the ‘Chief Sustainability Officer’ and creating sustainability groups was discussed by Tony Henshaw, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Group; Aniruddha Agnihotri, Head – EHS & Sustainability, TCS; Shankar Venkateswaran, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tata Group; KC Mehra, Former President, Quality Council of India; and Naresh Patil, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer of Mahindra & Mahindra.

make 180 pieces of the same style in the same time. This is how we became sustainable through productivity enhancement and due to this not only our buyers, but even our workers are happy.” Any effort is incomplete without developing the system capability to implement and absorb the change management. Vineet Lall, MD, Modelama Skills outlined that SMEs which are 80 per cent of our country’s entrepreneurs, are still struggling to figure out how to make their manufacturing capabilities smarter, realizing that unless we intervene with skill development, one can’t use the machine/technology effectively. He insisted that along with lean tools, industry also needs to focus on improving technical skills of workers to effectively drive ‘right first time’ culture. “It is a must to analyse root cause of the defects, as in some cases we find that few of the workers keep repeating the same defects in spite of being told… Obviously, they simply don’t understand the instructions,” reasoned Vineet. Manoj Menon, ED & CEO,Mahindra Gears and Transmission pointed out that customers are demanding quality products and are less willing

(L-R) TNThirukumar; Manoj Menon; Prakash Patankar, Director, Process Excellence, cKinetics; Biswajit Nanda; Vineet Lall; and Shrinivas Naik

Anshul Chawla, Engagement Manager, cKinetics shared a case study that how cKinetics helped a leading denim dyeing plant to enable additional Rs. 200 crore revenue potential with same water and thermal energy resources. Tools like valueadded water and integrated energy management were used for this. There was reduction of demand by 10 per cent of fresh water and 4 per cent of thermal energy. The direct business impact was on capital investment reduction of Rs. 5 crore towards ZLD implementation, and Rs. 50 lakh towards boiler expansion.

“Companieshave to adapt ZLD as it is the ‘law of the land’ but it should be done in a phased manner where cost implication is given back to consumers, but should not hit them once and for all. We have to see how much implication it has on our product as far as cost is concerned, and how much implication it has on company per se as far as investment is concerned. How much technology do we have to really go in for ZLD so that we can make the required changes in our industry.” - Sumeet Nath, Partner, Raj Overseas, Panipat

to accept variations in quality parameters of products. There are learnings from traditional way of doing business which when married to technology advancements enables the management to track the operational and resource consumption closely. Mahindra is effectively dealing with these challenges through “Breaking barriers among different departments as everyone was working in silos. We got everyone to work on same floor,” shared Manoj. Shrinivas Naik, Head – Business Sustainability, Arvind Lifestyle highlighted the need for measurement and monitoring systems, “In order to promote smart and resilient manufacturing, measuring resource use is very important. Companies must put a target for achieving reduction in resource consumption.” Shrinivas also shared that design and product development could be the key to create higher value add products, further adding that Arvind’s innovation centre works on bringing newer technologies, automations, innovations to reduce all kind of cost, specially process cost. “De-skilling, resources measure and target, documentation are also needed to put focus on continuous improvement.”

Another parallel track was focused on the implementation of Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) in textile industry. The track was focused on the risks, opportunities, challenges and the way forward for driving towards a sustainable textile industry through ZLD. The panel comprising of Reena Satavan (CPCB), Sumeet Nath (Raj Overseas), Abhishek Bansal (Arvind Limited), Harsh Sheth (SIWI) and Aparna Khandelwal (Sustainability Outlook) reflected on the outlook for ZLD implementation in the textile sector in India in light of the updated ZLD guidelines issued by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in Oct 2016. While Reena provided a detailed overview of the thoughtprocess of the regulator behind the new ZLD guidelines, Abhishek shared their experience of setting up one of the largest ZLD facilities in India. The panellists discussed the key implementation challenges for ZLD as also the experience of wet processing units in Tirupur who have implemented ZLD more than 7 years ago. The key focus of discussion was the way forward which can be adopted by the textile sector in order to move towards a more water sustainable manufacturing. One of the key highlights of the event was ‘Sustainability Innovation Circle’, a platform where companies from Indian industry presented their disruptive innovations under various categories, like resource efficient systems, water and waste water, creating newer market segments and materials. One of the presenters, Zenatix, aims to reduce power wastages for commercial electricity consumers by 10-20 per cent without requiring any upfront and equipment retrofits. WattMan, an automated energy control and monitoring product, leverages IoT (Internet of Things) stack and cloud to deliver operational energy efficiency to retail/BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) through automated and intelligent controls triggered by rules, sensors and analytics. In addition, WattMan also provides real time monitoring of energy and temperature.



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TN spinning industry moving towards ‘substantially' cashless economy Having solidarity with the demonetization decision of Government of India, the spinning industry of Tamil Nadu is working actively to become ‘cashless’. Many of the spinning mills, especially members of Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF), have opened bank accounts of their workers, and are carrying out awareness programmes to enlighten the workers about cashless operations, like Unified Payment Interface (UPI). In Tamil Nadu’s spinning industry, almost 60 per cent of workers already have their bank accounts and many mills have ATMs inside their premises. The mills are satisfied with such efforts and workers are also happy. ITF believes that in the next two months Tamil Nadu’s spinning industry will become a ‘substantially’ cashless industry. Despite all these, industry needs some relief from the Government

as conditions are not in the favour of industry. The spinning sector was already witnessing very low demand post-Diwali, which has further been deteriorated by the demonetization move. Some retailers have already announced ‘reduction in purchase’ policy till March 2017. “For us, the biggest concern is falling demand and we can’t predict much about it too. We are keeping a watch on it. Moreover, earlier we were having 30 days of credit period for our customers but nowthey are asking for 90 days, so we are being forced to face lack of working capital. Working capital limit enhancement; Reduction in bank’s loan interest rates; and MEIS to cotton yarn exporters are the three steps through which the Government can support our industry. We have written a letter to the Ministry of Textiles (MoT), Government of India requesting about this,” says

Prabhu Damodharan, Secretary of ITF. He further added that this may take at least three to six months’, time. In the meanwhile cotton session is also on, so the industry is in a dire need toinvest in inventories of raw materialand finished goods. The Government should grant us one-timeworking capital financial support for aperiod

Deloitte professionals guide apparel students Apparel Training &Design Centre (ATDC) conducted a workshop on ‘Interpersonal & Soft Skills’ in Gurgaon. “The high level of intense competition in modern world has brought emphasis based on ‘soft and life skills’ not only for professional careers but also for personal advancement,” underlined Shalini Sharma, Principal, ATDC Gurgaon, while addressing the workshop conducted by the team of 25 Deloitte professionals here. She further added that to get a winning edge over competitors, people are left with no choice but

to add value to their hard skills with soft skills to realize one’s true potential. The objective behind organizing this workshop was to develop and strengthen the communication skills of the students. Deloitte professionals worked towards providing guidance and direction to ATDC’s students for a successful career, by leveraging their potential for better career prospects. The highlights of the workshop were Time Management, Interpersonal skills, Resume preparation and Interview skills under their ‘Counsellor’ thread.

Team Deloitte interacting with ATDC students

of six to nine months, said Prabhu. Similarly, a short-term action plan to reduce the interest ratesfor spinning industry will be of immense help. As of late banks have started linking the loans pricing to external rating obtained by spinning mills; some mills are being sanctioned credits at exorbitantly high interest rates.

India is going to miss textile and garment exports target! Once again India is expected to miss its textile export target, as Government has admitted that it may be ‘hard to achieve’ the US $ 48 billion target set for textiles and garment exports for 2016-17. Similarly, the overall exports of textiles and apparels from India during the previous FY 2015-16 was US $ 40 billion, falling way short of the US $ 47.5 billion target set for the period. Less demand in major markets such as the US and EU is being cited as the main reason to miss this target. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani admitted that the industry was off course, elaborating upon measures being taken by the Government to attain the goal. Industry too is unable to predict how much India can achieve in its exports this financial year. Ujwal R. Lahoti, Chairman, Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) told Apparel Online, “Yes, target is really difficult, but we are expecting little better than lastyear.” As far as apparel sector is concerned, MoT has the target of US $ 20 billion for the Financial Year 2016-17 while Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) had set target at US $ 18.75 billion for same fiscal against the probable performance of US $ 17 billion in the Financial Year 2015-16. In another reply to a question raised in Parliament, the minister informed that total domestic consumption of cotton in the country is on the increase, and in cotton year (October-September) 2013-14, it was 299.55 lakh bales (170 kgs each), in 2014-15 it was 309.44 lakh bales while in 2015-16 the provisional figure is 312 lakh bales as estimated by Cotton Advisory Board (CAB). The consumption is likely to increase in the coming year too.

FDI inflow in textile & apparel sector goes up by 16% Make in India ‘Textile &Apparel Sector’ – Achievement Report of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Ministry of Textiles (MoT) by KPMG states that FDI equity inflow in the Indian textile and apparel sector surged 16 per cent in FY 2015-16 over FY 2013-14. Major investments (by foreign collaborators and Indian companies) in the sector during April 2014 to March 2016 are also mentioned in the report which include investment worth US $ 51.94 million in Fashion India Private Limited by E-Land Asia

Holdings Pte Limited; US $ 37.58 million in Procter &Gamble Home Products Ltd. by Procter &Gamble Home Products Ltd. The report also underlines that share of textile and apparel intotal exports increased to 15 percent in FY 2015-16 from 13 per cent in 2013-14. Growth was majorly seen in export of readymade garments,wool &woollen textiles, silk, carpets, coir and coir products, and handicrafts. Textile and apparel exports are estimated to reach US $ 62 billion by 2021 from the current US $ 38 billion in 2016, as per thereport.

Talking about the Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS), it says that from 2014-15 to 2016-17 (till September) the Ministry has trained a total of 5,36,683 youth; out of them 3,93,363 (73 per cent) have been successfully placed. On the other hand under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Apparel Made-Ups and Home Furnishing SSC (AMHSSC) trained 79,245 people in 2015-16 but placed only 5,116 (6.45 per cent), while Textile &Handloom Sector Skill Council trained 29,212 people, out of which 20,665 (70.74 per cent) were placed.

Textiles Minister inaugurates apparel making centre in Manipur Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani, recently inaugurated Apparel Making Centre in Lamboikhongnangkhong, Imphal, Manipur which consists of one skill and two commercial blocks apart from the 300 installed machines. The estimated expense for setting up the centre is Rs. 18 crore. While also distributing “Pehchan” Identity Cards to some artisans, the Minister said, “The scheme for identifying weavers was launched on 7th October, 2014 and now more than 2,000 weavers have been identified and issued identity cards.” She further added that the Prime Minister wants to give special attention to north-eastern states for development and Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Scheme was also launched for the direct connectivity of the weavers so that they could be easily identified for International Exhibition. The Minister further added that for

Smriti Irani distributing the ‘Pehchan’ Identity Cards to the artisan, at the inauguration of the Apparel Making Centre

During her visit to Bhiwandi, Smriti Irani said that the Government may impose ‘dumping duty’ on the cloth imported from China in the coming days.

textile promotion in the state, the Central Government has sanctioned Rs. 200 crore. The state awardee will be given Rs. 30,000 per month to train weavers. Besides, 12 clusters from three districts have been selected for design workshop training and will be given Rs. 300 per day.

The slowdown of apparel imports by the US enters 10th month January-October


The slowdown in the US apparel imports has not seen a reverse trend over the initial 10 months of the current year as all major destinations, except Vietnam, are taking a dip in their apparel exports to the country. India could register only 1.43% growth in volumes, while the values took a negative turn of (-) 0.47% in the period Jan.-Oct. 2016. The average UVR for India was US $ 3.53 which was higher than the US average of US $ 3.01, during the review period.

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


At the beginningof the year, there was growth in the categoryfor Bangladesh. However, in the period under review, the trend was reversed as the values of exports of the segment decreased by (-) 13.41% while volumes were down (-) 30.02%.

Total Decrease in Value

5.21% Total Decrease in Volume



Percentage Decrease in UVR

4.14% (Average UVR in review period was US $ 3.01 per square metre of fabric equivalent as against US $ 3.14 in the same period last year)

Nightwear from Bangladesh sees downward trend in both volume and value

Vietnam’s export of suits/ensembles weaken in volumes The country has registered consistent increase in the export of suits/ensembles over the last few years, in the period under review; however, there has been adownturn in volumes. Though the value growth was 6.51%, volumes were down by(-) 14.91%, in the same period last year.

Total global apparel imports by the US — Jan.-Oct. ’16 (Qty & value in mnM2 &US $) Type of Apparel

7.56% Cotton

2.33% MMF

10.56% Wool

Jan.-October 2016

% Change








































Change in Value

Jan.-October 2015

Silk & Veg Total

1.02% Silk & Veg

Total apparel exports to the US by India and its competitors — Jan.-Oct. ’16 (Qty &value in mnM2 &US $)

Change in Volume

3.98% Cotton

0.83% MMF

9.75% Wool

1.64% Silk & Veg

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


Jan.-October 2015

Jan.-October 2016

% Change


































Sri Lanka
















Export of ladies dresses increases from India


Bangladesh observes positive growth in foundation garments


Ladies blouses see growth from India

In the first 10 months of 2016, the US registered increase in the import of ladies dresses by0.23% in value and8.42% in volume. India saw increase by8.22% in value in the category, while the volumes rose 5.81%.

During the period under review, while the total imports of the categorybythe US has seen adecline of (-) 2.17% in volume and(-) 0.80% in value, Bangladesh registered apositive growth of 9.96% in volume and2.90% in value in its exports of foundationgarments.

Ladies blouses’ exports from India registered 2.51% increase in volumes and1.41% gainin value to the US. In the meantime, US overall imports of blouses were also on the rise with volumes increasing 6.54% and values increasing 3.28%.


Trousers register consistent growth for Vietnam


Undergarments’ imports from US fall


T-shirts register decline from Bangladesh

While the value of the country’s exports of trousers to the US increased by7.73%, the volumes grewby8.61%. However,the total imports of the categorybythe US declined both in volume and in value by (-) 1.51% and (-) 4.04%, respectively.

While the decline in volume of imports in undergarments by the US was (-) 5.29%, values decreased (-) 5.79%. From India the values decreased by (-) 6.82% and volumes were down (-) 4.61%. Bangladesh also saw values decrease by(-) 11.56% and (-) 12.97% in volumes.

T-shirts havebeenamongthe big-ticket items from Bangladesh, but nowthe growth has taken adip. The country registered decreasein values of (-) 5.68%, while the volumes of exports in the categoryto the US saw decline of (-) 5.78%, as against the same period last year.

Item wise percentage increase in total apparel imports by US from China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam: Jan.-Oct. 2016 as against Jan.-Oct. 2015 (Value in mn US $ and Qty in dozens; Legwear in dozen pairs; Babies Wear in Kg) Exports toUS Total Imports byUS






Value Qty% Value% Actual Change Change


Value Actual

Qty% Value% Change Change

Qty Actual

Value Qty% Value% Actual Change Change

Qty Actual

Value Qty% Value% Actual Change Change

Qty Actual

Value Qty% Actual Change

Value% Change

Babies Wear








-9.67 6,824,255



4.60 8,957,424



-16.93 7,825,889




Foundation Garments








-4.43 1,442,684



20.84 3,055,506



2.90 2,007,017




Jackets &Blazers











-10.28 1,175,216



-15.21 5,218,899




Ladies Blouses








1.14 7,230,596



1.41 2,752,732



41.46 6,790,364




Ladies Dresses








-4.29 3,747,460



8.22 1,601,108



36.88 8,943,464




Ladies Skirts














13.30 2,883,032







-11.01 177,023,380



-8.31 2,304,094





– 2,264,079




Men’s Shirts








-7.66 2,649,489





-3.62 3,885,883
























































-50.88 1,031,091










-4.04 69,410,549



-8.31 4,369,864


-4.30 36,393,373 2,075.65


1.60 38,159,129





474,399,638 17,426.88






-9.83 19,567,13 0



-0.14 17,846,507



-5.68 65,146,325











-3.42 14,578,54 4



-6.82 21,363,910



-11.56 35,167,036





Suits/Ensembles Sweaters Trousers






889,200 72,870

-1.16 10,516,547

Canada Apparel imports January-October 2016

Canadian economy gets into deeper trouble as global conditions remain stagnant Although the Canadian people see themselves as perennial optimists in global trade, the country is struggling to emerge from a 15-year slump in exports – one of the worst track records anywhere. And with globalization drifting in the wrong direction, it couldn’t be worse time to look for an export recovery as Governments elsewhere turn away from the free-trade ethos which prevailed over the last two decades.


Indian Exports



While the knitted segment saw decline of (-) 16.25 %, the woven segment registered negative growth of (-) 2.57% in value terms.

In knitted segment, the country registered astellar surge in its exports to Canada.While value of exports was up 287.74% in knitted segment, there was again of 429.72% in woven also.

B’Desh Exports


Trade Update

Exports in wovencategory increased by131.82% in value, while exports in knitted garments also increased by 62.41%.

Pakistan Exports


While in wovencategory, there was rise of 71.69% in value, in knitted segment exports registered adrop of (-) 34.34%.

Sri Lanka Exports


While the country saw decline in knitted categoryby(-) 84.67%, it registered afall of (-) 92.73% in wovensegment.

Vietnam Exports


The country registered declinein wovenby(-) 14.75% in value, while in knitted segment value of exports gained10.59%.



In the knitted segment, the country registered growth of 61.14%, while the woven garments saw amarginal decline of (-) 0.13%.

Bangladesh beats other Asia-Pacific nations in export growth According to Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016, unveiled in Bangkok by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) recently, Bangladesh has outperformed other Asia-Pacific countries in shipment of merchandise between 2010 and 2015. As per the report, during the defined period, Bangladesh’s exports grew 14 per cent while the average export growth of the Asia-Pacific region was 7.5 per cent. Depending highly on textile and garments, which collectively accounted for 72.2 per cent of total exports, the country’s shipment in 2015 reportedly grew 6.5 per cent even as the region experienced export contraction of 9.7 per cent. The report further underlined that EU accounted for more than 44.5 per cent of the total exports by Bangladesh, followed by the US at 17.6 per cent and Japan at 3.3 per cent. The report further mentioned that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) have also grown robustly in Bangladesh, averaging 19.6 per cent per year during 2010-2015. In 2015, in particular, inflows into Bangladesh soared 44.1 per cent to reach US $ 2.2 billion. Amongst the different sectors, banking, textiles and energy attracted the largest amount of FDI, the report stated, adding, the US and the UK were the largest foreign investors, collectively accounting for 27.2 per cent of the FDI inflows to Bangladesh.



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Geared up for product development, Vardhman launches new shades in ‘Rangoli’ and new slub patterns ‘Expressions’

Indian textile and apparel industry’s increased focus on product development can be visibly noticed nowadays. The entire supply and value chain is more active on innovations and fresh offerings. Vardhman Textiles Limited, one of the biggest textile conglomerates of India with 1.1 million spindles, has recently launched 360 new shades under their brand ‘Rangoli’ (mélange yarns) and innovative slub patterns in different substrates in a product folder – ‘Expressions’ (slubyarns). A big support to the industry with more options to play with design development, Rangoli now has almost 1,350 shades. Many apparel and home furnishing exporters, top buying houses and yarn buyers applauded the new launch and gave interesting feedback/suggestions. Enthralled with the market demand and new launch, Neeraj Jain, JMD & Head (Yarn Business) and Vijay Puniyani, Senior VP – Marketing, Vardhman Textiles Limited assured the industry that Vardhman will keep focusing on such developments and also consider theirsuggestions wholeheartedly.

he company launched its last shade card of Rangoli in 2012 containing 1,000 shades, and now the new volume (7th for the company) released is an addition to theold one and not a replacement to it. The difference basically lies in the fact that the new card is having greater focus on fashion. As of today, Vardhman is the largest producer of slub yarn with more than 50,000 spindles and the latest development in this segment combines finer material of cellulose, blends. “Our old shade card was well referred by all the customers, national/international brands. But we are always looking ahead and our team keeps working on identifying new colours, new colour trends, patterns as they remain in touch with top level designers. Secondly, fashion is also evolving and there are few new fashionable yarns within the mélange category. Snow, Jaspe, Flakky, as well as some solid heathers etc., are the fashion-oriented yarns which have lot of scope to create new developments giving different kinds of effects. Our new colour card has all these kinds of swatches,” informed Vijay in conversation with Apparel Online. He further added that the Rangoli colour card has on one side all fashion yarns with mélange base, while on the other side it contains a range of completely new mélange shades. “We are very much sure that the industry will like it,” he averred.


It took four years for the company to launch the new shade card, but now the company is geared to match up with the pace of fast changing fashion. “Yes, four years’ time is too long. Fromnow onwards we would be introducing a new colour card at least once in two years’ with some fresh colour additions. For this we are already in the process of developing and strengthening our team. Recently, we have set up a design studio in the mélange manufacturing unit so

“We are grateful to all our customers, who have shown us direction in creating this new colour card. We realized that there is much more for us to do. Product development and maximum value in our product is top priority for us. We are continuously improving in all the areas like yarn quality and even colour matching. In recent years, we have converted our capacity in a way that we can have more flexibility to serve better the industry.” - Neeraj Jain, JMD & Head (Yarn Business), Vardhman Textiles Limited

‘Team Vardhman’ with Neeraj Jain (fourth from right), JMD & Head (Yarn Business) and Vijay Puniyani (third from right), Senior VP – Marketing, Vardhman Textiles Limited

that we can constantly and regularly work on new developments, creating new fashion options for the industry,” says Vijay with pride as Vardhman is the only company in India which has this kind of folder (Expressions) in India. “In last few years’ trends have moved towards finer fabrics; so looking to the trends, as well as forecasts, we have developed swatches in line with these predictions,” he adds. Demand of mélange yarns (heathers) have grown tremendously from 2011 and every year the company is adding capacities, still it is unable to supply as per the demand. “Demand is across all the brands and segments. Earlier it was only the fashion industry, which was asking for mélanges, but now it is equally in demand by the apparel industry, and demand is increasing in both the categories. Four year ago, we were having close to 40,000 spindles working on it and today this number is almost three times more,” shares

Vijay. He further adds that though the major part of demand is still from knit segment, but from the last one year some good customers in woven segment like Arvind, Raymond and even Vardhman Woven Fabrics have come-up with sizable demand, so woven segment is also emerging as a major pull element for this segment. Currently, Vardhman is not looking at expanding in terms of sizes or quantity, and its focus is clear – only new developments. “We worked hard to convert our operations from fundamental to value-added yarns, including the mélanges, which is now a significant portion of total production. Now the challenge with the company is to sustain with value-added yarns which means, more and more of developments. So, we are internally gearing up to develop the resources, team and infrastructure to achieve this goal,” says Vijay.

Wish list of industry from textile mills • Soon no buyer will give any premium on BCI; mills need to be ready for that change. • Enhance PD capabilities, especially when a product/ suggestion comes from buyerside. • Need for enhancing capacity for specialised yarns like Jaspe and Snow. • Improve delivery time to about 10-20 days, the maximum. • Some mills have10-15 per cent higher prices compared to others; need is to rationalize price of yarns. • Shorten sampling process as long as sampling time results in loss of at least 20 per centorders. • Overall needs more flexibility and speed in servicing.

Sandeep Khurana (C), MDand Sandeep Das (2nd from right), CEO, Knitcraft Apparels receiving the honour from Neeraj Jain (2nd from left). Also seen are Vijay Puniyani (extreme left) and Arun Kumar (extreme right) of Vardhaman Textiles Limited

On the issue of cotton versus blends, Vijay added that they are definitely going towards non-cotton and cotton blends, as cotton yarnis fundamental, and which everybody is manufacturing. In cotton, the direction is the use of different kinds of cotton, even imported cotton, American cotton and simultaneously celluloses, blends. He also indicated that compared to organic, BCI is more in demand as many top brands have shifted towards BCI and they have a target to convert their major production into BCI. Commenting on the commonperception that in India overall mills don’t care about customer grievances like colour matching or longer lead time, Vijay says, “Since, last 5 years’ demand of heathers has grown tremendously but supply side was not geared up as there were issues. Though millswere expanding, but all the customers and buyers remained suffocated in terms of meeting their demands and colour matching the needs. But I am sure that as of today, Indian industry is geared up to meet these demand and customers will not be disappointed.” The company is focusing more on servicing the Indian companies rather than exports, even though export of cellulose yarn is growing and the company is exporting BCIand fundamental yarns. In case of valueadded yarns, size of export orders is very small. “As overall export of yarn is coming down, the company is focusing more on Indian market which is growing and will grow continuously,” Vijay concludes.


AO: In your long association with India what has the journey been like? Johnny Wang: For all these years, India remains a crucial market for Gerber’s global business. Huge markets like apparel, furniture, automobile and airspace are developing prosperously, and most of them are Gerber’s target markets. Since the start, Gerber has been fully committed to integrate itself into the Indian markets. Now, we have not only set up direct sales teams based in India, but we also have extraordinary business partners here. Gerber and IIGM have been in partnership for 25 years, standing for an important milestone in this great journey.

AO: How has IIGM supported your journey and what have been the major achievements? Johnny Wang: During the cooperation, IIGM has established a strong and capable team in realizing Gerber business growth in India. And their capabilities in providing quick and efficient services have helped us to build great customer satisfaction all the way. Thanks to the mutual sharing of market insights and trend information with IIGM, it enables Gerber to develop right strategies focusing on markets in India. I am also very much excited to add that IIGMhas developed such an efficient warehouse which guarantees full-line supply of Gerber equipment that our lead time is no longer a concern atall.

Through our cooperation, we have built a strong brand recognition and maintained our brand advantage, and market share in India. We started our business with Indian apparel market, and gradually we have been working together and exploring nonapparel industries, such as transportation, aerospace and furniture, and have achieved good business growth in these segments. Now we have gained a big installed base all over India, with good customer relationships in each core industry.

AO: What does Gerber bring to your table as a technology provider? Pavan Kapoor: There have been only highs working with Gerber. Over the years, we have benefited hugely from their work ethics, professional management skills and the excellent Principal-Agent relationship that we have developed over the years. The Gerber product suite has always been with Cutting Edge Technology. Not many people know that Joseph Gerber was an inventor who received the highest Presidential Honour given to an American (National Medal of Technology &Innovation) and the first Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) machine that he invented is now located in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. This legacy of building innovative products has always been in the DNA of the Gerber organization. As a technology provider, you cannot ask for more

Some relations as they say are made to last forever…! Well, 25 years of partnership between internationally acclaimed Gerber Technology and a leader among technology providers in India – India Industrial Garment Machines (IIGM) – is a true example of how combined energy of two companies can make a success story. Celebrating Silver Jubilee of transparency, commitment, synergy and growth, the two companies are very clear on their strategies and goals. In conversation with team Apparel Online, Johnny Wang, Vice President and GM, Gerber Technology and Pavan Kapoor, Managing Director, IIGM, retrospect on the journey and share future plans…

than a mind set for scientific development for the betterment of the industry and the community.

AO: Do you feel that the Indian market has matured over the years for Gerber products… Which of them are the most popular in India? Pavan Kapoor: The first CAD system was sold by us in 1990 and the first CAM came to India in 1996. In the last 25 years, thousands of CAD systems and hundreds of CAM machines are working in the Indian Apparel and other Non-Apparel industries (such as Automotive, Composites and other Industrial Applications). The Indian industry has largely accepted these products, very much in line with modern apparel manufacturing methods, being adopted in other parts of the world.

AO: Going forward what are the new challenges you foresee in the Indian market? Pavan Kapoor: The internet and its role to provide solutions will be the next challenge that we can see. Flexibility in design and manufacturing and and easy maintenance are going to be the way forward. Highly advanced software for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) will play a major role in capturing information and providing it to designers, merchandisers and production management. We see a lot of excitement in the days ahead.

Johnny Wang, Vice President and GM, Gerber Technology

Pavan Kapoor, Managing Director, IIGM


Also, there are number of new players who have entered the CAD/CAM market. Most of them are aimed to provide competitive solutions in the market. While we recognize the need for being competitive, there is no doubt that the need of the customer is ‘Solutions’. Finally, a good solution will be the answer instead of mere price, as it will negate the effect on inefficiencies, mismanagement and poor serviceability. We are looking at providing good solutions to “make our customers happy”.

AO: You have recently opened an office in Kolkata, what is the strategy? Pavan Kapoor: We see Kolkata as a hub for the entire Eastern and North Eastern region of India. We also see increased activities in many of the states surrounding Kolkata and a great acceptability to the apparel industry in this region. We would like to service our customers well, so that we can be a genuine vendor partner to our customers in this region, as we have been to the rest of the country.

AO: What are the future directions in technology or service that you would like to bring to the Indianindustry? Pavan Kapoor: Cutting Room efficiency is a key part of the efficiencies in garment manufacturing. Inspection of fabrics, maximum utilization, efficient cutting


methodology, all point towards bringing in a good structure to manufacturing of apparel and other related products. Gerber software like PLM is also going to be a future driver with many integrated companies who are venturing into manufacturing and retailing. We hope to play a significant role in these companies as well. Johnny Wang: Gerber will continue to enhance its market position as a total solution provider worldwide and in India as well. We are already seeing a growing demand for greater connectivity in the apparel industry, which is why Gerber has launched an integrated digital revolution of its own. The hub of Gerber digital solution is YuniquePLM, and fashion industry’s best practices are built into this core application to help improve efficiency, collaboration and integration. AccuPlan will plan multiple cut orders by communicating with ERP systems and generate reports based on cost, cut plan, marker list and fabric consumption can increase throughput by 50%. With AccuMark®, a cut ticket report and a barcode containing the file name, material type and number of plies needed for each spread in the work order is made available. At the spreader, an operator can scan this cut ticket generated by AccuMark and retrieve all necessary information to prepare the spread job.

Leveraging IOT technology, Gerber’s smart cutting machines use GERBERconnect to remotely monitor machine performance, manufacturing efficiency and order processing. At all times, Gerber has revolutionized the way apparel and non-apparel companies do business. Going forward, intelligent software and automation solutions will be innovated to help customers around the world take products to market faster and more efficiently.

AO: What new goals have the two of you set for Gerber over the next decade? Johnny Wang: Gerber will continue to invest more resources into the Indian market, which means new technologies and solutions will be continuously introduced to help customers gain higher productivity and profitability, and strengthen their edges in the competition. I firmly believe that the Gerber Indian business will maintain high growth rate in the next decade. Pavan Kapoor: We have multiple goals going forward. While Gerber continues its pioneering role to provide high quality products, IIGM with its significant presence in India, Bangladesh, Jordan and Ethiopia will provide customized solutions to our customers, along with high quality training and maintenance of these sophisticated machines. We have our goals clearly outlined for the challenges ahead.







Pranav Textiles to start working as a buying agent again ith some improvement in markets from the Indian perspective and China’s falling share in global apparel export, some of the companies that had moved away from apparel business are coming back. One of them is Pranav Textiles, which is into mainly yarn trading and is now planning to enter into garment export business as a buying agent. P. Suresh Kumar, Owner of the company informed Apparel Online, “Earlier too we were working as a buying agent, but due to global recession we quit as things were not working out at that time. Meanwhile our yarn trading business has moved reasonably well. Now we are feeling strongly that since China’s export is moving outto other countries, it is an opportunity for other countries, includingIndia,

and we want to tap this business.” Soon the company will start its office in Alberta (Canada) so that it can focus on markets in North America. It will emphasise on knitted garments for entire range covering men, ladies and kid’s garments.


P. Suresh Kumar, Owner, Pranav Textiles, Tirupur

“Our buying house is already registered in Canada and by February 2017 things will get executed. As far as buyers and vendors are concerned, we will have our marketing team in Canada and will prefer to approach mediumsized boutique buyers. About 70 to 80 per cent of our product will be sourced from Tirupur-basedvendors and rest will depend on orders. Our constant touch with the industry will benefit us in this endeavour,” says Suresh, who is currently trading 100 tonnes of yarn permonth.

M&S defends bonus for bosses mid the shop workers’ union anger over staff ‘pay cuts’, M&Sdefended its bosses’ bonuses. The brand announced head office job cuts and looming storeclosures in recent months in the wake of a row with workers over pay and conditions. The company was accused by USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) of treating workers with contempt. The union’s Deputy General Secretary said that the staff was particularly unhappy with a performancerelated share award bonus for Chief Executive Steve Rowe that could earn him £ 1.8m on top of his salary in 2019. Thecompany’s spokesperson has though said, “The changes to pay and premiums, which come into effect from April next, will reward our people ina fair and consistent way, simplify and modernize our business and make our colleagues amongst the highest paid in UKretail.”


Textile Industry Analysis  

In the world of Textile, a lot of things happen in the industry which will change the shape of the current shape of the market and it is dif...

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