The 55th edition of National Garment Fair held recently at the Bombay Exhibition Center ended with a lot of optimism among both exhibitors and visitors. Everyone is expecting a positive festive/winter season ahead. The fair was inaugurated by Kiran Dhingra, Textiles Secretary, Ministry of Textiles. Speaking on the occasion, Dhingra said, “The response has outstripped the availability of space. The event is growing in size year-on-year. Retailers and manufacturers who come here and buy space obviously find the investment worth it.”
In fact, organisers, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) are extremely enthused with the response they got this year. Opines an ecstatic Rahul Mehta, President, CMAI, “The fair has received a phenomenal response. We have broken all records in terms of number of participating brands and visitors. Ever since we shifted to a pure business model, only serious buyers come to the fair.” A top level interactive session between Dhingra and industry veterans touched upon subjects related to the industry. Industry leaders such as Kishore Biyani, Govind Shrikhande, J Suresh, Ashish Dixit, Kewal Jain and Shreyas Joshi, among others discussed issues faced being by the domestic industry today.
Commenting on the fair’s response, Mehta added that manufacturers are very happy. “The buyer-seller meet was a concept we started this year, it received a positive response. For new participants, it was a great opportunity to meet top agents, distributors and retailers,” he added.
Expressing buoyancy about the forthcoming season first time participant Bipin Shah, Proprietor, Caris said, “Though, this is the first time we took part, we have been coming to the CMAI fair for 15 years. The arrangements are good.” With a new range of reversible fabrics, sweaters and coat suits for the winter season, Shah expects to do primary sales over the next few months, since retailers are buying cautiously.
Bodycare International, introduced a range of infant wear under a new brand, Bodycare Infant Wear during the fair. Sachin Gupta, Director explains, “The CMAI platform helps us in establishing the brand’s image and introducing its vast product portfolio that includes women’s and children’s range, thermal wear and lounge wear.” Most exhibitors corroborated with Gupta in saying the response has been good this year. As Sabu Joseph, Director, Wert Jeans says he received a better than expected response at the fair. “Retailers have reacted favorably to my offerings. I expect a bright festive season,” Joseph avers. But he expressed concerns over labour issues being faced by the industry. According to Piyush Nagda, Director, Challenge, “Premium customers come to Mumbai for their requirements and retailers’ response was good. Customers have understood the price rise and prices are stable now. I expect it to be stable for the next two years.” Adds Ashish Gadia, Director, Klix, “The response so far has been good. We got business as expected and think the festive season will be good.”
Happy with the fair, Arvind Gupta, Director, Just I said, “We had plenty of visitors. We have been participating since 2009. Retailers are very happy with our collections. There’s been a long spell of recession and now is the time for recovery. So we are optimistic. The festive season should be great because there’s a festival every month from August to December.”
Some players pointed out that business this year was much better than last year and that agurs well for they are expecting a change in customer behavior. “Business this year was five times better than the last year. Retailers seem very happy and positive which indicates an upswing for the industry,” expressed Devang Mehta, Director, Exile. The next National Garment Fair (summer edition) by CMAI will be held in January 2013.