The 55th edition of National Garment Fair (NGF) organised by the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) will be held from July 9 to 11, 2012 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai. After two successful editions, Rahul Mehta, President of CMAI is very optimistic about the forthcoming one. Elaborating on his expectations, he says, “With both the excise duty and raw materials’ cost issue having got sorted out somewhat, we expect sentiments to be more favorable. Therefore, we are looking ahead to good response from both – participants and visitors from all over India.”
Since NGF is considered a booking event, Mehta is optimistic about the transactions as well. “I am not talking theoretically for I also own brands and supply to both manufacturers and retailers. I believe that S/S12 which is supposed to be extremely low may not be as bad as predicted. We have not gone high on the growth trajectory yet, but the crash that generally happens after a successful end of season sale, I don’t think we have seen it this time. Barring a few pockets, sales were a little better than expected in the month of March. By all consideration, the Jan-Feb-March quarter for manufacturers/retailers has been better than the previous quarter of October-December. Though it’s too early to celebrate, one can see the light at the end of tunnel,” opines Mehta.
This year’s edition would also witness broadening of exhibit categories keeping the observations made by visitors in previous NGF fairs. As Mehta explains, “NGF was slightly more focused on men’s wear and we have taken note of that. Since the last couple of fairs, we have been trying to attract other categories as well. Along with women’s, kids’ and men’s apparels, we are also trying to introduce more categories especially in the non-apparel sector, such as home furnishings, fashion accessories.”
And while the focus is pure business, organizers are also looking at pumping in fresh ideas like fashion shows to push up the glamour quotient. Elaborates Mehta, “We are going to reintroduce fashion shows because while we didn’t want to deviate attention from business to glamour, not having fashion shows, sort of became a disadvantage as it becomes de-glamorized. We are trying to work out a format by which we will add the glamour quotient without distracting from the main objective of the fair which is business.”
Appealing to the entire industry to join hands and make NGF a successful industry event, Mehta says, “Having too many shows only harms the industry in the long run and it detracts retailers and makes it inconvenient for them. I would appeal to everybody to join hands and really make this show so big that nobody can afford to miss this event.”