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    Govt should encourage fashion industry — ASSOCHAM

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    As the fashion industry is growing rapidly, there is need for government to encourage it by opening more fashion institutes having research and development facilities, with fashion houses and retail enterprises providing the organisational structure and leadership, says a study.

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    It said Indian fashion design industry is expected to grow much faster than projected (Rs 500 crore), and likely to touch Rs 750 crore by 2012 from the current level of Rs 270 crore, as Indian companies are investing heavily in this sector.

    Besides, the consumer, with greater exposure to western media, is moving towards designerwear, which is readily available at shopping malls, said the study by the .

    The study found that the Indian fashion industry accounts for barely 0.2 per cent of the international industry’s net worth. Currently, the global designerwear market is worth about Rs 162,900 crore and growing at 9.5 per cent annually.

    The study said excluding western wear, the per capita per annum spend on designerwear is Rs 48,627 for men and Rs 56,271 for women.

    It said about 60 per cent of men shoppers and 72 per cent of women shoppers prefer designerwear in department stores. Comparatively, 46 per cent of men and 38 per cent women vouch for exclusive brand showrooms.

    The youngsters are among the top spenders on fashionwear as also women in the 41-50 years age group, the study found. The northern and western regions of India account for the highest shopping of designer apparel.

    The Indian apparel market was worth Rs 111,000 crore in March 2007 and could touch Rs 130,000 crore by 2008. The growth of the branded apparel industry in the interim has been a massive Rs 30, 000 crore in 2006-07, the study said.

    The Indian fashion industry is also at an advantage over other countries as far as its growth prospects are concerned. India is the third-largest cotton producing country in the world and also possesses an abundance of talented designers.

    The Indian designerwear industry at present comprises a small number of designers who, though having their own outlets, do not have resources to grow in size and reach economies of scale, the study said.

    Even established designers in India are unable to tap finances from organised sources easily, since a significant portion of their assets are brands and design talent, which are intangibles and, therefore, difficult to value and attach as collaterals.

    This has severely inhibited their growth and ability to increase retail presence across the country and abroad. Similarly, there are no organised ways of establishing presence in the fashion capitals of the world like Paris, Milan and New York. As a result, designers have to rely on their personal contacts and relationships for organising fashion shows and creating retail alliances, the study said.