The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has set up India’s first Institute of Apparel Management (IAM) at Gurgaon, aimed at creating managerial cadre professionals in the apparel, textiles and fashion retail sectors. Targeted at existing and potential managers, AEPC, which is sponsored by the ministry of textiles, plans to open such institutes in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata within the next 2-3 years.
Vijay Agarwal, chairman, AEPC, said, “There is a huge gap in the availability and requirement of personnel for apparel industry, particularly in the areas of apparel management, merchandising, vendor management, and retail specific to the apparel industry. It is estimated that at junior, middle and senior level, there is a dearth of almost 250,000 managers in this sector.”
The institute has commenced programmes imparting management education to professionals of apparel industry from August 2007. The first batch of 1-year full-time post-graduate programme in Apparel Marketing & Merchandising has 24 students from all over India. A two-year full-time post-graduate programme in Apparel Management will commence from July 2008 and the admission process is expected to start in December 2007. Prominent luminaries in the field of apparel exports, domestic, retail, brand management and academicians have announced their support by joining the advisory board of the institute.
Further, the institute is in discussions with premier global institutes for MoUs and tie-ups for various programmes to be offered. IAM already has MoA/MoU with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia; LaSalle – SIA, Singapore; and LDT Nagold, Germany.
The Indian apparel and textile sector contributes more than 30 per cent of the net export earnings of the country. It is the single largest employer with an estimated workforce of more than 6 million. India’s readymade garments (RMG) exports, contributing to 3 per cent of the total global clothing trade, witnessed an annual growth rate of 30 per cent after removal of quotas.
The gap in availability and supply is only expected to grow as the ministry of textiles has kept the target of USD10.5 billion for 2007-08 for RMG exports and expects it to grow to 25 billion by 2010. The domestic organised fashion retail sector, almost non-existent till about a decade ago, is currently worth USD15 billion.