The eagerly awaited international textile and ingredients innovation show, InFashion 2012, began this morning at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon, Mumbai, with a welcome speech by Ramesh Poddar, President, FAITMA, and Vice-Chairman & MD, Siyaram Silk Mills.
The inaugural session titled “The Way Forward for Textiles: Kal Ki Soch Aaj” was moderated by Wazir Advisors, MD, Harminder Sahni. The participants on the dais included R.K. Rewari, ED & CEO, Morarjee Textiles; Rohit Mehta, President, Southern Gujrat Chamber of Commerce; S N Modani , MD, Sangam, Dr. P.R. Roy, Director, Fibre2fashion, and VD Zope, Hon. Gen Secretary, Textile Association of India.
Speaking on the occasion, Poddar said that in India, modern retail has dramatically increased consumption, expanded the market and gave Indian consumers the very best in terms of choice, price, value, and shopping experience. “While hundreds of brands have substantially grown the fashion business and the market is abuzz with increasing number of malls in all major cities of the country, the country surely needs a lot more action – not just in the 59 cities that have a million-plus population, but also in the hundreds of emerging consumption pockets – to really grow the fashion and textile business.”
Poddar said that in this context, the deep-rooted textile retail formats all over India assume great importance. There are about 14 lakh traditional textile retailers in India with an annual turnover of Rs. 15 lakhs or less, but there is huge potential and possibility to multiply this figure manifold. “The need of the hour is to work on modernisation of our retail operations – engaging our channel partners in the process and help retailers serve our customers better,” he added.
He urged the delegates to use the powerful platform of InFashion to connect better with this retail fraternity. Poddar said the industry must promote modern techniques, innovation at each level of product development, and forward-looking policies. “We must also develop a healthy two-way communication among this huge textile retail family. I think this is the most noble and practical thought associated with a show like InFashion,” he added.
Session moderator Sahni of Wazir Advisors was emphatic that the future is all about the people, including everybody such as investors, managers, workers and all the stake-holders of the industry. “People have to be motivated to think fresh. Richest people all over the world had background in textiles, and the same success stories can be repeated in India too,” he said. “A start up / innovation fund is the need of the hour to encourage young creative entrepreneurs to enter the industry. FAITMA can think about it.”
Mehta of Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce said value addition by the industry players is a must for success. “Branding, creativity and positioning will solve the problem of margins. Consumers will pay more, but they are already paying more for innovative products,” he said.
Modani of Sangam was of the view that there is a tremendous opportunity for innovation in the industry by all the players. “There is a lot of demand in the market for innovative and technical textiles,” he said.
Zope from the Textile Association of India said that the future of the industry is bright as consumption will continue to grow in the country. However, he added, the margins need to be worked out by the players to sustain and grow. “Innovation is the only way to excite customers to buy more and get new entrepreneurs into the textile industry,” he said.