Fashion industry catches ‘Make in India’ fever

Speakers at NIFT event brainstorm to marry ‘Make in India’ and the fashion industry

Neha Dewan | The Dollar Business Fashion-industry-The-Dollar-Business The Department of Fashion Management Studies at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) organised an event in the capital today to marry the fashion industry with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Attended by a host of industry professionals, faculty members and students, the main agenda of the event – Marketing Make in India to International Fashion Brands and Retailers – was centred on creating a ‘manufacturing culture’ in India. Other aspects such as who can/should make in India, how to shift from making fashion products to building brands, and how apt are India's logistics, were among some of the other topics discussed at the event. Drawing a parallel with China in his keynote address, Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Director & CEO, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), said that India should learn from China’s openness towards FDI and technology. “Only once we leverage it like they did, can we have some bargaining power,” he said. Kathuria also said the reason why many luxury brands are not looking at manufacturing in India is because these brands require a lot in terms of efficiency, quality, technical standards as well as production timing. “It will take time for that to come by. Even if you see China, it would be difficult for you to name even one Chinese brand although China has been in the space for a very long time. Say an iPhone, 40% of the value of an iPhone is in the design component and the value goes to the US. But that is the kind of innovation the Chinese do.” Taking a cue, Sanjay Shukla, Divisional Merchandising Manager, Triburg, spoke of several new categories that have scope for immense growth. “Athletic wear and sportswear is a huge market. There are many categories like these such as yoga wear and wellness wear. The point is if you want ‘Make in India’ to succeed, then you have to think of product categories that are under leveraged. Our motto should not be just to join the bandwagon but to give it a new direction. And that new direction can come only out of innovation.” Others were of the view that creating demand is the first step. “The idea is to sell in India first. Only then will they make in India, once they see the benefits. Only then will they be incentivised to have a manufacturing set up that will start catering to such requirements,” Ankur Jauhari, Category Manager,, said.  

May 28, 2015 | 7:01 pm IST.