President's Desk

Dear Friends,

The good news first! Exports continue to show a turnaround which started in the third quarter of 2018, and March showed a healthy 15% growth over last year. Of course, we still ended up the fiscal 2018-19 with a negative growth of a little over 3%; the last 4-5 months’ performance indicates a more positive future. With the combined MEIS and RoSCTL now in place, I think we can look forward to a return to a growth period after several years.

But there can be many a slip between the cup and the lip. I was in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago, attending the popular Prime Source Forum Conference—and one of the speakers made a very telling remark… “India has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity!” It stung, but not quite unjustified!

One cannot get a more conducive situation—China continues its gradual withdrawal from labour-intensive and low value industries, Bangladesh is getting increasingly more expensive (though still considerably cheaper than most other Countries), Vietnam has geographical and logistical constraints, and Africa and Myanmar continue to promise but not much is yet happening. For once, the Government is supportive, and is listening to the Industry.

What more can one ask?

But wait. There are contra-movements also.

More and more emphasis is being laid on quicker deliveries. Speed to market, if not replacing cost of production, is fast becoming an important factor in sourcing decisions. Buyers have started weighing the cost of lost sales and wrong predictions made two months earlier, versus a few cents cheaper cost of production. ‘Reshoring’ is no longer just an academic catchphrase heard in seminars—but is actually being experimented with. Legal and Social Compliances are being more closely insisted upon and monitored. Factories are being rejected in spite of offering cheap prices. Adherence to deadlines and commitments are being viewed more than as just bonuses—but in fact are often the determining factor in taking decisions. Profit margins are being squeezed, and we will have to accept that the Garment Industry is a low margin Industry.

All these and more are issues which the Indian Industry will have to grapple with and overcome (let us not ignore that these are some of our traditional weaknesses). And the Government cannot do anything to help here. This is our battle and we have to address it.

Will we be able to overcome? Or will we once again sit back and wait for the next excuse to cry about?

Time will tell.

 

 

 


Rahul Mehta

Welcome to CMAI

From the President's Desk

Dear Friends,

The good news first! Exports continue to show a turnaround which started in the third quarter of 2018, and March showed a healthy 15% growth over last year. Of course, we still ended up the fiscal 2018-19 with a negative growth of a little over 3%; the last 4-5 months’ performance indicates a more positive future. With the combined MEIS and RoSCTL now in place, I think we can look forward to a return to a growth period after several years.

But there can be many a slip between the cup and the lip. I was in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago, attending the popular Prime Source Forum Conference—and one      .... Read More