The National Garment Fairs conducted by CMAI (Clothing Manufacturers Association of India) have, over the last several decades, become one of the most important events in the calendar of the Domestic Garment Industry. Innumerable Brands have been launched during the NGFs (as they are popularly called), and Manufacturers plan their production around the dates of the NGFs, as do Retailers their Buying for the Season.
The current Covid-19 crisis makes the holding of events of the size and scale of NGFs impossible. With travel between cities, interaction between Manufacturers and Retailers, and distribution of Samples across various centres becoming an extremely difficult if not viable option, CMAI has come up with the unique concept of a Virtual Fair, where Buyers and Sellers would meet digitally to showcase and see the samples from the safety of their Offices, Showrooms, and Homes.
In what should be the first Digital Fair in the Domestic Garment Industry, CMAI’s 71st National Garment Fair – ONLINE, will be held from 10th to the 20th September. The 71st NGF will have over 250 participants, and close to 20,000 Retailers are expected to visit the Fair Digitally.
This Fair is being brought to you in partnership with UDAAN, India’s leading B2B e-commerce platform having the Largest Distribution Network for Retailers, Wholesalers, Brands and Manufacturers across multiple Categories. Udaan’s Marketplace services include Credit, Logistics, Marketing & Sales support to Buyers and Sellers on its Platform, facilitating efficient and convenient transactions across the Country. It is a matter of privilege for CMAI that the Hon. Minister for Textiles, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, has agreed to launch the Fair, on the 10th September.
Current market situation
The NGFs not only usher in the new Season, but have often played the role of turning around the mood of the Industry – with its showcasing of new trends, Brand launches, fresh innovations – and bringing in its wake a new excitement and energy. In the current situation of agonizingly slow recovery, such a change of mood is keenly required.
As per the CMAI Apparel Consumption Study, conducted with the assistance of A.C. Nielson, India’s premier Market Research Agencies, the size of the Domestic Market before Covid-19 crisis stood at Rs.6.5 lakh crores. The Survey was conducted over a sample size of 80,000 plus Households.
CMAI estimates that the consumption will go down by approximately 30% in the year 2020-2021. Various surveys conducted by CMAI over the last few months also indicate at least 20% of respondents shutting business unless markets improve substantially. It is estimated that most manufacturers have also planned a reduction in employee strength by 20% to 25%. Considering that the Garment Industry employs around 12 million people, this reduction amounts to an alarming figure.
The biggest issue confronting the Domestic Market is the slow recovery of consumer sentiment, and hence the strong decline in domestic sales. The market is expected to revive to around 70% of previous year’s levels by the 3rd Quarter, with the festive season setting in. It is to take advantage of this partial recovery that CMAI is planning the 71st NGF, and it is expected to kick-start the season once again.
India’s Exports of Garments have also dropped to US $1446 Million during April to June 2020, showing a decline of over 62% over last year 1st quarter. However, with the gradual opening up of the international markets, it is estimated that our exports will end up close to 65% to 70% of last year.
However, with the anti-China sentiment spreading across the world, Indian Exports are faced with one more opportunity to take a quantum leap in its Market share in the period ahead. Both Government and Industry are working closely to ensure that India takes full advantage of this situation. The much awaited signing of FTAs with EU and USA will go a long way in assisting this growth.
Other CMAI activities
In an important development, three leading Associations – the Garment Exporters Association of Rajasthan (GEAR), Apparel Manufacturers Association of Indore (AMSI), and West Bengal Hosiery Association (WBHA) have affiliated their Associations to CMAI, enhancing the reach and influence of CMAI in these important Manufacturing centres of the Country, and simultaneously helping the Regional Associations to communicate their activities across all over India.
CMAI is also launching an extremely useful Mobile Catalogue App with in partnership with Quick Sell, which will enable its members to maintain a 24/7 connect with their clients with their products, their promotions, and their developments digitally. The App is being launched in September 2020. Both these are part of continued efforts of CMAI to provide service to its members in various forms, and help them to grow their businesses in spite of the challenging environment.