Despite employing over 10,000 people and contributing to the region’s growth, Nagpur's garment manufacturing units have still a long way to go before catching the eye of some of the larger apparel brands of the country, something that is critical for the industry’s growth to the next level, says Debashish Ghosh, President of the Nagpur Garment Manufacturing Association (www.tngma.org).
“The challenge is that most of our members are unorganized. In fact, our association itself got formed only six years ago, though now we boast of 500 members in our group,” Ghosh said while enumerating some of the activities that the association took up in order to give a better structure to the industry.
While most orders are procured from suppliers across Maharashtra and some parts of central India and the units are run out of small workshops with technology that’s close to obsolescence. “The target clientele for our products are from the lower-middle to lower income group,” says Ghosh.
Vipul Panchmatia, TNGMA secretary and founder of Patternal Clothing, which operates a unit with 50 machines, describes the situation as a chicken-and-egg one whereby technology can improve only with larger orders, which in turn can materialize only on the basis of having a minimum of 100 sewing machines.
“Things will change only when some of the bigger apparel brands come calling. However, for this to happen, our production has to become viable in terms of lower power tariff as well as cheaper industrial land,” he says.
Incidentally, Supportbiz.com learnt that the region produces over 65% of Maharashtra’s power while the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) intervention has jacked up land costs in the region disproportionately.
On its part, the association organizes skill development programs besides generating interest in terms of investing in latest technology to improve productivity and quality. “We require capital infusion in technology and this requires a change in attitude, both on the part of entrepreneurs and lending institutions,” concludes Ghosh.