With a rich 35-year-old history of serving the apparel manufacturing industry, IIGM has intelligently stayed in tune with the market trends and changing consumer demands to emerge as one of the largest suppliers of technologies for garment manufacturing in India. With a strong and well-stocked portfolio of 40 solutions, IIGM has a well-trained and dedicated team of 500 people spread across 15 state-of-the-art offices in India to service over 10,000 highly satisfied customers. StitchWorld brings to you an exclusive one-o-one with Pavan Kapoor, Managing Director, IIGM on market directions. Pavan Kapoor with his foresightedness has consistently brought to the front the latest, the best and the most relevant technologies.
SW: Everyone seems to be happy with the market… What is your reading of the current scenario?
PK: The market today is no doubt good, but having said that, it cannot be called a sweeping statement across all segments, areas and products. What we can definitely say is that the sentiments are good, dollar is stable, exports are definitely looking up and these are positive benefits from what is happening around in our neighbouring countries. I would say we are in a reasonably good space. Contrary to general perception, the last two years were not bad years. In fact, they were reasonably good compared to the previous years and if we continue to do good in the coming years as well, then I would say that India’s growth story in apparel business is here to stay.
SW: Which variables of trade according to you will make sure that the market continues to be good over the year?
PK: Two years ago, when the market turned around for exports it was undoubtedly because of foreign exchange. For Indian exports to be competitive, the rupee price has to maintain a certain level. If the rupee appreciates dramatically, the exports will be hit. Of course there are other factors at play too, like China. How much business will move out of there and how much India will absorb vis-à-vis other competing countries are critical to our growth. But when it comes to domestic market, it is a very interesting story. We can see domestic distributors becoming bigger and bigger, but just how much of the momentum built will last, is still largely dependent on how the country does in general. Some people tell me that there is too much competition, if a young guy goes online, he can get a good quality shirt for Rs. 400. The domestic industry is changing, so commenting on how it will play out in the coming years is a bit premature. Maybe in a year or two we will be in a better position to answer where the domestic market is going.
SW: What is the thought-process of the leading exporters of the industry today?
PK: The leading Indian apparel exporters have succeeded in executing what was thought to be impossible or obtuse 10 years ago. They have put factories in remote locations of the country and done well. They have delivered the message that garment industry by nature is a migratory industry and if you do not migrate, you will not be able to sustain. They have left the real estate mindset and are now focusing on strengthening their business instead of worrying about factory land costs.
SW: IIGM has introduced solutions like C-Tex and Metod which are rather niche for the Indian market. How has the market received these products?
PK: At IIGM, we try to look for the gaps in the manufacturing setup and consistency in fabric quality has always been an issue and automated inspection systems are critical. One cannot evade automation in this department if looking for consistent results and that is why we brought in these solutions. Anything new is treated with a certain amount of caution and that is normal. But as a company, who has been in business for so many years and understanding a manufacturer’s mindset, we realize that this is a game of ROI, quality upliftment and improvement and as long as one can provide solutions that fit into this mantra, you are in business.