Dyestuff Industry In India And China

World demand for dyes and organic pigments to touch $10.6 billion in 2008

According to a study on dyes & organic pigments, the worldwide demand for organic colourants (dyes and organic pigments) is projected to increase at $10.6 billion in 2008 form 4.9 per cent annually in 2003.

Generally, the dyestuff industry comprises three sub-segments, namely dyes, pigment and intermediates. The dye intermediates are petroleum downstream products which are further processed into finished dyes and pigments. These are important sources in major industries like textiles, plastics, paints, paper and printing inks, leather, packaging sector etc.

Leading players in dyes

Textile dyes have been used since the Bronze Age. They also constitute a prototype 21st-century specialty chemicals market. Three large manufacturers namely DyStar, Ciba Specialty Chemicals and Clariant are leaders in the dyes market. The biggest, DyStar, was established in a series of mergers of some of Europe’s leading textile dye businesses in the 1990s. Worldwide excess capacity and price burden, fueled by the immediate growth of Asian manufacturers, have shifted most dyestuff chemistries into commodities. Regulatory barriers have nearly stopped the progress of the opening of fundamentally new dyestuffs. Despite this DyStar, Ciba Specialty Chemicals and Clariant have grown over the past 10 years with innovative products and new chemistry is being set to endure reactive and dispersant dyes as well as in older dyestuffs such as sulfur dyes.

In 2001 the biggest individual company market shares in colourant production were DyStar (23%), Ciba (14%), Clariant (7%), Yorkshire Group (5%), Japanese (5%) and other traditional groups (3%)., and various dyestuff manufacturers comprise the largest group at 43%.

The only way to growth and to keep Asian bulk dyestuff manufacturers at bay, they say, comes straight out of specialty chemicals strategy to distinguish product offerings through collaborative work with customers and charge a premium price for particular products that gives a perfect solution. This is an effective method, provided that these suppliers produce in China, India, Pakistan, and Brazil as well as in the U.S. and Europe, and that most of the textile producers aim to maintain uniform quality and product performance across worldwide.

Europe is facing the problem of overcapacity of about 30 to 40 per cent in the market from Asia, especially China. But, experts believe, Asian manufacturers manufacture a limited number of low-cost, basic dyestuffs. Most of experts of this field believe that growth lies in innovation and differentiation. Though, of the 180,000-ton-per-year worldwide market for dispersed dyes, specialty dyes consist only about 5,000 tons.

DyStar is a major manufacturer of reactive dyes, which were developed 50 years ago at ICI. DyStar was recently purchased by Platinum Equity, is made up of the dyes business of the original ICI, as well as those of Bayer, BASF and Hoechst. DyStar has developed deep-shade dyes for polyesters. New chemistries are emerging for controlling staining from azo and anthraquinone dyes, including thiophene-based azo dyes. DyStar has also developed benzodifuranone dyes for heavy red shades. It modified azo dyes to keep up their performance when applied with the new detergents. The company also set up secrecy agreements with the leading detergent producers to test new detergent chemistry and do the required dye reformulation proactively. It has added the number of reactive groups in its fluoroaromatic Levafix CA reactive dyes. The company has also been functioning on strengthening the chromophore or color component of the dye for improved lightfastness.

Recently, DyStar has made new red dye for cellulosic fibers, Indanthren Deep Red C-FR Plus, is a new speciality dye for medium to heavy shades of red and Bordeaux, suitable for the coloration of cellulosics on continuous and yarn dyeing units as well as cellulosic/polyamide blends. DyStar Textilfarben GmbH has also introduced the classic cold pad batch dyeing process (cpb). Key developments in cold pad batch technology were started in 1957 and are still ongoing:

-Development of dosing pumps (Hoechst)

– Introduction of sodium silicate as a fixing alkali (Hoechst)

– Development of microwave and oven lab fixation method (Hoechst)

– Mathematical determination of pad liquor stability under practical conditions (Hoechst) —

Optidye CR (DyStar)

– Development of silicate free alkali systems (DyStar)

The dyestuffs industry of China

In the first half of 2005, China gained a growth of 4 per cent in dyes and 11 per cent in organic pigment output. A report stated that China’s demand for dyes and pigments is expected to increase at 12 per cent annually by 2008 and output of dyes and pigments will rise by 13 per cent annually by 2008.

According to statistics, in 2004, the production volume of dyeing stuffs and pigments in China reached 598,300 tons and 143,600 tons, an increment of 10.4 per cent and 13.3 per cent over that of the previous year. The total imports and exports of dyeing stuffs and pigments were projected to be 291,200 tons and 138,800 tons; an increase of 10.64 per cent and 16.15 per cent over the same time the previous year. Hence, China has developed to be a large manufacturer, consumer and dealer of dyeing materials, pigments and dyeing auxiliary.

China becomes top importer for Bangladesh

During July-September 2005 Bangladesh imported dyes and chemical (combined) worth 3.73 billion taka ($57.5 million) from China against 2.53 billion taka ($38.9 million) from India.

DyStar expands China facility

Recently DyStar has announced to invest around USD 55 million in a new textile dyes facility at Nanjing to extend its production base in China and step up its focus on this key growth market. Situated about 300 kilometres north-west of Shanghai, Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu Province, a key area for textile production. It will be DyStar’s third production unit in China, alongside Wuxi, where the production capacity was tripled last year, and Qingdao. This new production site will increase their growth in China. At the same time it will strengthen their international competitiveness and boost market leadership. This investment is a clear sign that DyStar is continuing to invest in its core business and will remain a reliable partner for the textile industry in the long term.

At the new production complex in Nanjing, DyStar will produce dyes for cellulosic and synthetic fibres. In-built flexibility will permit the manufacture of other dyes and extension of the infrastructure in line with requirements. That means DyStar will be able to respond quickly to the rising demand in China. The inauguration of the first plant is scheduled in the first half of 2006.

Indian dyestuff industry

In India the dyestuff industry supplies its majority of the production to the textile industry. Huge of amounts exports of dyes and pigments from India are also done to the textile industry in Europe, South East Asia and Taiwan.

Currently, the Indian dyestuff industry is completely self-dependable for producing the products locally. India presently manufactures all kinds of synthetic dyestuffs and intermediates and has its strong holds in the natural dyestuff market. India has come up as a global supplier of dyestuffs and dye intermediates, mainly for reactive, acid, vat and direct dyes. India has a share of approximately 6 per cent of the world production in dyestuff products.

Structure of dyestuff industry in India

The Indian dyestuff industry has been in existence since about 40 years, though a few MNCs established dyestuff units in the pre independence era. Like the other chemical industry, the dyestuff industry is also widely scattered. The industry is functioning by the co-existence of a few manufacturers in the organised sector (around 50 units) and a large number of small producers (around 1,000 units) in the unorganised sector.

The spreading of these units is slanted towards the western region (Maharashtra and Gujarat) accounting to 90 per cent. In fact, about 80 per cent of the total capacity is in the state of Gujarat, where there are about 750 units.

There has been a huge development in the dyestuff industry during the last decade. This has happened due to the Government’s concessions (excise and tax concessions) to small-scale units and export opportunities generated by the closure of several units in countries like the USA and Europe (due to the implementation of strict pollution control norms). The duty concessions provided to small-scale producers had given in the large ones becoming uncompetitive to some extent. Price competition was strong in the lower segments of the market. Liberalisation of the economy and large-scale reduction of duties have given the decrement of margins for smaller producers. Closing of many small-scale units in Gujarat due to environmental reasons has also helped the organised sector players to grow further.

Over six hundred varieties of dyes and organic pigments are now being produced in India (both by the organised and the unorganised sector). But the per-capita consumption of dyestuffs is less than the world average. Dyes are soluble and basically applied textile products. Pigments, on the other hand, are insoluble and are main sources of products such as paints.

During the past few years, the dyestuff industry was overwhelmed by a series of fast changing upshots in the international platform. The largest market for dyestuffs has been the textile industry. The hold of polyester and cotton in the global markets has positively created the demand for some kinds of dyestuffs. Furthermore, the demand for polyamides, acrylics, cellulose and wool has been close to stagnant. Discrepancy in the regional growth rates of textile products too influences demand. The Asian region has seen the highest development in textile production, followed by North America, Latin America and Western Europe. This shows the change in the global textile industry towards Asia. Subsequently, Asia offers dyestuff production both in terms of volumes and value, with about a 42 per cent share of the global production; the US is next with 24 per cent and Europe has around 22 per cent. Due to a wide use of polyester and cotton-based fabrics, there has been a change towards reactive dyes, applied in cotton-based fabrics, and disperses dyes used in polyester. These two dyes have been leading in all the three regional global market, particularly Asia. Moreover, the change in textile application pattern and regional developments is the amount of over capacity in the global dyestuff industry.

Within India, the leading producers in the pigments industry are Colour Chem and Sudarshan Chemicals while in the dyestuff industry the major players in terms of market share are Atul, Clariant India, Dystar, Ciba Specialities and IDI. The Indian companies together account for nearly 6 per cent of the world production.

Almost 80 per cent of the dyestuffs are commodities. Since not much technology is used, copying of products is also easy as compared to specialties. Though in the recent past, there have been efforts by global producers, with some achievement, to shift to the specialty end of the product profile. Vat dyes have always performed as specialty products, with technology working as a vital function. Now companies are focusing on the higher end of the reactive dyes segment. The inclination is now changing from supplying mere products to colour package solutions. More importance is given to innovation, production range, quality and environmental friendly products. Manufacturers are collaborating with equipment producers to offer integrated solutions rather than products.

Fiscal policies and modification in the application pattern of the global dyestuff industry have revolutionized the market shares of Indian companies. Excise concessions for the small-scale sector in the mid and the late 1980s generated many units in Maharashtra and Gujarat. At one point of time, there were in the unorganised sector nearly 1,000 units, with most of them situated in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Though, since the early 1990s, there has been seen an ongoing decrement in the excise duty rates applicable to the organised sector. From 25 per cent in 1993-94, the excise duty rates were decreased to 20 per cent in 1994-95, and 18 per cent in 1997-98 and further decreased these rates to 16 per cent.

This continuing decrement in the duty rates smoothened the competitive edge of the unorganised sector. The organised sector, with high product range, technology and marketing reach was capable to raise its market share. But more noteworthy changes have gained through the German ban on many dyestuffs, enforced to the local pollution control laws. While the organised sector has been capable to regulating the manufacturing of dyes based on the 20 banned amines by the German legislation, many in the unorganised sector were moved out. This was amalgam by the local pollution laws, which need to establish the effluent treatment plants, and drive out companies in the unorganised sector.

The capacity and production of dyes and dye stuff was 54,000 MT and 26,000 MT respectively in the year 2003-04. The capacity and production of dyes and dye stuff was 54,000 MT and 26,000 MT correspondingly in the year 2003-04. The small scale units offer major share in dyestuff production while large units focus producing dyestuff intermediates.

Disperse and Reactive dyes represent the greatest product segments in the country covering about 45 per cent of dyestuff consumption. In the coming time, both these segments will lead the dyestuff market with disperse dyes possibly to have the greatest contribution followed by reactive dyes. These two segments will hold a greatest share in order to lead textile and synthetic fibers in dyestuff consumption. Vat segment is also projected to prove healthy growth in future.

Exports and Import of Dyestuffs

In the year 2004-2005 the exports of dyestuff industry has touched 1109 million US dollar. Exports of dyestuffs in the year 2000-01 reached to about Rs. 2365 crores and accounted to about 5 per cent of the total world trade of dyestuffs. The main markets for Indian dyestuffs are the European Union, U.S.A., Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Egypt. The following table provides data export and import of dyestuff during last few years.

Technology

The technology for dyestuff production changes largely from relatively simple (direct azo) to sophisticated (disperse and vat) dyes. Despite the fact that technology is locally available, most of it is out dated. The setback is further compounded by the fact that the nature of the process differs from batch to batch and, hence, managing the process parameters becomes complex.

The dyestuff industry is one of the largely polluting industries and this has lead to them closing down internationally or changing the units to the emerging economies. Majority of the international producers have shifted the technology to developing nations like China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. This shift of manufacturing capacities is because the industry is supposed to work as a high-cost and low return one. The batch processing also formulates it to a labour- intensive industry. Hence, the competitiveness of developing economies gets a boosts.

Though, in the past decade the Indian industry has made considerable development in terms of technology and production.

Restructuring

Restructuring of the Indian dyestuff industry which started a couple of years ago is still in progress. The movement was initiated by the market leader Colour-Chem Ltd. It has also come into a toll manufacturing agreement with Dystar India Ltd. There have been other arrangements, which would give improving capacity utilisation at manufacturing facilities and also to have better exposure of export markets.

Ciba India and IDI have signed a deal to market polyester and cellulose dyes. IDI has also started work with Ciba for the production and marketing of dyes and pigments. Atul products has received the acquisition of Zeneca’s 50 per cent stake in Atic Industries Ltd and started work with BAS, Germany to market 50 per cent of its manufacturing of vat dyes.

Indian Fashion Industry

Colourful fashion trends of India

With the end of the 20th century came the end of all hype which has created a more practical and pragmatic environment and has given a more stable picture of the fashion business.

In the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Indian fashion scenario wasn’t exactly colorless. It was exciting, stylish and very graceful. There were no designers, models, star or fashion design labels that the country could show off. The value of a garment was judged by its style and fabric and not by who made it.

It was regarded as ever so chic and fashionable to approach any unfamiliar tailor, who could make a garment for a few rupees, providing the perfect fit, finish and style. The high society lady, who wore it, was proud for getting a good bargain and for giving her name to the end result.

In 60s, tight ‘kurtas’, ‘churidars’ and high coiffures were a trend among ladies. It was an era full of naughtiness and celebration in arts and music and cinema, manifested by liberation from restriction and acceptance of new types of materials such as plastic film and coated polyester fabric.

The 70s witnessed an increase in the export of traditional materials outside the country as well as within. Hence, international fashion arrived in India much before the MTV culture with the bold colors, flower prints and bell-bottoms. Synthetics turned trendy and the disco culture affected the fashion scenario.

It was in the early 80s when the first fashion store ‘Ravissant’ opened in Mumbai. At that time garments were retailed for a four-figure price tag. The ’80s was the era of self consciousness and American designers like Calvin Klein became popular. In India too, silhouettes became more masculine and the ‘salwar kameez’ was designed with shoulder pads.

With the evolution of designer stores in Mumbai, the elegant fashion design culture was a trend among Indians along with their heavy price tags. No doubt that a garment with a heavy price tag was at the bottom stage of fashion. But clients immediately transformed into the high fashion fold where they were convinced that that the word ‘elegant fashion design culture’ means, it had to have a higher price tag.

Garments were sold at unbelievable prices only because the designers had decided to get themselves noticed by making showy outfits and getting associated with the right shows, celebrities and events.

Later, fashion shows shifted to competitive events each attempting to out-do the other in theme, guest list and media coverage. For any newcomer, the fashion business was the number one professional art that time.

In the 90’s, the last decade of the millennium, a move towards the drastic pairing down returned with ethnic wears (Today, ethnic wear market in India is accounted to Rs. 9000 crore). This led to the decline and the recession, the push to sell at any cost and keep staying in the limelight. With heavy cut throat competition and sound awareness of the client, the inevitable occurred. The price tags, which had once reached at a peak, began their downside journey.

At those times the downturn was not only being experienced in the price tags of the garments, but also in the business of fashion shows. More models, choreographers, make-up men, hairstylists and designers streamed down into their business.

The fun and party time in the Indian fashion scenario had not ended with this, but continued. It was a point, where it reached at a certain steady level and from there, in the beginning of the 21st centaury, with new designers and models and some sensible designing; the fashion hype accelerated its speed.

Indian fashion industry spreads its wings globally

For the global fashion industry, India is a very big exporter of fabrics and accessories. All over the world, Indian ethnic designs and materials are considered as a significant facet for the fashion houses and garment manufacturers. In fabrics, while sourcing for fashion wear, India also plays a vital role as one of the biggest players in the international fashion arena.

India’s strengths not only depend on its tradition, but also on its raw materials. World over, India is the third largest producer of cotton, the second largest producer of silk and the fifth largest producer of man-made fibres.

In the international market, the Indian garment and fabric industries have many fundamental aspects that are compliant, in terms of cost effectiveness to produce, raw material, quick adjustment for selling, and a wide ranges of preference in the designs in the garments like with sequin, beadwork, aari or chikkon embroidery etc, as well as cheaper skilled work force. India provides these fashion garments to the international fashion houses at competitive prices with shorter lead time and an effective monopoly in designs which covers elaborated hand embroidery – accepted world over.

India has always been considered as a default source in the embroidered garment segment, but the changes of rupee against dollar has further decreased the prices, thereby attracting buyers. So the international fashion houses walk away with customized stuff, and in the end crafted works are sold at very cheap rates.

As far as the market of fabrics is concerned, the ranges available in India can attract as well as confuse the buyer. A basic judgmental expectation in the choosing of fabrics is the present trend in the international market. Much of the production tasks take place in parts of the small town of Chapa in the Eastern state of Bihar, a name one would have never even heard of. Here fabric making is a family industry, the ranges and quality of raw silks churned out here belie the crude production methods and equipment used- tussars, matka silks, phaswas, you name it and they can design it. Surat in Gujarat, is the supplier of an amazing set of jacquards, moss crepes and georgette sheers – all fabrics utilized to make dazzling silhouettes demanded world over. Another Indian fabric design that has been specially designed for the fashion history is the “Madras check” originally utilized for the universal “Lungi” a simple lower body wrap worn in Southern India, this product has now traversed its way on to bandannas, blouses, home furnishings and almost any thing one can think of.

Recently many designers have started using traditional Indian fabrics, designs and cuts to enhance their fashion collections. Ethnic Indian designs with batik cravat, tie-and-dye or vegetable block print is ‘in’ not just in India but all across the world.

In India, folk embroidery is always associated with women. It is a way of their self expression, and they make designs that depict their native culture, their religion and their desires. Women embroider clothes for their personal use, and the people linked with the pastoral profession prepare embroidered animal decorations, decorative covers for horns and foreheads and the Rabaris of Kutch in Gujarat do some of the finest embroidery. Embroidered pieces are made during the festivals and marriages, which are appliqué work called ‘Dharaniya’. One of the significant styles of Saurashtra is ‘Heer’ embroidery, which has bold geometric designs, woven on silks. The Mutwa women of the Banni area of Kutch have a fascinating embroidery where they make fine embroidery works with designed motifs and mirrors in the size of pinheads, the Gracia jats use geometric designs on the yoke of long dresses. Moreover, the finest of quilts with appliqué work are also made in Kutch.

Garments embellishment with bead work is another area where it in demand in the international market. Beads are used to prepare garlands and other accessory items like belts and bags and these patterns now available for haute couture evening wear too.

According to a survey, in recent times Indian women have given up their traditional sari for western wears like t-shirts and shorts, as they feel more comfortable in skirts and trousers instead of saris and salwar kameez. It’s been noted that women spend just $165 million on trousers and skirts against 1.74 billion dollars spent by men on trousers. With more women coming out to work, the (combined) branded trouser and skirts market has been increasing at a whopping 27 per cent in sales terms. Women feel that Western clothing is more suitable, particularly when working or using public transportation. Many corporate offices are also in favor of their employees wearing Western wear.

In India, Western inspiration is increasing due to the influence of TV and films. Besides, shopping malls selling branded clothes have also mushroomed in India and are fascinating the youngsters. Recently, designer wear is being promoted through store chains such as Shopper’s Stop, Pantaloons, Westside, etc. Companies such as Raymond and TCNS have also set up their exclusive stores for designer wear such as Be: and W.

The market of India fashion industry

Recently, a report stated that the Indian fashion industry can increase from its net worth of Rs 200 crore to Rs 1,000 crore in the next five to ten years. Currently, the worldwide designer wear market is amounted at $35 billion, with a 9 per cent growth rate, with the Indian fashion industry creating hardly 0.1 per cent of the international industry’s net worth.

According to approximations, the total apparel market in India is calculated to be about Rs 20,000 crore. The branded apparel market’s size is nearly one fourth of this or Rs 5,000 crore. Designer wear, in turn, covers nearly about 0.2 per cent of the branded apparel market.

At present, the largest sales turnover within the designer wear segment is about Rs25 crore, with other well-known names having less turnovers of Rs10-15 crore. In view of the prospects of the Indian fashion industry for growth, the figures are not very hopeful.

The figure of fashion industry

o The organized market for designer apparel is about Rs 250 crore

o Designer wear calculates to less than 1 per cent of the apparel market

o The global market for designer wear is 5 per cent of total apparel market

o The global market for designer wear industry is largely dependent on the small-scale sector

o Consumers for designer wear have a yearly household income of Rs 10 lakh-plus. There are 3 lakh such households developing at 40-45 per cent

o Designer wear industry is projected to increase to Rs 1,000 crore by 2015.

o More than 81 per cent of the population below 45 years of the age is fashion conscious.

Many fashion designers and management experts foresee an average growth of about 10-12 per cent for the Indian fashion industry in the coming years. Though, the growth rate could be more than 15 per cent, if infrastructural and other logistical bottlenecks and drawbacks are over come.

India needs more effort to overcome

However, despite the benefits available in India there are also some disadvantages. India is not a remarkable player in the global market with reference to brands because of its inability to add value to products. This is observed by the fact that nearly 50 per cent of its exports are apparel and made-ups where value addition is essential. Likewise, 75 per cent of domestic apparel market is commoditized and unbranded and very few Indian brands do survive in the foreign markets. Evidently, the Indian market has not made a strong stand and hence it is difficult to make Indian brands that can compete with global brands in India.

Another reason for the fashion industry’s inadequate growth is the limited experience of the designers and the platform they are offered. The insignificance stalks from the reality that most of the young talent is hired by the bigger names to work in their studios, thus imprinting their work with the label of the big designers.

Though performing individual presentation is not an alternative choice for most of the young talent, because of the limitation of finance, a beginner designer’s name fails to come to the forefront.

Another thing, with regards to the ramp, is what the designers offer is barely appropriate to be worn ordinarily. You’ll see there’s dissimilarity between what is there on the ramp and what the Page Three crowd wears. Some believe at present the fashion is in, but the tendency hasn’t changed much as it is the old ones coming back. We have had short kurtas, long kurtas, flowing skirts, etc. coming back into fashion with only a new variety of designs.

Many management consultants and professionals believe that the Indian fashion industry will be boosted if the new comers are paid proper attention. What they require is more support so that their work gets due recognition. According to the consultants and professionals there should be a panel of people who choose designers for showcasing according to their work and not their name or who they’ve worked for earlier, and hence selection would be purely based on quality. Besides this, the panel of judges should comprise of people from the fashion schools rather than designers.

It has been observed that the media-hype around the big designers and blatant commercialism has hindered business in the Indian fashion industry. No clear cut picture is provided about the feasibility of the products. Basically it is only the famous names that are being talked of. What they offer is not quite daily-wear. The entire focal point of the industry is on commercialism. The discussion is only regarding how much is sold and for what price and nothing about the designs or styles.

Efforts to develop global fashion brands

It needs innovative designers, a seamless supply chain, control over retail and distribution and concentration of quality while dealing with some image. While a few have accomplished something in the west covering Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Zara, Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, etc, India has not been capable to track on.

A serious reason for India not being successful has been its isolation in the fashion system. Each stakeholder including designers, exporters, textile players and retail chains need to come together along with the government to make sure that the position of Indian fashion is strong in the coming years.

There are various agencies and industry associations that can support in brand-building practice. Many of these agencies require attractive resources and making a global image of Indian fashion rather than independently trying to promote particular brands or textile segments.

Efforts to create strong global image

Large textiles players require more and more to target on the market facing activities while developing an association with small medium enterprise (SME) clusters. Such kind of networks would be a benefit to that which can focus on demand making and branding as well as for clusters that can focus on quality production.

Efforts to create value networks

After the entry of large retail chains like Wal-Mart, Gap etc in India, Small scale manufacturers in India will find it very difficult to satisfy the demands of these international buyers if they continue to promote their products individually. Therefore, it is very important that value networks are created between large textile and apparel companies in India and small scale manufacturers, so that the marketing muscle of the leading players can be utilized for receiving large orders while the bigger players then assign the orders to the small-medium enterprises according to their past record of quality and service. For this to be put into practice, it will be vital to well-organize the information on small-medium enterprise clusters in a perfect manner so that supplier selection decisions are made according to the information in the long run, only the more efficient small-medium enterprise players survive and develop.

Efforts to concentrate on designers and designs

Designers have a fundamental role to play in the future of Indian fashion scenario. There should hence be an effective process for preparing these designers. This can be done by sponsoring exchange programs with international schools, increasing participations in the fashion capitals of the world, motivating and offering business incubation to new designers and rewarding efforts through proper design awards.

Even in India, well-known designers are incapable to tap finances from well-organized resources, since a vital part of their assets are brands and design talent which are not measured in terms of money and hence it becomes difficult to judge the value. This has severely inhibited their development and capability to raise retail existence across the country and abroad. Likewise, there is no systematic approach of existence in the fashion capitals of the world like Paris, Milan and New York. Due to this, designers have to depend on their personal contacts and relationships for organizing fashion shows and making retail alliances. The French government as well as the British government helps designers of their particular countries appreciably in these areas as they understand that value creation through design is the only way to carry on in the competitive landscape of the global fashion industry. The Indian government and related agencies should also accept this aspect of textile, apparel and fashion industry sincerely if they need to see India on the global fashion map.

Work in collaboration: designers-corporate efforts

Designers and many organizations can work globally through various models and with many working relationships. The Indian fashion industry has many views but only one such model, wherein a designer creates a retail venture with his/her own brand through organized retail chains. There are many other models according to brand ownership and division of operational activities.

Globally, many models of collaboration between designers and corporates are available. For example Ralph Lauren has made an agreement with Jones Apparel for producing and retailing various Polo brands. Likewise, Armani had an agreement with Zegna for production, even while it was competing with them in the marketplace. There are many cases of designer brands being co-owned by the designers and corporates, Gucci-Alexander McQueen and Gucci-Stella McCartney being some of them.

In the end, many designer businesses have been obtained by corporates where designers play a major role in the design elements of the business, but the brand and the organization is owned completely by the corporate.

The current possession of Calvin Klein by Philips Van Heusen and earlier holdings of Hugo Boss and Valentino by Marzotto are some related examples in this segment. These examples strongly point out that not only designers find such relationships important for development, but also corporates find these attractive for rising their profitability and growth. Likewise deals in India could go a long way in developing the brand values of corporates and designers.

Developing clusters

Making common infrastructure for functioning such as design and sampling, affluent treatment, product testing, etc can help in increasing the capability of the clusters since noteworthy investments could be made by the cluster itself rather than any single player.

Well-managed databases can help in decreasing search costs and through data mining, rating of players can be done so as to make the procurement process easier for buyers. Cooperative marketing programs at different clusters can also support players to grow up in the value chain by mixing their strengths within the cluster.

Cluster based battle in the fashion industry is characterized by the Italian industry. The National Chamber for Italian Fashion for example, supports the development of the fashion clusters at Milan and Florence in a well organized manner. Indian industry can learn a lot from Italy because India has a similar cluster based scattered production base, but has been incapable to link it with design and branding capability.

If the above activities are successfully considered, India could have an extraordinary development in the fashion industry, which could increase from a negligible size to Rs 8,000 crore in the coming decade.

Conclusion

In the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Indian fashion scenario was colorful and stylish, in the end of 20th century it was quite subdued and with the beginning of the 21st century it has geared up and is still experiencing the growth with many spectrums of colours. Though this industry is growing at a very good pace, besides achieving a negligible share in the global market, still it needs to make severe efforts to stand amongst international fashion market in various aspects.

Valve and Cock Industry Dented by Slump

The ongoing economic deceleration and the resultant decline in industrial output have severely affected the valve and cock industry in Punjab. Domestic sales of SMEs in the sector have fallen by 25% to 30%, while the export growth has continued to take a plunge, falling by over 80%.

A steep decline in both domestic and overseas sales has dented the margins of nearly 300-350 valve and cock manufacturing units, mostly belonging to the SSI sector.

“Margins of small-scale cock and valve units have significantly eroded as demand in the international market has taken a big hit. Punjab valve exporters are also losing their competitive edge due to the cheaper products from China,” commented Pritam Sharma, CEO of Moudgil India, a small valve and cock manufacturing and exporting unit in Jalandhar and a member of Punjab Valves and Cocks Manufacturers Association.

Both India and China procure raw materials like brass and gun metal from European countries. However, China has an edge in the international market since it provides finished products at subsidised rates, while India’s products are 25% to 30% costlier.

The high custom duties and tax levies on Indian import of raw materials increase the input cost significantly, pegging them behind their competitors in the global market. In view of the worsening market scenario, industry associations are seeking special packages to bail out the small-scale units from the crisis.

“The valve and cock industry of Punjab needs tax concessions and special benefits so that it can maintain its competitive edge. The lowering of excise duty from 7%-8% to 4%-5% will help small units cope with the ongoing downturn,” commented Pran Nath Bhalla, President of All India Valves and Cocks Manufacturers Association.

A number of valve and cock units in Punjab are planning to set up units in the cluster recently approved by the Ministry of MSMEs in order to enhance their competitiveness.

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