Looking at the present scenario and growing number of challenges, apparel business, and that too especially manufacturing, is one of the most difficult tasks for SMEs. Despite this, few organisations which are new to this segment, are geared up to start their factories. For this purpose, they are visiting technology fairs and exploring technologies and machines, comparing cost and doing a lot of research and hard work on all fronts. Apparel Resources met 3 such players from different parts of India and tried to find out what motivates them to invest in this challenging industry, and what is their strategy to survive.
Who: Nikhil Vaddar and Trupti Vaddar, Partners, Jai Hanuman Garments, Belgaum (Karnataka)
What: Shirts is what we are targeting as there is a strong market for this category and we have good clients for the same. The initial target is to produce 2,000 formal shirts per day. The overall unit is of about 20,000 square feet and 150 machines will be installed at an investment of Rs. 5 crore. The production will start in December.
Why: We want to generate employment for our village people, especially women who have to go to Ichalkaranji daily and travel about 20 km. With our facility, they can get the same job here.
How: Yes, we don’t have any experience of garmenting, so we have been doing a lot of research for last 2 years in this area, be it in manufacturing, product designing, market analysis, etc. We will soon have a mix of highly skilled and fresh operators. We are far from main hubs too which is again a challenge for us, but we are not worried as our efforts so far have proved to be fruitful.
WHO: William Andrew Alexander, Director, Sphurana Technologies and WA Clothing, Bengaluru
What: We will be primarily dealing in fully sustainable products (menswear) with the maximum use of digitisation. We will offer very high-end garments and will use lyocell material apart from following GOTS standards; even in fabric, our minimum thread count will be 120. We are also targeting ‘Made to Measure’. Initially, our focus will be on shirts, that too in white and blue shades as they require less processing and executives prefer the same in offices. Later we will add womenswear too. In the first 3 years, we will be investing around Rs. 4 crore. Our operations will be launched in December.
Why: After spending 2 decades in technology, I have observed that whatever apparel people buy in India, they don’t have much insight about them. This is the reason where we matter as technology experts. We want to contribute slowly and ethically with the maximum use of technology. The market is open now for such experiments and we already have a strong reach in technology as well as apparels. We can resolve the size issue too; so our returns will be controlled.
How: I am entering into apparel as this business is a legacy for me. My family was involved in this for years. Augmented Reality experience will be another focus area for us and our app will be able to do everything, be it digital measurement, virtual fitting. We will not make a physical sample, but rather use the 3D technique for a sample. Even our backend operations will be fully digital and shall start with 40 machines and 55 people. Initially, we will offer readymade and M2M, but at a later stage, we will focus on CSR also. After a certain period, we will buy back our garments against reward points. ‘Recycle’ is again on our agenda.
Who: Ketan Vora and Bhavya Vora (father-son duo), Director, Menzor Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad
What: We are venturing into luxury made-to-measure shirts and that too for export.
Why: We have chosen this segment as we are never bothered about what is going on in the market, what is in demand or trend. We want to do different and best.
How: Being one of the best button manufacturers in India, we have complete knowledge of the industry and have the requisite contacts and resources; so we are sure about our success. Righ from cotton to fabric, we will use the best raw material, trims, experienced staff and will provide the best service. We will also offer even a single shirt in pinstripe; this is rarest in India as no one offers a single piece in this segment. We already have a client base for the same in Europe. Manufacturing will be done in-house with our small unit as the major focus is on R&D and customisation. We will not make more than 5 pieces in a particular style. Our formal shirt price will cost around 300 euros. The project will start very soon. We will also offer similar products in the Indian market, expected to start around Rs. 10,000. The company is already offering high value-added buttons with the use of gold and diamond studs. Its MOP buttons were used by Moon Jae-in, President, South Korea in his Modi Jacket.