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28th GTE proves how Indian apparel industry is embracing automation!

by Dheeraj Tagra

12-March-2019  |  8 mins read

Stalwarts of the industry inaugurating the 28th edition of GTE
Stalwarts of the industry inaugurating the 28th edition of GTE

With around 280 technology and trims companies/exhibitors from 22 countries, the 28th edition of Garment Technology Expo (GTE) recently concluded in Delhi with a lot of enthusiasm.

A big team of Apparel Resources was there for all four days and interacted with the industry on various issues.

As usual major technology and machine suppliers were covering most of the segments of garment manufacturing at the show. A good number of visitors from across India and few from other countries too were noticed. It was encouraging to meet many such SME apparel manufacturers from emerging hubs of the domestic markets like Indore or Meerut which seemed quite upbeat about investing in the latest technology. Top exporters were looking for all possible solutions regarding cost control and overall improvement, right from attachment to IOT technology. Value addition was also a favourite segment for many as booths displaying such machines or technology had a heavy rush. Start-ups with expertise in online sailing, growing mid-size companies (both export as well as domestic) and boutique owners, none were exceptional regarding automation. Though for many, the high cost of advanced machines and non-availability of such machines at low cost was a matter of concern.

The delegation of Jaipur-based exporters on the booth of Apparel Resources at GTE
The delegation of Jaipur-based exporters on the booth of Apparel Resources at GTE

The other key attraction of the fair was the exquisite showcase of sewing automats powered by several tech bigwigs such as Juki, Jack, Hikari, Duerkopp Adler, Brother, Pegasus, Typical, Maqi, Zoje, IMB and dealers such as HCA, Magnum, EH Turel and IIGM too capitalised on the opportunities.

Team Apparel Resources met many quality visitors from cities like Delhi-NCR, Kolhapur, Indore, Ernakulam, Surat, Tirupur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, etc. and discussed various aspects of their business. Some of the garment manufacturers shared that they were expanding while few were upgrading their infrastructure.

The team of RMX Joss, a well-known apparel export house of Delhi-NCR was looking for everything which could replace human power and reduce costing. “Our strength is to give products which are based ‘out of the box thinking and research’. We are using each and every tool to remain competitive,” shared Ratika Bhalla (Director), along with Vikram Sikka, and Anuj of the company. The company is expecting 20 per cent growth this year.

Gulahmed R. Sahigara, MD, Aspire Enterprise, Surat
Gulahmed R. Sahigara, MD, Aspire Enterprise, Surat

One of the main attractions was the delegation from Jaipur under the Garment Exporters Association of Rajasthan (GEAR). Nearly 15 well-known exporters of Jaipur spent quality time in the show. Some of them visited the show for the first time and they were impressed with the event. Rajiv Dewan, President, GEAR and MD, Ma’am Arts liked some attachments, buttonholing and quilting machines. Dalpat Lodha, Chairman, Lodha Group was of the view, “Overall the show is really good and I like most elastic attachment machine and quilting machines.” Aseem Singla, General Secretary, GEAR and Director, Fashion Images Overseas shared, “We wish for a similar show in Jaipur also so that Jaipur’s entire apparel manufacturers group can get a live update of latest machines and technology.” Vijay Singh Sengar, Director, Shilpayan Decor is known for very high-end value-added garments. He informed, “I saw some machines here regarding beadwork. These will help us to increase our capacity and replace hand work which takes a lot of time and increase cost as well.”

Suren, Co-Founder, Fulmontee.com
Suren, Co-Founder, Fulmontee.com

Some medium-level companies from Indore, Surat and other hubs also shared their expansion plans. They were also happy to explore technology in the event. Harsh Jain, CEO, Pahun Industries, Indore is coming up with big expansion and he is sure for market growth with his innovative ideas on production and retail fronts. “I explored many machines here and was also impressed to see the spreaders as more than 10 companies had similar spreader machines in the different price range. Power saving devices was really interesting to see,” he added. Suren, Co-Founder, Fulmontee.com a start-up dedicated to the gym, wellness and sports clothing from Mumbai is also planning to invest in own manufacturing. Gulahmed R. Sahigara, MD, Aspire Enterprise, Surat confirmed that many small- and medium-level firms are investing in garmenting. “Surat is moving towards tunics so stitching segment is growing there. This year we are expecting a big wedding season which is always a huge opportunity for Surat,” he informed. Mukta Group of Industries, Ichalkaranji is known for fabric manufacturers and now is adding garment manufacturing. It also plans to start a factory of 500 machines.

Pawan Kumar (L), Manager, IE, Richa Global with Kapil Pandey, Production Manager, Vamani Overseas
Pawan Kumar (L), Manager, IE, Richa Global with Kapil Pandey, Production Manager, Vamani Overseas

Visitation of production and technical teams of various export houses is always a win-win situation for machine suppliers as well as these teams as they serve the purpose of each other. In this edition, a good number of doyens were seen. Senior professionals from Arvind Ltd. were also busy in exploring the latest technology. Arun Sahu, Head Projects & Engineering (Denim Garmenting Division) of the company, observed that technology and machines related to the denim segment especially, is adding state-of-the-art infrastructure across all segments. From Delhi-NCR, there was a huge number of such technical specialists, to mention a few – Aman Sharma, VP-Processing, Gupta Exim; Shashi P Mishra, Product Safety and QA Auditor, Target; Pawan Kumar, Manager, IE, Richa Global; Kapil Pandey, Production Manager, Vamani Overseas, Ugendhar BV, GM and Abdul Rahman of San International etc. “I came to GTE for real-time monitoring system and explored companies like Brother (IOT), Procon and Methods etc. I felt IOT is a better option in this segment,” Informed Ugendhar BV. “Scope of beadwork is growing and we want to use technology for the same. I found some interesting machines of the same,” shared Pawan. Automatic flatlock machine of Yamato was another interesting offering which reduces dependency on the human workforce. Kapil liked technology for anti-puckering, at the event.

Ugendhar BV (L), GM with Abdul Rahman of San International
Ugendhar BV (L), GM with Abdul Rahman of San International

No doubt, automation and upgradation are the need of the hour for the Indian apparel industry and the industry is also moving towards that. However, the pace needs to be enhances as majority of the industry is still working in an unorganized way.

The four-day long show was inaugurated by HKL Magu, Chairman, AEPC; Rajiv Dewan, President, GEAR; and owners of leading technology providing companies. All of them were positive about the current market conditions as well as about the show.