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BY PUJA GUPTA
As we prepare to enter the New Year, its time to reassess 2019 and the directions come out very strongly for the fashion apparel industry. Looking back, the year has witnessed a lot of positive changes in the Indian fashion industry; both retail and manufacturing.
Right from the influx of overseas fashion brands to India, expansion of both domestic and overseas apparel exporters to policy reforms and the emergence of start-ups, India has seen it all in 2019, underlines Mayank Mohindra, Director, Apparel Sourcing Week.
Mohindra takes us through the major developments that have happened in the Indian fashion industry in 2019.
1. Expansion at different levels
Relaxed FDI helps retail brands’ expansion -This year saw some of the most positive changes in India’s retail scenario with policy reforms. Indian fashion retail market values about $50 billion in 2019 and is set to grow to $115 billion by 2027.
Parfait, Under Armor, Uniqlo are some of the big overseas brands that forayed into the vibrant Indian fashion retail market in 2019. Expansion of overseas companies in manufacturing 2019 is said to be one of the finest years in recent times for the Indian apparel manufacturing industry.
The country has somehow been able to restructure itself and rose around 7 per cent in its apparel exports to the world till October.
Hong Kong-based Epic group announced $ 20 million investment in Ranchi. South Korea’s bigwig Youngone Corporation also announced to invest $ 140 million at the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park (KMTP) at Warangal, Telangana.
Another major expansion has been confirmed by one of the major Sri Lankan apparel manufacturing companies, Brandix.
2. Start-up culture grown significantly
2019 has produced over half a dozen unicorn start-ups, 8 to be precise. Homegrown ventures managed to garner $ 7.67 billion in the first 9 months of 2019. A remarkable feat, as these start-ups are attracting more and more international investors. Clovia, Zivame, Fynd, CouchFashion, CutomitNow, Styched, Vajor and Zinnga are some of the start-ups that have grown multiple times in 2019.
Bengaluru-based Styched, an affordable, fast-fashion e-commerce venture, has raised angel funding of $ 2.30 million from a clutch of angel investors. Lingerie brand Zivame has already reported that, as of September 2019, it has hit a Rs 300+ crore revenue.
3. E-commerce and M-commerce success in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities
E-commerce and M-commerce have not just remained relevant to Tier-1 cities now as rising spending capacity and the use of the Internet have made it possible for the Indian consumers in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities to go digital.
Flipkart introduced a Hindi interface for its customers in 2019 to help them understand its platform easily in rural areas pan India. Amazon claimed that around 65 per cent of its sales came from Tier-2, Tier-3 and Tier-4 towns and cities. More than 80 per cent of its new customers also came from these places and one out of every 3 customer purchased from the fashion category.
4. Textile policy reforms
Special package for the apparel industry, demonetisation, GST and change in labour laws are four major policy-level decisions of the government in recent years, which have impacted the overall economy as well as the apparel and textile industry. 2019 will be known as a renewal year for National Textile Policy. Another reform done was the introduction of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) policy.
5. US-China trade war
Dominated trade discussion -US-China trade war was among the major issues across the global apparel and textile industry all through 2019. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) has reported that India got an overall benefit of $ 755 million and Vietnam of about $ 2,601 million from this trade war.
India’s Readymade garment (RMG) exports to USA jumped to $308.48 million from $277.29 million in October ’18. Cumulatively, India’s apparel export to the world escalated by 4.50 per cent in Jan.-Oct. ’19 period.
More than social sustainability, environmental sustainability was the highlight of 2019. This has become the buzzword now and everybody in the fashion industry is talking about 4 Rs: Reuse, Reduce, Rework and Recycle.
The first 3Rs are more of the social approach to sustainability, while the major debate is happening over ‘Recycle’ which is more of a technical approach in sustainability. Putting up ETP plants and solar plants in a factory was the thrust initially since the calculative return on investment (ROI) was easier and manageable.
Plastic used in packaging is another major thrust for which no particular sustainable alternative has yet been identified. (IANS)
As weather cleared up in Uttarakhand, Char Dham Yatra restored on Friday with more than 16,000 devotees resuming the pilgrimage from the Rishikesh camp.
According to sources, road leading to Badrinath has been repaired and helicopter service has also resumed.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited Dungi village and met families of people who were missing after the landslip incident, and consoled them.
Dhami assured them of all possible assistance. Two people from the village are still reported to be missing.
Pilgrims were seen leaving from Rishikesh Char Dham Bus terminal and Haridwar bus station for the pilgrimage since morning.
As per the state government, various departments -- Devasthanam Board, police are assisting the pilgrims.
Police Chowki Yatra Bus Terminal, Rishikesh, was announcing passenger-information via loudspeaker.
Free RT-PCR tests of pilgrims were being conducted at Rishikesh bus terminal.
Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board's media in-charge Dr Harish Gaur said pilgrimage was on in Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, while for Kedarnath, helicopter service was also available.
Though the weather was cold in all dhams, thankfully there was no rain, he added.
Portals of the temple in Badrinath will close on November 20, Gangotri on November 5, while that of Kedarnath and Yamunotri on November 6.
Uttarakhand floods, triggered by a major downpour from October 17 to 19, have claimed 65 lives so far, 3,500 people have been rescued while 16,000 evacuated to safety.
Seventeen teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), seven teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), 15 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 5,000 police personnel have been engaged in rescue and relief operations.
The state has already been provided with Rs 250 crore Disaster Fund which is being used for relief works.
To prevent spread of the diseases, the Central and state governments have decided to send medical teams to the affected areas.
Snapped power lines will be restored at the earliest, the government assured.
The state government said that as soon as alert for heavy rainfall was issued, the Incident Response System was activated at state and district levels, and pilgrims were halted at safer places. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Uttarakhand, India, Char Dham Yatra, PushkarDhami, Rishikesh.
The Centre has continued the Naga peace talks with the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) leaders, but negotiations face roadblocks as the Naga leaders are adamant in their main demands for a separate Constitution and flag.
The sources aware of these developments said that the Centre was hopeful that a successful solution of the six decades-long peace talks would arrive at a logical conclusion, but in the recent statements, Naga leaders have accused the Centre of offering post-solution options.
Sources quoting the stand of Naga leaders said that NSCN's stand was loud and clear that it would not follow the forbidden route to the Naga solution that was linked to foregoing the Naga national flag and Constitution, which is the face of the Naga political struggle and identity.
The Naga leaders have also said that the Centre has been using divisive policy and flattery in the name of finding the Naga political solution when the matters heated up.
When the Centre resumed the peace process in September this year and sent the former special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) A.K. Mishra as the Ministry of Home Affairs' emissary to the rebel outfit's chief negotiator and general secretary T. Muivah, he assured him (Muivah) that the peace talks would be initiated under the original framework signed in 2015, a source in the Naga rebel group said.
"Here we are talking about the Naga national flag and Yehzabo (Constitution), the two issues that are holding up the Naga solution under the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks in Delhi.
"The chequered history of the Indo-Naga political issue is clear enough before us, with accords and agreements that were never meant to be implemented in letter and spirit", an important office-bearer of the rebel outfit said while criticizing the governments' stand.
Accusing the Centre, he further accused the Centre of persuading the Naga people again to accept whatever is being offered to hurry up the Naga talks.
On the invitation of the Centre, the senior leaders of the NSCN-IM including T. Muivah arrived in the national capital on October 6 this year to hold another round of talks with the Centre.
Both, the Centre and the Naga leaders had indicated their keenness on resolving this long pending issue by the end of this year in an amicable manner.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, who is also chairman of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had been actively involved in the resumption of the peace talks and taking it forward to a logical conclusion.
Soon after the transfer of Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, who was appointed as the Centre's interlocutor for the Naga peace talks on August 29, 2014, to Tamil Nadu, the peace talks resumed on September 20 in Kohima when the Centre representative met the Naga leaders and invited them to visit Delhi for further rounds of peace talks.
The NSCN-IM and the other outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India in 1997 and over 80 rounds of negotiations with the Centre have been held in the past in successive governments. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Nagaland, India, Constitution, Politics, Flag.
The series decider for the Test series between England and India will now be played at Edgbaston from July 1 next year, said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday. India is currently leading the series 2-1 before the fifth Test at Old Trafford was cancelled hours before the start due to concerns over COVID-19 outbreak in the tourists' camp.
"The fifth match of the LV= Insurance Test Series between England Men and India Men has been rescheduled and will now take place in July 2022. The match, which was due to take place last month at Emirates Old Trafford, was called off when India were unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of Covid-19 cases inside the camp," said an ECB statement.
"With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)," added the statement.
ECB also said that due to the rescheduled Test, the white-ball series between England and India will now start six days later than originally planned. The T20I series will begin on July 7 at Ageas Bowl with Edgbaston and Trent Bridge hosting the second and third matches respectively on July 9 and 10. It will be followed by the ODI series starting on July 12 at The Oval followed by Lord's and Old Trafford hosting the second and third ODI on July 14 and 17 respectively.
"Ticket holders do not have to take any action as all tickets will remain valid for the equivalent rearranged matchday at their host venue. Host venues will communicate the new fixture details to ticket purchasers and the options available to them, including the timeframe for requesting a refund if they are not able to attend the new match day," further said the statement.
"We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with BCCI to creating a fitting end to what has been a brilliant series so far. I'm very grateful to all the venues involved for the cooperation they've shown in allowing us to reschedule this match. I'd also like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding to allow these changes to be possible," said Tom Harrison, the CEO of the ECB.
"We would like to apologise again to fans for the disruption and disappointment of September events. We know it was a day that so many had planned long in advance. We recognise that accommodating this extra match means a tighter schedule for the white ball series. We will continue to manage our players' welfare and workloads through next year while we also continue to seek the optimum schedule for fans, players and our partners across the game."
"I am delighted that the England-India Test series will now have its rightful conclusion. The four Test matches were riveting, and we needed a fitting finale. The BCCI recognizes and respects the traditional form of the game and is also mindful of its role and obligations towards fellow Board Members. In the last two months, both BCCI and the ECB have been engaged in discussions and our efforts were aimed at finding a suitable window. I thank the ECB for their understanding and patience in finding an amicable solution," said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, Britain, BCCI, Test Match, Cricket.