Entrepreneurs voice concerns over low footfall on first day of IIGF 2024

Union Minister for Textiles, Giriraj Singh, inaugurated the 71st edition of the India International Garment Fair (IIGF) at the Yashobhoomi Convention Centre.

| Updated: 27 June, 2024 8:51 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Textiles, Giriraj Singh, inaugurated the 71st edition of the India International Garment Fair (IIGF) at the Yashobhoomi Convention Centre in Dwarka.

The New Indian interviewed various business owners and entrepreneurs at the fair, including representatives from Mimino, a company specializing in kids’ and infant wear. The owners noted that the footfall on the first day was less than usual. “The general response has been positive, but the footfall is not as expected. In previous fairs, the footfall on the first day was much higher,” shared the owner.

Organized by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) in collaboration with major Indian garment associations, the event aims to showcase India’s prowess in the global apparel market.

Based in Howrah, West Bengal, Mimino exports its products to several countries, including the USA, UK, France, Dubai, and Panama. Founded in 2022, the company employs over 400 people. Vivek Gujrani, the director of Mimino Fashions, echoed similar sentiments regarding the footfall and emphasized their growth trajectory.

In his inaugural address, Giriraj Singh discussed the government’s roadmap to surpass China in global export markets. “My challenge is not Bangladesh; I aim to surpass China in the textile industry,” he stated. Singh proposed creating small clusters across India to bolster raw material garment (RMG) exports, leveraging India’s abundant labour force and eco-friendly employment opportunities, especially for women.

Mimino’s founders expressed optimism about the government’s support. “There is still a lot of time left to surpass China, but yes, we are growing, and with the support of the government, we might achieve that goal,” they shared.

Regarding the trend of exhibitions and government initiatives to encourage garment fairs, they observed, “It’s the same as before; nothing has significantly increased. The scale is bigger, and new participants and buyers are coming in, promoting the fair.”

The founders also highlighted that the fair is primarily for international buyers. “This fair is not for Indian buyers; it is only for international buyers. Yes, it will help the factories and create a lot of business,” they said.

Talking about their unique selling proposition, Vivek said, “Our USP lies in the design, quality, price, and timely deliveries. We have been exporting to the US, Panama, and Saudi Arabia. We also cater to the Indian market.”

The IIGF, featuring over 600 buyers from 50 countries, includes knowledge sessions on global trade challenges, manufacturing excellence, and sustainable fashion trends. Daily fashion shows from June 25 to 27 will showcase collections from various exhibitors.

Giriraj Singh reaffirmed India’s commitment to fostering a robust textile industry through strategic initiatives and global partnerships. “We have made free trade agreements with more than a dozen countries,” he stated, highlighting India’s proactive approach in international trade negotiations.

The fair aims to strengthen India’s position in the global apparel market and provide a significant platform for MSMEs in the textile sector to showcase their offerings and latest trends to international buyers.

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