Bengaluru, March 15, 2019: Living up to its billing of ‘Everything Sourcing’, the 1st day of inaugural edition of Apparel Sourcing Week (ASW) 2019 from the house of Apparel Resources, went off to a grand opening today at ITC Gardenia here.
What followed during the course of the day, was a flurry of activities – seminars, panel discussions, vendor workshops and open house – touching all key aspects of the booming Indian fashion retail sector, sourcing strategies, products, pricing and not to mention the core issues of business generation, networking and knowledge sharing.
Chief Guest Shri Gaurav Gupta (Principal Secretary-Commerce and Industry, Govt. of Karnataka) inaugurated the event along with President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Siddiqur Rahman, and Vice-President (Finance) of BGMEA Mohammed Nasir.
The first-ever regional networking platform which aims to bring the manufacturing hubs of the subcontinent closer to India’s retail sector, the 2-day ASW evoked strong interest from the stakeholders. If the exhibitors are all geared up to make the best of this opportunity, the brands/retailers were equally confident as well.
“I congratulate the organisers for coming up with the Apparel Sourcing Week 2019 in Bengaluru. Bengaluru is not only a major centre for technology but also a strong manufacturing hub including apparels. Retail sector is also very, very strong here, and I am sure the platform of ASW would provide a win-win situation for brands and retailers while also offering new export opportunities for Bangladesh,” maintained Gaurav Gupta (Principal Secretary-Commerce and Industry, Govt. of Karnataka), while adding that in today’s age of mutual cooperation, strong business relations between the India and Bangladesh is the need of the hour.
Speaking on the occasion, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Siddiqur Rahman acknowledged and appreciated the efforts put in by ASW and wished it a grand success.
“India-Bangladesh relationship has grown stronger over the years and India is already a very important development partner for us besides being a vital destination for garment exports. Readymade garments today account for more than 80 per cent of our total exports while India on the other hand boasts of upwardly mobile and sizeable middle-class that has significant buying power… Bangladesh can offer apparels at very competitive price. What’s more, our apparel manufacturing industry is one of the most sustainable in every aspect. Being a neighbouring country, we can leverage each other’s strengths and work together towards strengthening bilateral relations and business growth,” underlined Siddiqur Rahman, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
On his part, Deepak Mohindra, Editor in-Chief of Apparel Resources (organiser of ASW) thanked the exhibitors and visitors for their overwhelming response.
“Around 6 months back, when we began to develop this concept, we identified 3 key influencers that are the core to the success of the show namely Opportunity, Knowledge and Inspiration. Opportunity as we all understand, is through this platform which works for both the exhibitors and retailers… In the next two days we look forward to see great business develop for you all and wish everyone a fulfilling 2 days…,” said Deepak Mohindra, Editor in-Chief of Apparel Resources.
Done with the opening ceremony, it was now time for interactions and seminars.
The first panel discussion titled THE GO-TO DESTINATIONS….Where & Why? featured the who’s who of the Global Sourcing sector. Moderated by Anika Pasi (Country Manager-The Wearhouse Group), the session had stalwarts like Tanuja Sinha Roy (Regional Manager-JCPenney), Hande Diltemiz (Region Country Head, Production-H&M), Venky Nagan (CEO-Asmara), Shirish Srivastava (Head Sourcing-Apparel, Puma) and Tapan Bansal (Regional Manager-Mothercare).
The next in line was panel discussion-THE FUTURE OF FASHION RETAIL IN INDIA-
Challenges & Opportunities. Dwelling exhaustively on the Indian fashion retail landscape, this session witnessed experts of the likes of Mr. Sharad Mehta, CEO-Toonz Retail India Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Vivek Mehta, CEO-MAS brands, Ms Amisha Jain, CEO- Zivame, and Mr. Ramesh Kaushik, VP Brand Experience and Business Excellence-Blackberrys.
The third panel discussion of the day ‘WINNING AT E-COMMERCE’, aptly dealt with all
the pain points of e-commerce while addressing the vital issues of growth potentials. Ms. Natasha Kumar, Founder and CEO- Vajor, Mr. Suman Choudhry, COO and Co-Founder-Clovia, Mr. Anurag Rajpal, Founder and CEO- Avinde and Mr. Parvesh Kaushik, Category Head – Apparel at Tata Cliq took part in the discussion.
As the hectic activity of the first morning gave way to a more relaxed atmosphere post lunch, it was now time for the industry to get first-hand knowledge on designs, trends and style advice from Ms. Melissa Moylan, VP and Creative Director-Womenswear, Fashion Snoops.
Titled Trend Forecast-Workshop on Spring Summer 20 by Fashion Snoops, the 1-hour session deep dived into the essential trends, key apparel items, patterns, graphics, material, design details, colour and colour combos centred on SS 20 men’s/women’s trend forecast.
The next and final plenary of the day was Vendor Session-Requirements of Sourcing for Indian Retail by Reliance Trends conducted by Rajesh Lalla,, VP Sourcing-Reliance Trends, which as expected, found a full house.
The next in line, the Open House sessions garnered much aplomb and interest with the audience queuing up to get a glimpse of the engaging influencer marketing session. Together with three key influencers, Aaditi Shenoy, Vaishnavi and Divya Maben, Winkl discussed the need and effect of Influencer Marketing in today’s retail climate.
WGSN’s consumer trends session was a crowd puller in the true sense. Punit Judeja, Sales Director of WGSN, India, gave an insightful presentation on consume behaviour and retail trends. What ensued was a heated back and forth discussion with the audience. “It’s the consumers’ choice of consumption that we honour and it is digital is something that is ruling the current industry,” underlined Punit, adding, “Despite it being the first edition of Apparel Sourcing Week, it was highly engaging and efficiently organized and for the next session, I would suggest a bigger space, in order to accommodate the crowd that the event has pulled in on the first day alone itself.”
If the first is anything to go by, the 2-Day is going to be even more exciting and even fun-filled with WGSN organising a fashion and retail quiz, winners of which would be the proud recipients of an Amazon Alexa device along with an exclusive trend presentation by WGSN at their office.