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Clothing is one of the largest purchased category in online retail
Harminder Sahni, Founder-MD, Wazir Advisors, talks about the current scenario in the Indian textile industry and its emergence as an investment destination in an interview with Fibre2Fashion. Synopsis: Wazir Advisors Pvt. Ltd. is a reputed consulting firm in India. Strategy formulation to help Indian and international companies to compete and succeed in the market is the main business for Wazir Advisors. Its clientele includes some of the best names in the global textile industry. Excerpts:
To start with, can you tell us something about Wazir Advisors Pvt. Ltd. as a company and its aspirations for the near future?
Wazir Advisors is a management consulting firm focused on consumer-centric businesses like fashion, food, entertainment, financial services, auto etc. We offer strategic advice, implementation assistance and facilitate alliances for both Indian and global clients who are interested in the Indian consumer market. We also work with various government departments and industry associations in creating policy frameworks and industry platforms to ensure faster growth of the overall industry. Our vision is to expand Wazir's network by bringing in experienced professional partners and also by collaborating with expert firms to offer an array of services.
What makes you support online retailing in the textile and apparel business in India? Don't you suppose that textile and apparel business has its own limitations when it comes to online retailing (size and touch-and-feel factor)?
I believe in supporting innovation and new ideas. I am also a big supporter of use of technology to offer better choices and more convenience to consumers while keeping costs in check and also earning decent return for investors. In this context, I have been a supporter of modernising Indian retail and online retail is just another step in that process. Clothing is one of the largest purchased category in online retail and it proves that not all consumers wish to "touch and feel" all clothing items all the time. I believe that people trust brands and have also started to trust select online retailers and are willing to shop online even for expensive clothing with an assurance that there won't be any.
What do you think about Amazon's expansion plans in India? Would it be fruitful for the Indian textile and apparel industry in whole?
Yes, not only Amazon's plans but any additional investment in modernising retail, whether online or offline, will increase the reach and penetration of textile and apparel products and brands. Current consumers will shop more due to convenience and new customers who don't have access today will start shopping due to availability.
Would you support FDI in retailing in India? If yes, then to what extent? If no, then why? Please elaborate.
I support investment into modernising retail from any source. The quantum of investment required to modernise antiquated Indian retail networks is so large that we should welcome FDI to support the domestic efforts so that the goal of modernisation can be achieved faster.