Apparel expos organized by India’s Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) in South Africa have met mixed responses, Mr. Sudhir Sekhri, Chairman of the Export Promotion Committee of the Council has said.
In all 42 members of the Council participated in the two expos consecutively organized in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Briefing media at the end of the Cape Town expo, Mr. Sekhri said the Johannesburg expo met comparatively poor response, however the Cape Town expo that followed next, evoked very good response.
The diversity in the responses for the two expos is so high that it may lead the Council to rethink if it should consider Johannesburg for its annual exhibition or only showcase in Cape Town. Since 2007, the Council each year organizes an annual expo in South Africa so as to develop opportunities for its members in that country, Mr. Sekhri said.
He said there are only a few big chains with headquarters and buying staff in Johannesburg, while there are many such clothing chains in Cape Town.
In response to the Indian High Commissioner Virendra Gupta’s suggestions that came during inauguration of the Johannesburg expo that exhibitors should not totally ignore offering ethnic Indian fashion options to the South African community, Mr. Sekhri said AEPC members are already offering westernised apparels with an ethnic feel.
He said presently there is a leaning towards hand embroideries and sequin work, and hence they are trying to mingle Indian designs with western fashions.
He mentioned that the concern of AEPC members over inflow of low-priced clothing from China into South Africa is not unjustified, as these low-cost imports have actually annihilated the South African clothing industry over the past few years.
According to Mr. Sekhri, Indian producers benefit as they have an edge over countries like China in product development and design. The designs offered by Indian exporters are fashion forward, and they also ensure quicker deliveries even for small quantities, as compared to China.