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Mixed responses from apparel brand honchos on economic crisis
Jan '09
The economic downturn which begun with the unfolding of the financial crisis in the US, has taken its toll of each and every economy in the world, developed or developing economies without any discrimination. Most of the major sectors have been affected per se. The Indian textile and apparel industry also has been influenced to a great extent by the recessionary trends prevailing in the domestic markets.

Fibre2fashion took the initiative to understand the impact of the crisis on the branded as well as apparel export industry in India. We earlier spoke exclusively to heads of the apparel brands, to which we received a mix of optimistic as well as pessimistic responses. Mr Atul Chand, Divisional Chief Executive, Wills Lifestyle Retailing Business Division, sounded very positive about the developments and the impact.

He confidently said, “Everybody is getting impacted by this recession. But, not every body will get affected equally. The fundamental of our company is quite strong. I believe the more super premium you are, the less you get affected; the higher valued you are, the less you get affected. Our economy is growing, and India is a young demographic country, that is why the apparel retail sector will never have a negative impact.”

Mr Vikram Rao, Business Director, Textiles & Apparels, Aditya Birla Group, which manages brands like Allen Solly, Louis Philippe, Allen Solly, Van Heusen etc. He did not sound optimistic when he replied by saying that, “The financial turmoil will have an adverse impact on the Indian textile and apparel sector."

"The real impact would be felt if the overall economic slow down in the US and European economies persist over a long duration, which would impact the consumer consumption in these economies. This would result not only in the reduction in demand for the Indian Textile Sector but also result in pricing pressures,” he added by saying.

Mr DPS Kohli, Chairman, Koutons, commenting on the existing scenario optimistically said, “Indian fashion brands have definitely carved a niche for themselves in the international markets. The increased fashion consciousness and the need to look good, coupled with higher purchasing power of the masses, will definitely take the industry to heights in the days to come. With the dissolving of the boundaries, the market is opening up and I think we can get opportunity anywhere,”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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