'Brands will not expand catalogues in new season' – Mr Asif, Marketing Manager
The Pakistan textile and garment industry is passing though what is called 'walking on blazing coals with bare feet' or in simpler terms 'trial by fire'. In the last two years the industry has had to go through a multitude of difficulties, more so to with lop sided government policies and few of their own doing but still a few bold companies have been able to overcome and survive through all these difficulties and keep the flag flying.
One of these is Ahmed Hassan Textile Mills, a Pakistan based textile group, of the same eponymous name and which is in the business of textiles from a quarter of a century. The group owns a ginning factory and the Ahmed Hassan Textile Mills, which is a composite mill with 38,400 spindles and 130 air-jet looms, with total sales of US $42 million, including export sales of $34 million in the last fiscal.
Fibre2fashon spoke to Mr. Asif Sindu, Marketing Manager of their Fabric Division on the tribulations faced by the sector in general and his outlook on future prospects. We began by asking him as to how the shortage of energy and power has affected the industry in recent times, to which he replied by saying, “Rising energy and rising financial costs are the main reasons behind current difficulties”.
He added by saying, “At the same time, production losses definitely squeezes our market share leading to a loss of customers as well, all because of this power crises, which is still not expected to improve even within the next 2 - 3 years as per observations of many analysts”
We then asked him as to what major challenges he foresees from the domestic and global markets in their products, to which he commented by saying, “At the moment main the main challenge is to match the customer's expectations of price, quality and delivery schedules, all of which other than quality have been badly disturbed due to energy and power crisis and high fluctuations in prices of raw materials”
He continued, “To add to this the government has withdrawn a number of incentives and some relaxations. All these put together have gone a long way to hit the industry hard, where it really hurts. Supplying good quality is not an issue, since we have one of the most experienced pools of technical personnel to deliver products of good quality complying with high international standards”.
We then moved to a question which is troubling most of the exporters and asked him whether he anticipates a significant change in demand due to the recession, to which he replied by saying, “Definitely, because consumer purchasing capacity has gone down by 20-30 percent, since the crisis unfolded, which will definitely impact consumer spending and affect demand, more in particular from the clothing sector”.
He carried on, “Even most the famous & big brands are planning not to expand their catalogues for the upcoming season and most probably they will continue to focus on their previous offerings to save costs of new product development, keeping in the mind the current consumer sentiments, since, the consumer buying pattern seems very obvious in the last few months”.
He added, “Basically situation started changing since mid-2007 leading to a massive demand-contraction in western markets. US textile imports went down by 26 percent in November 2008. Among major retailers, except for Wal-Mart, all others had a decline in sale of 10-20 percent with Abercrombie and Fitch going down by 28 percent. Though the situation in Europe is still not that gloomy, it cannot escape from the contagion effect”.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India