Industry feels the concept of 'Make in India' is the right direction to take, to make India the powerhouse that it can be. But for the initiative to be a success, issues of tax benefits, single window clearances, heavy duties on imports, imparting of skill-based training to the labour force and development of infrastructure need to be sorted out first. Manisha Almadi Midha spoke to head honchos of some Indian brands and upcoming fashion designers for their take on the initiative.


Monica Oswal

Executive Director, Monte Carlo

In 1984, Oswal Woollen Mills (OWM) in Ludhiana launched its signature brand, Monte Carlo and transformed the Indian garment sector. While its winterwear was developed from best quality pure wool such as Australian merino wool (certified with the Woolmark logo), the brand has emerged as the masses' first choice when it comes to purchasing value-for-money products. Its apparel line is accepted as a trend among the fashion-savvy. Monte Carlo's range of knitwear consists of over 500 designs for men, women and tweens. The brand's tagline 'It's the way you make me feel' is an expression reflecting the love, warmth and care that Monte Carlo has delivered ever since its inception. In 2006, the brand introduced the bold, energetic Alpha range in its women's collection. Monte Carlo is available through 225 EBOs and over 1,200 MBOs in India and abroad. Monte Carlo has also marked its presence in UAE, Nepal and Bangladesh with exclusive outlets. The products are available online now, e-tailing through its dedicated website and other e-commerce portals.


Current turnover

600 crore

Target for next 5 years

1,000 crore


Top 5 steps to make 'Make in India' a success

         Manufacturers should get support on relaxation of taxes.

         Heavy duty on imports should be reduced.

         Emphasis on quality of production.

         To get skilled labour, government should promote imparting of skill-based training.

         Manufacturers should be provided with easy finance schemes at low interest.


Top 5 hurdles in ensuring 'Make in India' is a success

         Procurement of licence.

         Cheap and skilled labour/workforce availability.

         Basic facilities at Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

         Unavailability of low cost transport.

         Export policies


Lubeina Shahpurwala

Co-Director, Mustang Socks & Accessories

Mustang Socks was founded in 1986 by Naazneen Katrak. In 2004, Naazneen and I partnered to take Mustang to the next level. Today, Mustang manufactures 1 million pairs of socks every month and has a presence in over 5,500 MBOs and has 36 distributors across India covering almost every major market segment in the country. Our distribution channels are already strong in North and West India. We are now looking to further expand in East and South. We recently opened our first wholesale store at Dadar, Mumbai and are looking forward to starting our e-commerce portal soon. Apart from this, we take pride in exporting our socks manufactured in India to the Middle East (including the UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt), England and Italy. Currently, we are exploring the US market as well.


Current turnover

The growth percentage for Mustang Socks in the past two years has been about 15 per cent year-on-year. We grew significantly in the last year, and are expecting to grow by 35-40 per cent this year as well.


Target for next 5 years

With the expansion of the apparel sector in India and the emphasis on manufacturing, we are forecasting the sector to boom in the next five years. Everyone will want to look beyond clothing and see the small wearable items that make such a difference to one's personality.


Top 5 steps to make 'Make in India' a success

The concept of 'Make in India' was inspiring when it was proposed. And I definitely feel it is the right direction to go, to make India the powerhouse that it can be. However, there are some policies which need to be put in place:

         Increase focus on the production potential of villages and towns.

         Work to reduce the opportunity gap for the masses.

         Apply clear strategies and supportive policies to support the manufacturing sector.

         Cost of energy has to be reduced and alternative sources have to be invested in so as to significantly reduce manufacturing costs.

         Percolation of the latest technology has to happen swifter than it does now. With the rapid advancement in technology, India cannot be left behind if it wants to stay ahead in the manufacturing game.


Top 5 hurdles in ensuring 'Make in India' is a success

As with every vibrant opportunity, it is imperative that we first troubleshoot the problems that will stun this growth in any way. Some of the more urgent ones are:

         Privatisation of public sector enterprises.

         Development of infrastructure is a priority.

         Increasing ease of business.

         Anti-dumping initiatives need to be looked into in our industry specifically.

         Investment into skill development-moving labour from non-skilled to semi- skilled and eventually skilled.


Ajay Nihalani

CEO, Indianink (Suditi Design Studio)

Suditi Design Studio, founded in 2015, is a subsidiary arm of Suditi Industries in Mumbai. It possesses the retail brand Indianink which is an edgy, chic, contemporary Indian ethnic fusion brand set out to create a well-designed and fashionable clothing line with a spin of elegant as well as flamboyant design. Suditi Design Studio has ensured that the brand emulates to give a global experience with respect to timely seasonal launches. It has competitive pricing and the highest standards of in-store service. Suditi Design Studio will introduce the brand to the Indian market through exclusive retail outlets across the country. Indianink currently has franchise stores in Udaipur, Delhi and Jaipur and soon we plan to open stores in Bareilly, Banaras, Jaipur (two more stores) and many other locations. Indianink is present in large-format stores like Central and Pantaloons. It is available on e-commerce portals like,,, and the upcoming Reliance e-commerce website.


Current turnover

Not applicable, as Indianink was launched in November 2015.


Target for next 5 years

We are looking at doing approximately `100 million in the first year. And in the third year, we would look at doing around `500 million.

Top 5 steps to make 'Make in India' a success

It has been a year since Prime Minister Narendra Modi activated this initiative of 'Make in India' to improve the perception of the nation as an attractive destination in various sectors. So far, it has yielded success by improvising the status of the country's economic beams.


'Make in India' focuses on making India a global manufacturing hub. The key thrust of the programme has been to cut down delays in manufacturing projects clearance, develop adequate infrastructure and make it easier for companies to do business in India with limited interference from international competitors.


The objective of this initiative is to ensure that the manufacturing sector which contributes around 15-17 per cent of the country's GDP should hike up to more than a quarter in the next few years. However, within a short span of time, there have been improvisations seen in and around industrial limits, which can be said to be the initial steps towards success. Further, the following steps will help make the campaign a big success:


Single window clearance: India has been very stringent when it comes to giving procedural and regulatory clearances. The campaign with its benefited structure allows a time-bound clearance from all regulatory authorities that would create a conducive environment for business. It also ensures transparency in the decision and rules and taking all procedural activities smoothly, which is the later stage.


Tax benefits: Providing tax concessions while setting up manufacturing facilities in the country. Since, India is a booming marketplace, such yielding to small and mid-sized industries would play a big role in making the concept a success.


Improve business environment: An encouraging fiscal framework would go a long way in making the campaign a success. For investors to see a splurge in industry, it requires to have sufficient land, power, roads, airports, roadways, manpower, water supply, etc. These provisions should be made hassle-free by easing the laws.


Focus on innovation: Create an environment that encourages innovation and reward such initiatives.


Dispute resolving mechanism: There are times when we see issues between the company and the government. Or even at times vice versa, hence, there needs to be a single point of reference that enables to resolve these issues without any delays. A single point of authority with speedy results is a must in every industry.


Top hurdles in ensuring 'Make in India' is a success

         The initial stage of setting up a unit or starting a business is the most crucial part. I believe that the core process needs to be simplified to avail a sustainable and ease of business in the Indian business/industrial empire.

         The process of applying for industrial/manufacturing licenses is to be made through an online portal. Even the validity of the license needs to be extended.

         While this government initiative is creditable and ensures prolonged success, it must ensure that it encourages the setting up of institutions around manufacturing hubs with practical training made available to have a skilled workforce and manpower meeting the exact needs required by the company.

         Attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) in various sectors. Also, create a fruitful scenario for the investor that is accorded with the manufacturers to add value to the domestic market.


Kunal Anil Tanna

Fashion Designer

I have pursued fashion design at NIFT in Mumbai. I have worked under designer and costume stylist, Manish Malhotra. Along with designing various couture and diffusion collections for Fashion Weeks, I have dressed celebrities for Bollywood movies and social dos. After gaining four years of work experience, I started my own label Kunal Anil Tanna in 2009. My label maintains a design philosophy of being classic, minimalistic yet very chic and sharp. My collections comprise stylishly constructed silhouettes with meticulous texturing and detail. Colour mixing is one of my label's forte. My design studio is located in Mumbai, and I also retail from stores in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Dubai.


Target for next 5 years

Identify, associate and develop craftsmen and artists from rural India and contemporaries maintaining their ethnic appeal and core, to take them to international platform.


Top steps to make 'Make in India' a success

         Wear brands that are made in India.

         Empower the Indian workforce with fair trade.

Promote sustainable textiles and processes that entice international brands to manufacture in India.

         Educate the labour force in skilled workmanship to meet international standards.


Top hurdles in ensuring 'Make in India' is a success

         Lack of professionalism in wanting to meet deadlines.

         Focus on low labour cost items, or if focused on extremely trendy items, then have incredibly low lead times.


Lalit Dalmia

Fashion Designer

My forte is wedding couture, and I started designing in 2005. My label is synonymous with opulent, contemporary Indian and Indo-Western wear. I strive to create ensembles with traditional textures and embroideries. I experiment around unusual fabrics and textures to create a masterpiece which takes us back to the Victorian and Mughal periods. I use a colour palette which makes one feel nostalgic about our intricate and ancient eras in history. I have participated in Fashion Weeks including the recent India Beach Fashion Week (IBFW) in which I launched my beachwear collection. My boutique is located in New Delhi.


Current turnover

50-60 crore annually


Target for next 5 years

We plan to expand overseas and in the next two years open stores across India.


Top 5 steps to make 'Make in India' a success

The 'Make in India' campaign was started to transform Asia's third-largest economy into a manufacturing powerhouse like China. India's textile and garment industry has the second largest manufacturing capacity globally. And Indian textiles and garments are preferred by most people around the globe. 'Make in India' can help India register its name as one of the most important players in the global market including the fashion continent of Europe. The steps that can be taken by the government for 'Make in India' to become a success are:


         Currently, India's manufacturing footprint is focused upon building products that are designed and developed outside of India. Therefore, if India wants to realise its true potential as a global manufacturing hub, it must take responsibility for innovating and developing the garments here and then manufacturing it with the current technology available in order to boost its sales in India and across the world.

         Indian handicrafts have the highest demand in the world. Manufacturing them in accordance with demand will boost domestic sales and help the local craftspersons and weavers in the Indian handicraft market. The local artisans can be the biggest soldiers in making this initiative a huge success.

         To grab a place in the overseas garment industry, it is important for Indian designers to showcase their talent abroad. For this, it is important that the government should think of some opportunities by which designers can have a large stage to display their art.

India is the world's second largest producer of cotton and silk, and also the second largest textiles manufacturer. Besides this, India enjoys a comparative

         advantage in terms of skilled manpower and cost of production over other major textile producers, which makes the country a preferred destination for investment in this sector. As per a research conducted recently, it has risen to 20 per cent in the past few years.

         Increased penetration of organised retail, favourable demographics and rising income levels are expected to drive demand in this industry. Changing lifestyle and increasing demand for quality products are set to fuel the need for apparel.


Top 5 hurdles in ensuring 'Make in India' is a success

         The Indian textiles and garment industry is one of the major contributors to the GDP of the country. It is also one of the major sectors offering direct and indirect employment, but there is a lack of skilled and knowledgeable workers. It is important to create resources for them to increase their knowledge base regarding the same.

         Cost of production of garments is much higher in India despite low labour rates. This is due to the environmental imbalance which is affecting naturally available raw materials in India.

         The Indian textiles and clothing industry has one of most complex, fragmented and longest supply chains in the world right from raw material procurement to shipping port handling facilities. The average manufacturing and delivery lead time from fabric-buying to shipment of apparel comes to 45-60 days and in most cases can extend to 80 days. The mean delay in procurement of raw materials for garments and then exporting finished garments from India is estimated to be 15.5 days. Since shelf life of fashion driven products is hardly 45 days, such delays cause irreversible damage to sales.

         Indian handicrafts and designs are famous all over the globe, but there are many loopholes at the grassroots level. People who are working in the industry do not have proper infrastructure or resources to earn the profit which they deserve. Improvement in infrastructure and easy availability of resources will surely increase their visibility in the international market.

At times, industry faces the problems of low off-take of stocks resulting in accumulation of huge stocks. The situation leads to price cuts leading to losses or low profits.