Noida comes under the fashion spotlight

Mohini Mishra

Noida fashion industry makes a new statement; designers getting opportunity to introduce global trends

Noida fashion industry is clocking a 8-15 percent growth rate as a result of incorporation of global styles by fashion designers and increasing international clientele. Untapped market for designer wear among middle and upper middle customers of Noida has allowed the designers to introduce a slew of global trends.

Global styles are in vogue for designers as well as customers. "In the recently launched autumn collection, I have introduced various global trends like Bohemian Vampire and Thumblina," said Rajdeep Ranawat, a fashion designer who has manufacturing as well as retail unit in Noida. "Thumblina is a fairytale collection in summer fabrics."

"Use of rhinestones is also an in thing these days. This type of work is famous as cocktail and evening wears all across the world. Recently, all my works have been done in this style," said Chayya Mehrotra, a designer who manages her retail unit in Noida.

Josh Goraya, a designer in Noida, said that her recent summer collection, created by using Egyptian cotton, has been appreciated a lot by her clientele.

International visibility

Designers are working hard to cater to local as well as international clients. "We supply our products to different parts of India and export all across Europe and Middle-East. We have two lines- one is for the domestic market including a collection of suit, light lehngas, Indo-Western outfits and the other one is for the global market which includes dresses, capes, trousers and maxi-gowns. Over the years, local market's reach and depth have grown considerably," says Ankita Chaudhry, a designer in Noida.

"My focus now is on wholesaling for which I want to organise trade-shows like the India Fashion Week, Pret-a-porter, which is organised in Paris and other B-to-B Shows," she added.

Starting with simple business models, designers here have given a new definition to the designer wear market. Most of them have similar stories to tell. "I started my business in 2007 with a small investment. I had one tailor and there was no setup. Capsule collections were made as per requirements. Over a period of time, my business grew and now I create around 50 pieces per month. I use silk, cutworks and georgette for my clothing line. My client list has grown big, with the international client percentage increasing every day," says Mrinalini Gupta, a designer.

Noida factor

Sunil Sethi, President, Fashion Design Council of India said that availability of laborers and affordable real estate prices make Noida a favorite among designers. "Since some parts of Noida, like Sector 15, are still lal-dora areas, there isn't much problem of legal and commercial issues. Water, electricity, space, workers and managers are easily available here," says Sunil Sethi.

Lal Dora literally means red thread, which was in use in the past for demarking the jurisdiction of a village. Presently, it denotes the boundary of the territory of village within which norms and controls of municipality or urban development authority is not applicable.Ranawat said that he finds this region far more accessible and planned to get into designing business as compared to Gurgaon. I set up a small business in 2004 which is now growing at the rate of 18-27 percent annually, with a business turnover of about ` 1.28 crore. And the production level has gone up to over 150 units per month.

"Noida, being a part of NCR, definitely helps to promote the business and it's extremely suitable to set-up a fashion house because of the local sourcing and HR advantages," said Goraya, a designer, Noida.

There are around 20 fashion houses in Noida which employ around 45 to 50 people. Many industry experts say that the total market size of fashion sector in India is approximately ` 20,000 crore. The Indian fashion industry has the potential to increase from its net worth of ` 200 crore to ` 1,000 crore in the next five to ten years.

But, basic problems like labour union issue, insufficient local suppliers and fabric houses and unavailability of local contractors in Noida might prove to be a deterrent. "Also, the problem everyone faces here is that of electricity. The energy supply is very poor and there are power cuts every now and then. This is one area where the local government needs to work," said Goraya.

This article was originally published in the Economic Times dated 12th July, 2012, written by Mohini Mishra, associated with the Economic Times Bureau, Noida.

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