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India to become a manufacturing hub for fashion & luxury goods
Jul '08
The Government pledged its support to the luxury and fashion goods industry to share and integrate the skills of Indian artisans and craftsmen with international expertise to make India a global hub for manufacturing luxury goods.

Inaugurating the function to launch the FICCI Lifestyle Forum here, Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry said: “Education and employment will spawn such an initiative and I can envision fashion institutes from the West bringing their best practices to India. Business schools such as ESSEC of France have already initiated programmes with IIM Ahmedabad as FICCI did with SDA Bocconi of Italy and the National Institute of Design.”

Dr Ashwani Kumar said, skill integration with French ateliers and craftsmen to bring international expertise would help develop synergies with brands as well as generate employment. “We encourage this move towards skill integration and invite India indigenous brands to seek the right expertise, finance and skill integration from Western ateliers.”

He said, culture, craft, design and creativity, textiles and gems have been been India's traditional heritage. It is recognised that India has pockets of lifestyle skills such as Jadau jewellery from Jaipur, the Kutch craft from Gujarat and diamond cutting from Surat. The Government of India will encourage these crafts to get corporatised and organised to spawn an indigenous lifestyle industry, he said.

Dr. Ashwani Kumar noted that India was fast moving away from being a backwater to 'handmade-handcrafted in India' tagline becoming solicited. “Our Ministry will support this initiative with business to business delegations of the FICCI Lifestyle Forum to hubs of fashion and lifestyle in France, Italy and the UK.”

Earlier, the Minister released the FICCI-Yes Bank report on 'India as a Manufacturing Hub for Global Fashion and Luxury Goods.

Mr. Ness Wadia, Chairman, FICCI Lifestyle Forum, pointed out that the luxury brands should view the Indian market from two perspectives. One, skill transfer from luxury ateliers to Indian craftsmen and developing brand synergies with India, and two, policies conducive to enabling opening of doors to single brand retail and eventually multi-brand retail.

This will bring in its train employment and development of technologies in supply chain management and luxury retail management Eventually, this will be a catalyst for the development of Indian indigenous luxury brands for global fashion and luxury goods market, as interactive exchanges become more deep-rooted.

Mr. Jerome Bonnafont, Ambassador of France to India, said if India were to develop its luxury industry, it would do well to attract foreign brands. He, however, underlined the need for cent per cent assurance on quality, protection of Intellectual Property and know-how and high respect for corporate social responsibility.

Mr. Nick Steyn, Director, Walford Wilkie, London and Mr. Mehul Choksi, MD, Gitanjali Lifestyle & Co-Chairman, FICCI lifestyle Forum, shared their perspectives on brand creation and brand narrative where consistency in the quality of the messages and its position held the key.

Mr. Varun Tuli, President, Yes Bank, presented the findings of the FICCI-Yes Bank report. The need of the hour, he said, was for industry players to create a sophisticated business model supported by financial and legal footings, and for the government to develop the requisite infrastructure and offer the right incentives.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry

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