|The first edition of Apparel Sourcing Week to be held from 15-16th March 2019 in Bengaluru (India) will break the glass barrier on a key doubt that many manufacturers in Bangladesh are having... Is the Indian retailer/brand prepared for international sourcing?|
|Besides being among the fastest growing retail markets of the world today, India is also a known home for the best sourcing professionals in the global apparel network. All key positions in buying and sourcing today are being handled by people who have years of experience in international business. These experts have brought in systems that are supporting a smooth transition from an unorganised buying/sourcing module to a very professional approach to the process. Retailers like Reliance, Future Group, Aditya Birla Retail, Arvind Retail, Woodland are aggressively increasing their sourcing from Bangladesh and many others are seeking right partners to work with.|
|Among the most active in Bangladesh today, is Reliance Retail, which has an office in the country for the last four years, but has only recently expanded its office with its Country Head – Mohit Batra, akin to what one will find in the traditional sourcing offices of brands like H&M, GAP, Inditex Walmart etc. In fact, Mohit now claims that companies like Reliance are the new H&Ms of the world offering Bangladesh the same growth opportunities in the Indian retail market. The retailer boasts of having sold 33,000 pieces every hour in 2017!|
|Sourcing 60 lakh pieces of garments from Bangladesh last year, the target for Reliance Retail is to increase the same to one crore pieces this year. Taking the target seriously, the sourcing office recently held its first Vendor Meet to talk to the exporters and introduce the company and its future plans. “We are offering huge quantities and are looking for manufacturers that can offer 20 per cent of their capacity with over 600 machines,” shares Mohit. With only 15 per cent of current sourcing – mainly in shirts, bottoms and fashion knits coming from Bangladesh, the scope for expanding the product basket is immense.|
|In case of international brands, sourcing for Indian retail stores is pretty much similar to the sourcing procedures followed by the brands on a global basis. The buying team in India decides what products to buy from where, based on understanding of what will work for Indian stores. The buyers look at collections of local sourcing team and sourcing teams in other countries. Once they decide on the products to be bought, the same is handed over to the sourcing team for details like price, delivery schedules, which vendor to place orders with etc. If the brand/retailer has a local sourcing office in any country, then it can be used for the sourcing process, otherwise the India office directly or through an agent does the needful. But decision to buy and place orders lies with the India office buying team.|
|In this regard, we can take up the example of H&M whose India office is buying huge quantities of undergarments from Bangladesh for its India stores. The Swedish global fashion giant which has committed Rs. 700 crore towards FDI in India has 31 stores in India and last year, H&M, which is also available online, did a business of Rs. 940 crore in India. “Indians are aware about global trends and they want products at very competitive prices. So, we source from wherever the products are better priced, especially in basic products,” says Dhatri Bhatt, Head - Communications at H&M Hennes & Mauritz India Retail Pvt. Ltd.|
|Whether it is for the international brands or Indian retailers, the obvious sourcing destination today is Bangladesh. The Apparel Sourcing Week in March 2019 will facilitate this synergy and create an opportunity for discussion on a mature platform to enhance the future potential of mutual trade between natural partners – India and Bangladesh.|
Apparel Sourcing Week 2019, a two-day Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from India and abroad, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts) organised during these two days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian Retail and its workings.
Apparel Resources is well known for its benchmark publications – Apparel Online, StitchWorld and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh & Vietnam. These publications have been around in the industry for over 35 years, supporting, guiding and standing by garment exporters and the retail industry globally, providing them a platform to source better.