After a year of disappointments with most major fairs around the world reporting low footfalls and fewer exhibitors, ITME 2012 gave the industry a reason to pep-up with positive vibes running through the corridors as over 820 exhibitors from 51 countries including 10 new participant countries, covering over 1,00,000 sq. m of exhibition area received over 1,00,000 visitors during the six-day mega event. Practically the who’s who of the textile industry was seen at the fair interacting with technology providers and the pleased faces of the exhibitors clearly indicated the seriousness of the meetings. It is very heartening to know that major investments are on the cards for most textile companies and the direction of investment is definitely on ‘value’, be it better technology for superior quality, efficiency, cost saving or value enhancing technology like printing and embroidery. Team AO was present throughout the fair interacting with exhibitors, visitors and organizers to catch the pulse…

While many a discussions revolved around the current state of the industry, the consensus that seemed to emerge was that India needed to prepare and take on a bigger role in the global textile industry, and with its rich heritage in textile it was the natural successor to China, which many claimed was downsizing its textile business. All agreed that ITME was the right platform to evaluate new technologies and decide on the next course of growth. “The event is not only a morale booster for the industry, but it also encourages us to seek new solutions and share ideas,” said Rajeev Jain, COO of RSWM Limited (LNJ Bhilwara Group). His views were echoed by many stalwarts including Manohar Samuel, Jt. President, Aditya Birla, Grasim. “Though we are doing good business, we know that to keep growing it is important to continuously invest in latest technologies. Such kind of platform is a big support for the India Textile Industry, which is in its transformation stage.”

Ramesh D Poddar, CMD of Siyaram’s Silk Mills, was seen at the fair with his senior-most team of P K Acharya, Senior President (Technical) and Dilip Jain, GM Purchase. Very appreciative of the fair he said, “We have seen many interesting technologies, now we will have some internal discussions before deciding on what best suits our need and fits into our growth strategy.” S S Aich, CEO of Alok Industries also appreciated the event and said it is going to help the industry in many ways. Top brass from Reliance including Dr. Anup K. Rakshit VP, Product & Business Development, PSF Business and A K Dadoo, VP – Polyester Sector too visited the event spending quality time going through the exhibits. Sanjay Lalbhai, CMD, Arvind Mills along with his senior managers also visited the fair. The technical team from Arvind was in fact the one most talked about as teams from all segments of the integrated chain visited the fair and enquired about latest technologies in each area.

What was most encouraging is that visitors came from across the country and even some garmenting companies were seen busy negotiating at the stalls displaying printers in particular. Mukesh Seth, Director, Vrishti Impex, Noida was very excited on purchasing a printing machine from Kornit at the ICC International stall. “I had seen the machine earlier in Barcelona, and I am convinced that it is an important investment that will enhance my business,” said Mukesh. John Milton, MD, Cotton Blossom, Tirupur was seen in serious discussions with the DCC team for their printing solutions. In fact, DCC had on offer a very interesting synergy of digital and screen printing that gave great flexibility in design to users. Deepak Singh, Director, Shiv Naresh Sports, Delhi one of the biggest Indian companies into sportswear, said that they are doing good business in the domestic market, but was now very keen to adopt new technologies to provide products at par with international companies. V K Chaudhary, CEO, True Enterprises, Sirsa (Haryana) having its garmenting unit of 100 machines commented that it was a little disappointing that there is no garment machinery supplier at the event.

Many home furnishing companies showed great interest in technologies that are designed for the segment. Among the big names were Pawan Malhotra, VP (Technical), Trident Group; Raveendra Kulkarni, Sr. Manager (Product Development/Design Studio), Welspun; Gaurav Singla, CEO, Mayur Overseas, Panipat; and Puneet Saraf, Director, Rangoli Furnishings, Kundli which is looking to start a new plant in coming months with the investment of almost Rs. 8 crore. There were a number of textile companies from the south, many of whom were discussing options to invest in Maharashtra or Gujarat as power crises in the region was severely handicapping their business. One such company was Thatavarthi Apparels, Vijaywada. Chandra Sekhara Rao, MD of the Spinning Division was busy seeing various machines with his team and also took time out to meet Kamal Dayani, IAS, Industries Commissioner, Government of Gujarat on the feasibility of setting up a spinning unit in the State.

One very interesting aspect of the fair was the focused visitation as ITME had extensively informed visitors on what to expect. “Every company that came to our stall was aware of what new we had on display and the questions were well prepared. This made our job so much more rewarding and customers are going back to discuss how investing in Viewport, could make a difference to their business,” said Sanjay Paranjape, Sales Director, Datacolor. Vilas Gupte, Head Colour Business, Advanced Graphic Systems was also of the same opinion. “We have received very few casual visitors. Most of them want to discuss in detail the machines and understand how they can be used to give value to their existing setups,” he added. One such visitor was Tajinder Sachdeva, MD, Mercury Fabrics from New Delhi. Sachdeva who had also visited the Barcelona fair found the Mumbai edition more focused and vibrant. “I am looking to invest in technologies that will take my company to the top slot in knitted fabrics, and every solution that I need from knitting technology to printing is available here,” he said.

It was interesting to see the innovative ways that technology suppliers were employing to educate the potential customers from actual demonstrations to bringing in customers using the technology to validate the same. At the Kothari Info-Tech booth, Girish Peshoria, CEO, Grab & Guise, Faridabad was seen talking to many visitors on the advantage he enjoys after installing the printing machine of Japan-based ICHINOSE.

[bleft] One very interesting aspect of the fair was the focused visitation as ITME had extensively informed visitors on what to expect. Every company that went to any stall was aware of what new was on display and the questions were well prepared. [/bleft]

Kept busy with the many delegations that visited the fair as also the seminars that were being held concurrently to the show was Seema Srivastava, Executive Director, ITME, India who was very satisfied with the feedback from both the visitors and participants. “We had made all efforts to ensure that the trip was fruitful for all the people and though it will take some time to correlate all the information that we have received, many of the exhibitors have actually finalized deals worth crores at the event,” said Seema. She was particularly happy that many of the exhibitors used the platform to launch new products. Giving credit for the success of the event to the timing of the fair, Seema said, “This is just the right time of the year, when companies are planning their budgets and evaluating performances to hold such a serious B2B event. Also coming after four years, everyone is keen to see what is new.”

Summing up the pulse of the event very aptly OP Jain, MD, Birla Cotsyn said, “Everyone in the industry is looking to add value to their operations, and it is the only way to sustain in this highly competitive global environment. Every technology that can save on energy, labour, time and resources while giving a product that is superior in quality is the attention grabber. The days of chalta hai attitude are over, now we have to upgrade and take responsibility not only for our business, but also of the people and the environment around us.”

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