Welcome Guest

Home Interviews Think Tanks  Supporting Organisations  Need to ink FTAs with EU to boost apparel exports: Virendra Uppal, Chairman, AEPC

Need to ink FTAs with EU to boost apparel exports: Virendra Uppal, Chairman, AEPC

Entrepreneur spoke to Virendra Uppal, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), to understand the latest trends of the industry and ways to tap new markets.

Tags: Apparel Export Promotion Council, Entrepreneur, Free Trade Agreements, MSMEs, exporters, Make in India,

BY Namrata Kath Hazarika | April 08, 2015 | COMMENTS ( 0 ) |

Need to ink FTAs with EU to boost apparel exports: Virendra Uppal, Chairman, AEPC
Virendra Uppal Chairman, AEPC

Although India’s apparel industry is expecting a growth in the current financial year, the euro zone’s crisis along with the volatility in its currency is likely to hit the profit margins of apparel exporters. Entrepreneur spoke to Virendra Uppal, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), to understand the latest trends of the industry and ways to tap new markets.

Shed light on recent growth of the apparel industry.

In the last fiscal, we have witnessed around 15.9 per cent growth (around $15 billion). This year, we have targeted to touch $17 billion by March end. However, during April-December (2014-15), we have seen 14.66-per cent growth as compared to the same period in the previous fiscal.

Will the volatility of Euro affect apparel exports?

Euro is down by 15 per cent. It will severely affect our exports to the European region. The appreciating euro will hit our profit margins. The European market is an important export destination for India. We are not importing much of the content. As far as garment is concerned, our import content for fabrics is only 7-8 per cent. We are mostly procuring raw materials from the domestic market. The weakening of rupee against the Euro is impacting us dearly. Some exporters have to book orders through hedging the currency in order to maintain profit margins.

How is the market situation currently?

The US market is stable. Currently, the cost in China is going up so this is helping our apparel exporters. US Buyers are considering India as an alternative market. In Europe, there is no inflation but the currency (euro) is volatile. China is easily getting potential facilities while the Indian industry needs the government’s help. So, we need to improve our environment and make it more business friendly.

What are your views on Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign?

As far as the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign is concerned, I think this is one industry that has tremendous opportunities. “Skill, Scale and Speed” is Modi’s slogan, and this is the only industry that can provide it.

How can the MSMEs in apparel industry be supported?

The apparel industry is looking forward for the government to resume the interest’s subvention to MSMEs. This will be of great help to promote manufacturing activities and help the industry to achieve its growth target in the next financial year.

What are the latest initiatives taken by AEPC?

At AEPC, we are doing number of shows abroad. The Commerce Ministry is requesting us to promote marketing activities. For this, the government is willing to help us by providing us with market assistance grants for Latin American, CIS and Middle East countries. The government is giving us targets for non-traditional markets. As per the government, India has already established itself in the US and EU, which have 64 per cent share and are big markets. The need is to establish apparel industry in new markets. We are sending our delegation to these countries to understand the market potential and opportunities available out there.

What is your appeal to the government for the growth of apparel industry?

It is important that the working in India should be hassle free. Businessmen face many hassles to open a company here. This is a reason why they are not able to focus on the functioning of the company. The benefits of government policies should reach to the industry.

We are asking the government to promote the apparel industry. They have to give certain incentives to help us compete with our foreign counterparts. In fact, the rate of interests in India is also between 9 per cent and 11 per cent. Earlier, we had 3 per cent interest subvention but that got expired last year. So, the access to capital is quite expensive.

Moreover, our neighbours’ like Bangladesh and Pakistan have Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other nations, so they are practicing duty-free trade. There is a big need to ink FTAs with the EU nations to boost apparel exports. We have requested the government to give us a ‘Market Focus’ benefits under its schemes as an alternative. We want to focus more on Latin American countries. We are also asking the government to provide us special status so that we can compete in the international markets.

Please add your comment

Not readable? Change text.

Enter the characters as seen on the image (case insensitive)
  Notify me of followup comments via e-mail   Subscribe for daily newsletter

Related Interviews

We have been able to attract potential MSMEs under CGTMSE: RK Gupta, Bank of Maharashtra

RK Gupta, Executive Director,Bank of Maharashtra

How is BoM meeting the credit requirement of the MSME sector? We are using different schemes, which are helping the bank in meeting...

Gujarat set to emerge as the next Silicon Valley of India: Kaushal Chokshi of Scaale Group

Kaushal Chokshi, Founder & Chairman, Scaale Group

Hailing from a simple family in Baroda, Kaushal Chokshi always dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur right from a very young age. It is this...

Joining start-ups is becoming more attractive: Dr Ajay Kela, President & CEO, Wadhwani Foundation

Dr Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation

Wadhwani Foundation has pledged $100 million to help create and fulfil 25 million jobs by 2020  with assistance from government and...

SMEs need to have an efficient financial management systems: Saru Kaushal, American Express

Saru Kaushal, Country Business Head (Global Corporate Payments), American Express

One of the key challenges that mid-sized corporations face is managing expenses effectively. Financial discipline can help companies...

Ratings are a significant step towards empowering SMEs: V. Srinivasan, CRISIL

V. Srinivasan, Business Head, CRISIL Ratings- SME

CRISIL is a global analytical company providing ratings, research, and risk and policy advisory services. CRISIL is majorly owned by...

Simplification of tax structure is the need of the hour: Manguirish Pai Raiker, Co-chairman, ASSOCHAM

Manguirish Pai Raiker, Co-chairman, ASSOCHAM

 Tax reforms are essential for the growth of overall economy and especially the MSME sector. Manguirish Pai Raiker, Co-chairman,...

We aim to encourage entrepreneurs: Ashwani Kumar, Dena Bank

Ashwani Kumar, Chairman & MD, Dena Bank

With an aim to encourage entrepreneurs, Dena Bank is giving a thrust to the growth of SMEs. In an exclusive chat with Entrepreneur,...

All you need to know about brand building for small businesses

Willem Woudenberg, CEO, Brand Dialogue

Brand building has become the catalyst for a company to be a long-term player in this competitive world. As companies try to win more...

Current definition does not encourage MSMEs to move up the value chain: Yaduvendra Mathur, CMD, EXIM Bank

Yaduvendra Mathur, CMD, EXIM Bank

The small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) are facing hurdles in accessing bank finance under the existing MSME definition. Yaduvendra...

How Mahindra Samriddhi is making farmers a self-reliant entrepreneur

Ashok Sharma, CEO - Agri & Allied Businesses, M&M

In an interaction with EntrepreneurIndia.com, Ashok Sharma, CEO - Agri & Allied Businesses, Mahindra and Mahindra, talks about...

Education has no role in entrepreneurship: Murali Bukkapatnam, President, TiE Hyderabad

Murali Bukkapatnam, President, TiE Hyderabad

In an interaction with EntrepreneurIndia.com, Murali Bukkapatnam, President, TiE Hyderabad, shares his thoughts about fostering...

MSME sector can be looked at as 'maximum skillers major employers': Sarbananda Sonowal

Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of State for Skill Development

The mandate of the Modi government to make India a highly skilled economy and an entrepreneurial powerhouse, led to the creation of a new...

Indian entrepreneurs more open to challenges: Kalantri

Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries (AIAI)

There are many hurdles that deprive Indian start-ups and SMEs to sustain in today’s competitive world. In an interaction with...

Excerpts of the Interview of Dr. H.P Kumar

Dr. H.P Kumar, Chairman-cum-Managing Director National Small Industries Corporation, New Delhi

National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (NSIC), an ISO 9001 certified company, since its establishment in 1955, has been working to...

"SMEs need reliable power"

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission

The enormous variety of entrepreneurs in the country presents a tremendous challenge before the government to devise support strategies...

Dinesh Rai: The challenge of implementation

Dinesh Rai, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, GoI

The union budget and the Prime Minister’s Task Force has outlined several policy recommendations for the development of the MSME...

Entrepreneurial Training

Mr. Ajay Dixit, Head, The Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & CSR, EDI.

A recognised national resource institution, EDI is committed to entrepreneurship education, training and research. EDI has been...

Emerging sector important for developing nations

Michael Spence, 2001 Nobel Prize winner for economic sciences

Michael Spence, 2001 Nobel Prize winner for economic sciences, who did pioneering work on dynamics of information flow and market...

Learn to go the business way

Radha Iyer, Faculty Entrepreneurship & Human Resource Development, K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research

With entrepreneurship becoming the most sought after career option these days, academic institutions have also taken it up as a subject...

Govt boost to MSMEs

Madhav Lal, Addl Secy & Development Commissioner, Ministry of MSME, Government of India

In an interview with Taslima Khan, Madhav Lal, Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner, Ministry of MSME, Government of India...

Social Enterpreneurs

Ms Samapti Guha, Dean, Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, TISS

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has always strived for excellence in higher education that continually responds to the changing...

Fostering Technical Entrepreneurship

Sushanto Mitra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay

Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at IIT Bombay, is an umbrella for promotion of technical entrepreneurship. SINE aims at...

Purposeful Entrepreneurship

Dr Krishna Tanuku, Executive Director, Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, ISB

Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at ISB (India School of Business) began last year with the view to empower and encourage...

Incubating Innovation

Mr. Pranay Gupta, Jt CEO, Centre for innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM-A

IIM Ahmedabad has always fulfilled its responsibilities of being the premier management institute and so in the field of innovation and...