Footwear institute gets ‘national importance’ status, can now award degrees

Oct 16, 2017 0

New Delhi– With the grant of ‘Institute of National Importance’ status, the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) can now award degrees to its students, the government announced on Monday.

“The government commitment to resolve the degree issue has culminated in the grant of the said status to FDDI. The FDDI now has the autonomy to design its courses as per the requirement of industry and award its own degree to the students,” Minister of State for Commerce C.R. Chaudhary told reporters here.

“With this, the government has ensured upgradation of FDDI to a position of eminence so as to enable the institute to effectively serve the sector,” he added.

C.R. Chaudhary

The provisions of the FDDI Act, 2017, passed by Parliament in July, came into force with their notification on Monday.

“The FDDI can now independently develop and conduct courses leading to graduate and postgraduate degrees, doctoral and post-doctoral courses and research in the areas of footwear and leather products design and development and allied fields,” he added.

The institute is currently imparting skill-based graduate and postgraduate courses in footwear, leather goods, retail and management to around 2,500 students in eight campuses across India.

The FDDI will now be able to enroll around 2,500 more students in the coming academic session across 12 campuses, of which four new ones at Patna, Hyderabad, Ankleshwar, and Banur will become functional from the next session, Chaudhary said.

He said the government is givng special attention to the footwear sector as it employs over 4.4 million people, he added. (IANS)

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Changes in merchandise exports policy to make Indian e-commerce retail exports feasible

May 30, 2017 0

New Delhi–The huge potential of e-commerce towards retail exports from India will only be feasible through modifications in the current Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) policy under the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20, a recent study said here on Monday.

According to the study ‘Exploring Potential of E-Commerce for Retail Exports of Indian MSMEs in Manufacturing Sector’, the total potential for business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce retail exports from India is estimated at approximately $26 billion, of which $2 billion can be achieved by 2020 from 16 product categories.

The study highlighted the need for the government to recognise e-commerce retail exports as an industry and work towards removing regulatory barriers, including reviewing the FTP policy and simplifying customs duty procedures.

The survey was prepared by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade-Centre for MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) Studies (FICCI-CMSME) and Apex Cluster Development Services, supported by e-commerce platform eBay India.

Sanjay Bhatia

The study provides MSMEs with the requisite information to undertake e-commerce retail exports while exploring the untapped potential of the international B2C e-commerce market by leveraging the digital platform to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers.

It also aims to intensify the global reach of Indian MSMEs and enhance the export competitiveness of ‘Made in India’ products.

S.N. Tripathi, Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner, Ministry of MSME, said currently Indian manufacturers were producing locally for global markets and the study revealed that manufacturers were taking advantage of technology to reach global markets.

Alluding to various initiatives of the government of India such as ‘Zero Defect Zero Effect’, Tripathi said the MSMEs should take advantage of schemes to improve the quality of their products and scale up their business, adding that the government was working towards improving ease of doing business and addressing various challenges faced by MSMEs.

“There is no way we can undermine the contribution of MSMEs to our economy and it is in fact very important that we continue to explore synergies to integrate this very important sector with the latest emerging trends. E-commerce is one such trend which is massively changing the mechanism of global businesses,” said Sanjay Bhatia, President, FICCI-CMSME.

Bhatia said the study highlights the need for MSMEs to increase their presence in international market places using B2C exports as major tool.

The study covers in detail the status, missing opportunity by MSMEs and also suggests the policy changes required to make B2C e-commerce a smooth and attractive option for the exports by MSMEs.

“We are positive that together with FICCI and IIFT, we will be able to initiate dialogues at policy level to ease norms for e-commerce retail exports and encourage larger MSME base to tap the potential of e-commerce,” said Navin Mistry, Director Retail Exports, eBay India. (IANS)

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Peter England gets approval to come up with Khadi range

May 24, 2017 0

New Delhi–Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd and the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) on Tuesday announced a strategic collaboration under which the fashion brand will develop an exclusive product line branded as ‘Khadi by Peter England.

This initiative is in line with the Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s vision of promoting ‘Khadi for Fashion’ and hand-woven fabric.

The agreement document was exchanged between KVIC CEO Anshu Sinha and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd business head Ashish Dikshit, in the presence of KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena and other dignitaries.

“Khadi is a brand which is protected by the act of Parliament. Our simple aim is to protect Khadi and that’s why we are taking lot of stringent actions,” Saxena told IANS when asked if KVIC approved Khadi is the step towards making the fabric patented.

“We have seen in several places that khadi products are sold inspite of the fact that they are not khadi so its our duty to protect the fabric as this gives livelihood to many people too. We have been given this right to protect and that’s out we gave given certification to some big company who have started selling khadi-based collections,” he added.

As a part of this strategic partnership, Peter England, a portfolio of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, will be among the leading brands to develop an exclusive product line branded of khadi apparel.

Dikshit said: “Our partnership with Khadi & Village Industries Commission is a testimony of our commitment towards innovative and sustainable fashion.

“Authentic, Indian products resonate strongly with the Indian consumers and there is an increasing demand for hand-made fabric, that stays true to its roots and exudes simplicity and vogue at the same time. Through our partnership with KVIC, we aim to bring the rich Indian heritage of hand-woven fabric closer to our discerning consumers.”

This initiative is conceptualized under KVIC Act that permits it to promote the sale and marketing of Khadi or products of Village industries or handicrafts and forge links with established marketing agencies through the PPP mode.

Under this convergence, Peter England has agreed for a guaranteed minimum procurement of Khadi and Khadi products for a period of five years with primary purchases of muslin cotton and silk.

The collection will be available at Peter England stores across the country, KVIC outlets and leading ecommerce portals. (IANS)

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E-tail to brick-and-mortar: Are Indian e-commerce firms reinventing the wheel?

May 5, 2017 0

By Porisma P. Gogoi

New Delhi– In a bid to curb higher marketing costs and cater to diverse customer needs in a highly competitive market, Indian e-commerce players, in a reverse trend, are now expanding their platforms to brick-and-mortar outlets.

“The crux of the online business is low operating costs. This is fundamentally how e-commerce companies in the West have been successful. However, e-commerce in India is still at a very nascent stage because here the population who shop online is limited, whereas the amount of money that goes in to acquire those (customers) or to make a noise to bring awareness, is much higher,” Vishwas Shringi, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Voylla Fashion, told IANS.

Shringi explained that higher marketing and customer-acquisition cost in the online space in India make it imperative to search for an alternate business model.

“In the Indian scenario, running a business offline is more profitable than an online business now because of higher marketing cost. In case of offline, the operating cost is high, but you can still run the business with low customer-acquisition cost or a low marketing cost,” he said.

“Fundamentally, if the customer-acquisition cost and the marketing cost, coupled with the operating cost in running a retail store is lower than in online, then it still makes sense, which is what the offline story of India is all about,” Shringi added.

According to a report by the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s retail market is expected to nearly double to $1 trillion by 2020 from $600 billion in 2015, driven by income growth, urbanisation and attitudinal shifts.

While India’s business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce market is expected to reach $700 billion by 2020, the report added that online retail is expected to be at par with the physical stores in the next five years.

Lenskart’s CEO Peyush Bansal points at better returns from going omni-channel (being present both online and offline) along with lower alternative expenses, like marketing costs and maintenance costs.

“Whether the online (store) is going offline or the offline is going online, the way I would put it is that they are all going omni-channel. That improves the ROI (return on investment) of the business quite a lot,” Bansal said.

“Online penetration of retail in India is still around some 20 per cent, in fact some 10 per cent for most categories. So, of course, offline shares would be higher. But as online penetration will increase, this conversion will increase,” he added.

Moreover, going brick-and-mortar ensures the e-tailers do not lose their customers in any space — either online or offline.

“There are all kinds of customers — some buy only online, some like omnichannels — sometimes they buy online, sometimes offline — and sometimes there are customers who buy only offline. So, we can try and tap all three kinds of customers,” Falguni Nayyar, founder of online beauty retailer Nykaa, told IANS.

“And most importantly, those customers of ours who like a mix of offline and online for various reasons. We should not lose our connect with them,” she added.

But does this mean that the e-tailers are taking a step backward?

“It’s definitely not going backwards, it’s coming up with a new model… You’ll see in two-three years that ‘omni-channel’ will be a big buzzword,” Nayyar asserted. (IANS)

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Walmart to open 50 new stores in India

Apr 30, 2017 0

Hyderabad–Global retail giant Walmart will set up 50 new stores across India, including 10 in Telangana, over the next three to four years, a top company official said on Saturday.

The US retailer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telangana government for the 10 stores.

It will invest $10 to $12 million in each store, which would create direct and indirect employment for 2,000 people.

Walmart currently has 21 stores in India, including one in Hyderabad.

Spread over 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, each store serves 300,000 customers including 30,000 kirana shops.

Walmart executives and Telangana government officials signed the MoU in the presence of state Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao, President and CEO, Walmart Canada and Asia, Dirk Van den Berghe, and President and CEO Walmart India, Krish Iyer.

Dirk said Walmart was committed to India and the country with its efficient economy was an important market for them.

Stating that Walmart has presence in 28 countries, he said it would continue to invest more in India in local communities, build businesses, train people and develop suppliers.

Krish Iyer said four of the 10 new stores planned in Telangana would come up in Hyderabad.

Walmart is looking at Tier-II cities like Warangal, Karimnagar and Nizamabad to open the new stores.

He said the company would work with kirana shops, hotels, restaurants, caterers, offices and institutions to help them grow their business by selling them merchandise of highest quality at low prices.

Walmart is currently sourcing 97 percent of the products within India. As much as 15 percent of its merchandise is sourced from the region where its store is located.

He said under direct farm programme, Walmart will work with small and marginal farmers and offer training and education to all stakeholders in the value chain. It will also work for the economic empowerment of women and launch its women entrepreneurship development program.

K.T. Rama Rao said Telangana government would soon come out a retail policy to help build a proper solid base for opening more retail outlets in the state.

He said the government was in talks with various retail players and they were seeking specific retail policy to help them with speedy clearances and incentives.

Later, talking to reporters, Rajneesh Kumar, Senior Vice President and Head Corporate Affairs, Walmart India, said their focus in South India would be on Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The company has already signed a MoU with Andhra Pradesh.

In north India, Walmart is focusing on Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. It already has MoUs with Haryana and Punjab.

Maharashtra is another state that Walmart will be focusing on for its expansion plans. (IANS)

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US Fashion brand kate spade new york enters India

Apr 15, 2017 0

New Delhi– Global fashion and lifestyle brand kate spade new york has forayed into the Indian market with its first two stores in the capital.

The brand has opened shop in south Delhi — with one store at the DLF Emporio in Vasant Kunj and another at the Select City Walk in Saket.

It has entered India through a long-term distribution and retail license agreement with Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Group. The exclusive distribution rights to the brand in the country lie with Reliance Brands, read a statement.

The stores feature its spring 2017 collection, which reflects a Moroccan feel. Throughout the collection, textured fabrics and details including eyelets, pom poms, appliqué roses and ruffles sit against softly flowing and feminine silhouettes.

There’s ready-to-wear, handbags, small leather goods, shoes, jewellery, fashion, tech accessories, watches, eyewear and stationery from the brand at the stores.

Deborah Lloyd, Chief Creative Officer of kate spade new york, is thrilled about the launch.

“I am so inspired by the rich and colourful heritage and cannot wait to see how the Indian woman styles our collection,” said Lloyd added.

Darshan Mehta, CEO, Reliance Brands, said he is confident that the brand “will resonate with the Indian woman and its playful sophistication will add a refreshing twist to her wardrobe”. (IANS)

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Amazon expands grocery, household products service to 6 more Indian cities

Dec 22, 2016 0

Bengaluru– After launching its grocery and household products service in Hyderabad and Bengaluru earlier this year, online retail giant Amazon on Thursday announced the expansion of the service to six more cities.

“ has announced the expansion of its grocery and household service – Amazon Pantry to six more cities across the country, namely Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Mysuru and Pune, after launching the program in Hyderabad and Bengaluru earlier this quarter,” the company said in a statement here.

“After the success witnessed in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, we are now expanding our Amazon Pantry services across six more cities for our customers,” said Saurabh Srivastava, Director Category Management FMCG, Amazon India.

Amazon Pantry offers essentials ranging across staples including regional brands specific for the relevant cities, categories like snack foods and biscuits to home needs like detergents and shampoo, child care products such as diapers and baby food to even pet products, it said. (IANS)

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Raymond, KVIC launch India’s first branded Khadi label

Dec 6, 2016 0

Mumbai–The Khadi & Village Industries Commission and Raymond Ltd. have joined hands to launch India’s first branded Khadi label as part of a strategic marketing initiative for the product from February 2017, it was announced here on Tuesday.

By this, KVIC will permit Raymonds to use the Khadi Mark, branded as ‘Khadi by Raymond’ and the latter will source all its Khadi requirements from stores in Mumbai and Delhi.

Besides positioning Khadi as a “fashion fabric” globally, the initiative is expected to generate incremental employment of around 2.10 lakh man-hours for spinners and weavers.

‘Khadi by Raymonds’ will hit the stores at KVIC outlets and Raymond shops across the country from February 2017 and also be available online.

The agreement was signed between KVIC CEO Usha Suresh and Raymond Ltd CEO Sanjay Behl in the presence of KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena and Raymond Ltd Chairman & Managing Director Gautam Hari Singhania.

Terming it as a historic partnership between KVIC and Raymond for value-added marketing of Khadi, Saxena said its in tune with the Make In India initiative and help bridge the rural-urban industry divide.

“Spinning the ‘charkha’ has always been a symbol of self-reliance and now Raymond has Khadi, a true Indian fabric as part of its product portfolio. It will create multiple employment opportunities and empower artisans, especially the women, in rural areas,” said Singhania.

Suresh said by this partnership, Khadi would be promoted as a global and fashionable fabric and Raymond will provide a khadi niche among the fashion conscious global Indians who love genuine hand-spun fabric.

In view of evolving trends of customers’ preferences, Behl said through the partnership, Raymond will promote Khadi globally and offer a wide array of fabric blends and garments spanning suits, jackets, shirts, trousers in tune with international design and quality trends. (IANS)

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Retail, wholesale trade severely hit by demonetisation

Nov 14, 2016 0

New Delhi– The demonetisation of high-value currency notes has severely affected the retail as well as wholesale trade, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said on Monday.

“The commercial markets wore a gloomy and deserted look,” the CAIT said in a statement.

“Since demonetisation, consumer footfall in the markets is very less in comparison to normal days. Not only the retail activities but even the wholesale trade is affected severely because of very low volume of transportation of goods,” the statement added.

The confederation has urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to take remedial measures to intensify adoption of electronic payments system beside ensuring smooth flow of currency both at the hands of traders and consumers.

The CAIT has suggested special camp should be organised for filing Income Tax returns.

Similar special camps may be organised in the markets with the help of local trade associations for disbursement of new currency notes, it added.

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Indian businesses claims 60% dip in sales of Chinese goods this Diwali

Oct 31, 2016 0

Agra– The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has claimed that there was a 60 per cent dip in the sales of Chinese goods this Diwali as a result of the massive social media campaign urging people to boycott Chinese products.

“Even the traders showed lack of enthusiasm in selling Chinese products,” a CAIT spokesperson said.

Instead of Chinese goods, people preferred earthen lamps and decorative items made from paper, clay and plastic to decorate their houses, and some households even used last year’s material for decoration purposes.

Less consumption of Chinese goods did not deter people from celebrating the festival with great fanfare.

“Realising the mood among the people because of the social media campaign, traders across the country were seen reluctant in displaying Chinese goods on the counter and some traders had even put “Make in India” boards at their business establishments to woo consumers,” a CAIT spokesperson said.

“These statistics are based on the indications gathered by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) from 20 cities in different states, including Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Jaipur, Ahmadabad, Kanpur and Bhopal which are generally considered as distribution cities,” the spokesperson said.

CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said the social media campaign, which affected consumers beside the markets, further intensified following the statement in the Chinese media that “India can only bark”. The people decided to opt for Indian products which included earthen lamps, decorative items made from clay and plastic, dry fruits, sweets, FMCG products and Indian electronica, among others.

Crackers made at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu were preferred in comparison to Chinese crackers.

Although alternatives to various Chinese products were very limited people still focussed more on Indian goods.

In order to discourage sale of Chinese goods in India, the need to develop alternative products was felt for which the government has to plan a long-term strategy by providing all-out support to our small manufacturing sector to produce quality goods at cheaper prices and augment their manufacturing capacity, a resident here said.

The government has to make the latest technology available to the small sector and must incur substantial expenditure on research and development. If all these steps are taken simultaneously, our trade can do wonders since we have everything at our end to give competition in the global market, the resident added.

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