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India will become one of the world’s best markets in fashion: Hari Anand

Indian fashion industry is capable of accommodating more players, says renowned fashion designer Hari Anand

Lakshmi Narayanan

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Image: Facebook

We have good models and designers here. The only thing that we need is to cultivate a culture of professionalism, says eminent fashion designer Hari Anand, in an interview with Lakshmi Narayanan

Could you tell us about your entry into Indian fashion Industry?

I have a humble beginning. I was born and brought up in Kerala. After my schooling, I went to Mumbai, seeking a good career option. And, my search ended up in fashion designing. I did my graduation there and started my career in designing. I came back to Kerala and started my own fashion store titled Glada in 1988. My focus was to make popular Mumbai style of fashion in Kerala. As fashion is a continuing process, I could not stop learning.

What’s your take on the present status of our fashion scenario?

Indian fashion industry is a rapidly growing one, and which has all the potential to become one of the world’s best markets in fashion. We have good models and designers here. The only thing that we need is to cultivate a culture of professionalism.  We have a tremendous opportunity here. Fashion retail is booming in all over India and many new players are coming in. Indian fashion industry is capable of accommodating more players. That is a very positive symbol of its growth.

But when it comes to Kerala, my home town, we are still 15 years late in fashion, this has to be changed.

Fashion is an art, I design dresses for a better living, and I make dresses for making your dreams bigger. That is my idea of fashion

On fashion designers and society

Many of us are not aware of the importance of a fashion designer. They often consider fashion designer as a tailor and vice versa.  A tailor can never be a designer. He only executes the commands given by the designer. A fashion designer is the one who creates the DNA of the cloth.  A good designer is one who forecasts seasonal fashion.

On the scope of fashion studies

Fashion technology is a wide and great subject with extensive scope. Fashion is a part of clothing, which is considered as one among our primary needs after food and water. So, fashion studies have great scope till the time humans exist.

Image: Facebook

What is your concept of fashion designing?

I love fashion, and I am so passionate about fashion. I never compel anyone to follow my designs or creativity. Fashion is an art, I design dresses for a better living, and I make dresses for making your dreams bigger. That is my idea of fashion.

On fashion and entrepreneurship

As I said, people are very passionate about fashion, especially in wedding. They wish to be the best on their ‘big days’; they are willing to spend a lot for that. During earlier days, fashion was restricted to cloths. Now things have changed, from printing a wedding card to thematic dress code, bride and groom seek advices. Because they are too much concerned about their image. This has opened the way to image consultancies. This is the latest trend in fashion entrepreneurship.

According to you, what will be the future of fashion India?

The idea of fashion is changing day by day. Now we are heading to the culture of light weight clothing. People are after light weight dresses and short ones. Lots of innovations are taking place in fashion industry. Let’s hope for the best.

Your message to budding fashion designers

  • Switch off your mobile, don’t copy the trend, just use your brain and create your own designs
  • Develop your observation skill
  • Don’t focus on money, if you are talented and sincere in your work, money will follow you naturally
  • Focus on branding from the beginning.

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Economy

‘Swarnanool’ has a mission to empower economically backward women in Kerala

Swarnanool, an initiative by IT Milan Seva Foundation, has a noble aim of supporting economically backward women in the fields of tailoring and embroidery

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Image credit: IT Milan Seva Foundation

IT Milan Seva Foundation, based at Infopark, Cochin, Kerala, has come up with a noble initiative to support economically backward women in the state. Swarnanool (Golden thread) is a project that aims at developing new skills and support system for small-scale women entrepreneurs in the fields of tailoring and embroidery.

“The women wing of IT Milan Seva Foundation will lead the project. We have identified 40 rural and semi urban locations to implement the project in the first phase, giving priority to the flood affected areas,” says the organisers.

The project also offers training in marketing aspects, quality control, and financial management

“The volunteers of IT Milan Seva Foundation will associate closely with the women community of the selected areas. They are skilled in tailoring and experienced in running tailoring units as self-employment. The project provides them infrastructural support like tailoring machines, tables and other essential materials along with business consultation through a pool of experts from the industry. And they need to give it back to society by training a minimum of three economically backward women in tailoring and embroidery,” says people associated with the project.

What about the sustainability of the programme? For that IT Milan has appointed project coordinators and managers in each location, they will track the progress of the initiative in every unit, and will ensure that all is well.

The project also offers training in marketing aspects, quality control, and financial management.

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Economy

India is becoming a smartphone manufacturing hub under Modi’s rule

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign has turned the country into a manufacturing hub for the fast-growing smartphone market

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project Make in India has invoked diverse reactions from different quarters since it launched in September 2014. Some call it a big hit, and indeed, for the opposition it’s just a publicity stunt. But the project seems to be a keystone for the smartphone manufacturing sector in India.

There was a time, even Indian mobile manufacturers used to export ready-made devices from China to sell in the regional market. It was the business model even for the much-hyped desi brands like Micromax.

What India needs to do is manufacturing mobile handsets and high-value smartphone components for the world

However, the time has changed. Modi’s smart move to impose duties on imports made the smartphone companies to change their minds. Now, from local player Lava to Chinese giant Oppo, the viable business model is manufacturing mobile phones in India itself. The Chinese companies pull in record sales every quarter, and they don’t want to miss the great potential of the Indian market.

Over 380 million of the India’s phone subscribers still do not have a smartphone. That’s where the phased manufacturing plan initiated by Narendra Modi makes sense. To tap this potential, brands like Oppo and Xiaomi are planning big in India in terms of manufacturing and job creation.

Narendra Modi addressing at the inauguration of the Samsung manufacturing plant in Noida, Uttar Pradesh on July 09, 2018/Image:PIB

More than 120 new manufacturing units have created about 450,000 jobs in the mobile phone industry over the past four years, according to the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association. The recently published ICEA-McKinsey Report 2018, states that India can manufacture 450 million mobile devices by 2025, employing 18 lakh people in the industry.

The size of the mobile manufacturing sector will hit 80 billion dollar by 2025, the same report noted.  It needs to be noted that in July 2018, South Korean giant Samsung opened the world’s largest mobile manufacturing plant in Noida, extending a great fillip to Modi’s Make in India campaign.

More than 120 new manufacturing units have created about 450,000 jobs in the mobile phone industry over the past four years, according to the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association

“This occasion is extremely important in the direction of making India a global hub of manufacturing. The investment of Rs. 5,000 crore will not only strengthen the business relations of Samsung in India but will also be very important for the relations between India and Korea. Samsung’s global R&D hub is based in India and now this manufacturing facility will further enhance our pride,” Modi said during the inauguration of Samsung’s plant on July 9, 2018.

Big things in the offing

Experts are of the opinion that if India can change the focus of mobile manufacturing in an export-oriented mind-set, it would transform the sector in a revolutionary manner. What India needs to do is manufacturing mobile handsets and high-value smartphone components for the world. Major brands should treat the country as their export hub. As per the report by ICEA-McKinsey, it can create around 47 lakh jobs, paving the way for a big leap in the sector to reach a size of $230 billion.

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Economy

Pro-nationalist thinker S Gurumurthy appointed as part-time RBI director

A staunch advocate of Swadeshi economics, Gurumurthy is known for his nationalistic views on various issues including demonetization

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S Gurumurthy

Narendra Modi-government has appointed Swaminathan Gurumurthy and Satish Marathe as part-time directors on the board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), indeed, a move that would please the Swadeshi group in Sangh Parivar.

Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant by profession, has been a staunch advocate of Swadeshi economics, known for supporting Narendra Modi’s crucial reforms including demonetization.

For him, the Swadeshi philosophy is contrary to the idea of protectionism

Gurumurthy is also the co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, an organisation affiliated to the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), which has been promoting national self-reliance since its inception in 1991.

“Story of my appointment as director RBI. This is the first directorship ever. Never accepted any private or PSU directorship. Not even audit of PSUs or Pvt cos.  Wanted to be free to speak. But when pressure built up I am needed to do something in public interest I had to accept,” Gurumurthy tweeted.

One of the most influential figures in the Sangh, Gurumurthy has succeeded in projecting ‘Swadeshi’ ideology as an ideal platform for India to take her growth to next level.

For him, the Swadeshi philosophy is contrary to the idea of protectionism.

He belongs to the league of Hindutva idelogues who think that India has to bank on development models that will work for India instead of importing the economic ideas from the West.

Sathish Marathe, founder of Sahakar Bharati, has also got entry into the RBI board along with Gurumurthy.

Marathe has been associated with the cooperative movement in the country as the head of Sahakar Bharati, an organisation functioning under the aegis of the RSS.

 

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