Indian Garment Industry Aims For Net Savvy Future

The Confederation of Indian Apparel Exporters (CIAe) has formally launched its Web site and aims to bring the Indian garment industry closer to online training, e-commerce and Internet-based information sharing.

“The Indian garment industry has not exploited the benefits of newer technologies to boost international trade. The Internet is one of them. In fact, the main one and our objective is to bring all garment exporters together through the medium of the Internet,” claimed Amit
Goyal, president of CIAe.

“The CIAe is aware that to be globally competitive in the next millennium, the industry has to become Internet savvy,” he added. “It is high time the garment industry uses the Internet and expands its trade activities.”

The site is specifically designed to provide free trade
related information — be it for exporters, importers, accessory
suppliers, quota information or even sea freight forwarders.
For those exporters looking for specialized services, the Net would
directly link them to some of CIAe approved service vendors.

The Indian garment industry is the highest net foreign exchange earner
and has done business worth approximately Rs 20,000 crores (US$4.63 billion) in the current financial year, according to market estimates.

The confederation hopes to draw the ever-expanding Internet traffic to its
site and is offering free homepages to all members who register at the
site before July 30.

According to Moneesh Mirchandani, vice president for software, the
site is expected to be a “footage to e-commerce, for we have learned that
less than 5 percent of the Indian garment industry is using the
Internet for business transaction. In a country like the U.S., the figure
is almost 80 percent.”

Mirchandani, who is also the developer of the site, added that the site
enabled an interactive help line, which was incorporated
to reply to the day to day queries of individual exporters.

CIAe is a nonprofit institution. The only source of revenue for the organisation will be from banner ads on the site, which will help cover basic expenses and provide regular add-on services, Goyal
pointed out.

In addition to the Web site and information sharing, which has
already commenced, the CIAe has tied up with charity institutions like
Child Relief and You, National Association for
the Blind and the Red Cross to provide free garments.

Of the 850 members of CIAe, 200 members have already signed on for the
charity drive, which involves each garment exporter donating 50 pieces
of basic clothing towards these institutions.

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