The buzz around the F&A Show – Fabrics & Accessories Trade Show was almost palpable. F&A Show has emerged as one of the most important one’s in the textile industry’s calendar, the 15th edition of the event just showed why it is considered so. Stakeholders from the industry ranging from top CEOs, Chairmen, Managing Directors, Partners, Senior Merchandisers, Executives from International Buying Houses & Agents, Garment Manufacturers & Exporters, Fashion Designers, Apparel Brands, Retail Chains, and Trade Body Representatives, among others, converged at Trade Centre, KTPO, Whitefield Bangalore for sourcing and networking.
The latest edition of the show which was held from March 3-5, 2017 at KTPO Trade Centre, Bangalore saw over 148 exhibitors display a wide array of fabrics and accessories. The eye catching range of fibres, yarns, trims, apparel fabrics, embellishments and services were the cynosure of all eyes at the event, as potential buyers got to see from close quarters products that were emerging as game changers. The event received impressive 3,811 business visitors from around the world, including places such as the US, Spain, France, UK, Germany, China, Indonesia, Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong etc.
The show was inaugurated by Thomas Varghese – Business Head, Textiles, Acrylic fibre & Overseas Spinning, Aditya Birla Group (Textiles), Mumbai and Nitin Prasad, VP & Hub Leader, PVH Indian Sub-Continent Hub, PVH (India) Ltd. One of the key highlights of the show was a contingent from Sri Lanka who had especially flown in for the event. The delegates were unanimous in their praise for the way in which the event was organised and for the wide variety of products that were on display at the event. They felt that the event provided the ideal platform for stakeholders in the textile industry from both the countries to get to know each other’s requirements and do business.
Like in the previous years, this edition too had groups of sourcing teams from leading buying houses & garment manufacturing / exporting units from Bangalore. A group of sourcing professionals also came down exclusively from Tirupur from various buying houses and garment manufacturing units. The event saw a lively and highly informative panel discussion and interactive session by the Business Networking Forum, on topic ‘Sustainability’, where top personalities from the industry participated including Thomas Varghese – Business Head, Textiles, Acrylic fibre & Overseas Spinning, Aditya Birla Group (Textiles), Mumbai, Atul Ujagar – Managing Director, Nike (India; Sri Lanka; Pakistan), Nikhil Hirdaramani – Director, Hirdaramani Group, Sri Lanka, Dr, Naresh Tyagi (CSO – Aditya Birla Fashion), Head – PDQA & Business Excellence (Madura Fashion & Lifestyle), Bangalore, The discussion was moderated by Daisy Mistri, Ex COO, Gokaldas Exports Ltd.
There was near unanimous approval amongst the exhibitors about the rising stature of the F&A Show. Commenting on the same, Eberhard Ganns, Managing Director, Union Knopf (HK) Limited, stated,” We had started participating in this show about four years ago. I must say that this show is really outstanding. 2017 was in my opinion a breakthrough edition. The show brought in a completely new dimension, in terms of quality and quantity of visitors, as well as the number of top exhibitors. We have been able to generate lots of new contacts.”
Sounding extremely satisfied, Ajay Sharma, Sr. General Manager (New Product Development), RSWM Limited, quipped, “The response has been good. We have received a steady stream of visitors. As a company that is well known for its new product development initiatives, we have been receiving serious business visitors taking interest in our quality product range.”
Going into details on what makes the FA show stand out from other similar events, Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Group, Sri Lanka remarked,” I feel excited about this event in Bengaluru. I have been to many exhibitions globally and must say this exhibition ranks up there with the top. We are living in a world today where we are looking at innovation and sustainability. Several companies have come here with innovative products. I am glad that this exhibition has demonstrated the capabilities of sustainability. I think we need to look at this event from a regional point of view, where more people can participate and make this even bigger.”
Almost every member of the Sri Lankan delegation seemed in agreement with Nikhil Hirdaramani’s views. For first time visitor, Mahes Rodrigo, General Manager with a leading company in Sri Lanka said that it was their search for yarn dyed shirtings and knitted T shirts that brought him here. He further added, “We have found some very good suppliers at the exhibition with whom we can work on a long term basis.” Similar views were shared by Lakshan, Sanathana and Rubika Gunawardhane, Managers from leading firms and part of the delegation who expressed extreme satisfaction at the variety of products on display and that they were able to find exactly what they we intended for at the fair.
The overall organisation of the event came in for praise from Prakash Balbadri, General Manager, and Dinesh Mathur, Asst. General Manager, Mulberry Silks Limited, Bangalore. Echoing similar sentiments were N Prakash, General Manager – Fabric Sourcing, Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore and Siva Kumar Ganesan, Manager Material from New Times India, Bangalore. Airing his views, K Naveen Kumar, Assistant Manager-Global Sourcing, Arvind Limited stated that he was impressed with the range of products being showcased at the exhibition, although there is always scope for improvement. DS Manjunath, Assistant Manager, Global Sourcing-Accessories Division, Gokaldas Images Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, said that he has been visiting the event for well over a decade now and it gives opportunities to meet several suppliers under a single roof.
Another leading name from industry who was impressed with the show was Praveen Jotwani, Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Business Head, K Mohan & Company (Exports) Pvt. Ltd., who mentioned, “The show has come out very well. The last time I visited the event was in 2009. From then and now I see lots of impressive change. A lot of big players are now participating. The event is growing well.”