Renowned as a hub for readymade garments, Indore has been seeing a steady demand for the apparel category in the festive and wedding season over the last few months. The city, as per estimates, is home to over 2500 small and medium-sized garment manufacturers.
As per a report in The Times of India, demand for the city’s readymade garments in December 2023 saw a jump with dispatches to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu up by more than 10 per cent amid the boom witnessed during the wedding season.
So, what is it that makes Indore such a viable garment manufacturing hub for a host of SMEs in the city? Devroop Dhar, Co-Founder, Primus Partners says the garment hub in Indore is thriving and experiencing consistent growth given its rich heritage and tradition. “The extended festive and wedding season, combined with steady economic progress, has fuelled a heightened demand for ready-made garments,” he says.
Seema Mishra, Founder, Maheshwari Creations, an apparel brand, and Founder of Handloom Kasrawad Art Cluster – the first handloom cluster of Madhya Pradesh under the ministry of MSME – states that the garment industry is expected to be a dominating sector in the times ahead. “There is a very fertile ecosystem here. The government policies are conducive, and the plug and play model is beneficial for entrepreneurs. The city has a rich history of garments and cotton is easily available. Moreover, the ample availability of labour makes it a convenient destination for manufacturers,” she says.
The company has been seeing a 30% increase year-on-year, with 80% of the sales being for sarees while the rest for ethnic suits.
Mishra adds that over time, garment orders have also increased due to more awareness and government schemes coming in that have bolstered the trade. “Women entrepreneurs have started exporting their products. There are schemes which help women to showcase their offerings abroad. All this is helping the city come up as a diverse garment hub, which is the economic capital of Madhya Pradesh,” she says.
Another manufacturer, Shivani Harshit Gupta, Founder, Ohms Boutique, who has a clothing boutique of Indian wear in Indore sees an approximate increase of 10-15% year-on-year. Gupta states that schemes such as the ‘Mukhya mantri yuva swarojgar yojna’ via which the State Government would give bank guarantee and loan subsidy to promote entrepreneurship helped her immensely.
She is of the view that demand for apparel in the city always garners attention. “Fashion is a big draw for students in the city who are always tuned into the latest trends. At this time of the season, we see more of a demand for bridal wear and gowns. After the wedding season, it is the ethnic wear and suits that get more traction,” she adds.
Industry experts are of the view that Indore can focus on more aspects to further growth. Dhar adds that diversification through export in varied geographies; technological upgradation to tap into broader markets; emphasis on design innovation and making use of available resources can aid sustainable growth for the sector. “Diversifying beyond the domestic market emerges as a pressing need for the garment industry. Exploring and establishing a foothold in the international export market is crucial for sustained growth in the near future for the industry,” he says.
SIDBI, in association with The Economic Times, is starting a series of events nationwide that will bring together micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs), policymakers and ecosystem enablers. The first event will start from Indore on January 9th, followed by events in cities such as Bhubhaneswar, Ludhiana, Aurangabad, Rajkot and Belagavi.