Textile city Solapur, from southeast Maharashtra, is eying to be the country's uniform sourcing hub, said a trade official on Thursday.
"We plan to have about 2,000 garment units in the textile city to become the world's uniform sourcing hub by 2022," Solapur Garment Manufacturers Association president Darshan Kochar told IANS from Solapur, about 400 km from Mumbai.
The uniform manufacturing sector market size in India is estimated to be Rs 18,000 crore per annum, with Rs 10,000 crore from machinery and fabrics while Rs 8,000 crore is from sales supplying to local schools through retailors and institutions.
"There is a huge demand for our school uniforms, kids' garments and dresses for gents and ladies owing to their quality, durability, colour and texture," said Kochar ahead of the third edition of the 'Uniform, Garment and Fabric Manufacturing Fair 2019' from January 8-10 in Bengaluru.
The Association has also set up a centre in 2017 to train hundreds of women in stitching uniforms at Solapur and provide jobs for them in the cluster units.
"Mafatlal Industries has set up a garment manufacturing unit at Solapur to hire the trained women in hundreds for stitching uniforms," said Kochar.
Well-connected across the country with rail and road networks and airports in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad, Solapur has emerged as the investment destination in the state for the uniform garment industry in the country.
"Going forward, we will market our units as a cluster to stitch thousands of uniforms for the armed forces, police personnel in central and states, security agencies and private and state-run factories in the country," said Kochar.
To be unveiled by Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani at Prabhakar Kore Convention Centre in the northwest suburb, the 3-day Fair will promote Solapur and Maharashtra as the uniforms sourcing hub of the world.
"We are holding the Fair outside Solapur after hosting two editions in our city in view of Bengaluru's location in south India and its global status. Many overseas buyers from MEA (Middle East and Africa) and South East Asia have shown interest in our uniforms," said Kochar.
About 100 stakeholders, including buyers from America, Dubai, Ghana, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are participating in the event, which will have business-to-business (B2B) sessions at the expo.
"Potential buyers from five southern states will also be at the Fair to inspect the fabrics and designs for placing orders at B2B meetings," Kochar said.
Reputed brands in uniform fabric making like Mafatlal, U Code, Valji, Qmax World, Sangam, Bombay Dyeing, Siyaram's Unicode, Sparsh Fab, Only Vimal (Reliance), Ranjit Fabs, Pushpa Textiles, J.C. Pacific Apparels, D.M. Hosiery, 10 Grams, Zoom Apparels and Wocky Tocky are participating to show case their products and variety.
Maharashtra's Textile Minister Subhas Deshmukh and its Minister of State for Textiles Arjun Khotkar, Union Textile Secretary Atul Patne, Union Textile Director Sushil Gaekwad and Karnataka's Rajya Sabha member Prabhakar Kore will participate in the inaugural event.
Brands, retailers, dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retail chains, traders, distributors and E-commerce agents are among the participants.
The Fair will have uniform wear, men's, ladies' and kids' wear, uniform related accessories and fabrics on display, besides socks manufacturers.