Gurgaon, Sep 18 (UNI) In view of the dearth of trained personnel for apparel industry, India's first Institute of Apparel Management (IAM) got underway here today for creating managerial cadre professionals in the apparel, textile and fashion retail sectors.
The institute is promoted by AEPC Society for Human Resource Development, under the aegis of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), a sponsor of the Ministry of Textiles. AEPC plans to open more such institutes in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata within the next 2-3 years.
''The pace of globalisation of apparel industry has accelerated in the past four years due to two major factors -- phasing out of quotas of textiles and clothing industry in world market and opening of the Indian economy leading to boom in the Indian retail sector.
The mandate of IAM is to create a new cadre of management professionals who can understand the dynamics of global business environment of the apparel industry,'' said Mr Vijay Agarwal, Chairman, AEPC, while inaugurating the IAM.
Mr Agarwal mentioned, ''the industry is going through a crisis because of continuing appreciation of rupee, but it is temporary and the industry would require trained personnel to meet the global challenges.'' The first batch of one-year full time PG programme in ''Apparel Marketing and Merchanidising'' has 24 students from all over India while the Institute has the capacity to train about 200 management, personnel a year.
There is a huge gap in the availability and requirement of personnel for apparel industry, particularly in the areas of apaprel management, merchandising, vendor management and retail specific to the apparel industry. It is estimated that at junior, middle and senior level, there is a dearth of almost 2,50,000 managers in this sector, he added.
Prominent luminaries in the field of apparel exports, domestic, retail, brand management and academicians have already announced their support by joining the advisory board of the institute.
In line with the fast-paced growth of the global fashion industry, the institute is in discussions with premier institutes of the world for MoUs and tie-ups for various programmes to be offered.
IAM has already initiated its partnerships with international institutes in fashion and apparel management arena by having, MoA and MoU with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia, LaSalle- SIA, Singapore and LDT Nagold, Germany.
The MoUs with these institutes are aimed at designing of curriculum for mutual enrichment and recognition, Training of faculty in Apparel Manufacturing, Productivity, Quality Control, Merchandising and Management.
Moreover, the Institute is having discussions for tie-ups with various institutes in UK (Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Manchester, Nottingham Trend University and London College of Fashion) besides leading institutes in the US, Canada etc.
The Institute has already structured a ''Two-Year Full time Post Graduate Programme in Apparel Management'', which will commence from July 2008 and the admission process is likely to start in December 2007, Mr Agarwal informed.
The trained personnel are required to meet the target fixed by the Ministry of Textiles at 10.5 billion dollars for Ready Made Garments (RMG) exports and expects it to grow to 25 billion dollar by 2010. The domestic organised Fashion Retail sector - almost non existent till about a decade ago is currently worth 15 billion dollars, he said.
The Indian apparel and textile sector is critically important to the Indian economy as it contributes more than 30 per cent of the next export earnings of the country. It is the single largest employer after agriculture with an estimated work force of more than six million. India's RMG exports contribute to three per cent of the total global clothing trade, and has witnessed an annual growth rate of 30 per cent after the dismantling of quota regime from January 1, 2005.