Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Though the industry anticipates the growth of the apparel and textiles sector next year, exports are not matching up to expectations. The sector’s contribution to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) has dipped since 2001 and since the late 80s, textile exports have dropped from 25 to 16 per cent, said Sibichan Matthew, chairperson, fashion management studies, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in New Delhi, here on Friday.

Speaking at the launch of NIFT-Chennai’s master’s degree in fashion technology management, Mr. Matthew added that though fashion was generally thought of as something to do with clothes, today it included much more and was a growing industry in India. “This course is about marketing, merchandising and management,” he added.

Sanjay Agarwal, director general of NIFT, inaugurated the programme. He made a commitment to help the Chennai institute improve its infrastructure, particularly the library and hostels.

“Unless we provide a proper atmosphere, the students cannot be creative. We need to provide them with the right kind of facilities for their talents,” he said.

Request granted

S. Devadoss, director of NIFT, Chennai, said that the Government of Tamil Nadu had acceded to a long-pending request and allotted the institute three acres of land to set up more buildings and classrooms.

N.F. Mogrelia of Zoro Garments said that the industry was suffering from a scarcity of personnel at every level. He said that though the garment industry in south India had fallen behind after the phasing out of the import quota, Chennai had largely contributed to the building of the quality in clothes sent abroad.

“With this course we have an edge as we are specialising in management in the fashion industry,” one of the students of the master’s course said, adding that the programme combined management principles and know-how with inputs from the fashion industry.

The two-year course was started this year at NIFT, Chennai, and has an intake of 30 students. Graduates from any discipline from a recognised university can apply. This is the first postgraduate programme at NIFT, Chennai. For details, visit http://www.chennai.