28 Oct 2011

Dadar + Santa Cruz

Work Space Mumbai Special: A Kapdawalla's Story.
Part 1: Coimbatore to Mumbai.

His Honda Activa is washed and wiped everyday, but he deliberately ignores washing or cleaning the number plate. It's a TN - 37 plate, from Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu and he's afraid that the cops will stop him and ask him to pay the road-tax or a bribe.

Nalin is a young business man from Coimbatore, the industrial and trading town on the Tamil Nadu near the gap in the Western Ghat that forms the main Gateway to Kerala. Nalin Jain's family has been in trading in and around this textile machinery manufacturing hub, a city created by entrepreneurs who fought the system and made machinery for the industries during the tough days of tight controls on Indian industry post-independence.

Nalin's geographical footprint and contacts revolved around the many towns to the east and south east of Coimbatore. Towns like Tirupur that exports millions of dollars of finished clothing, the garment factories and service providers as far away as Bangalore. Each town here specialises in some form of special textile related product or service. Kapda is big business in India, South Indian included and that's the world Nalin, knows like the back of his hand.

Nalin has an brand idea.

When you have roots dug in deep, the best thing to do is try and grow. Nalin had a dream of setting up his own fashion label based in Coimbatore, to use his network of contacts to create something new. He knew the best suppliers, the best tailors, craftsmen, people he could source fresh new trends in style from and most of all he knew the taste for clothes people in South Indian cities have. He knew the network of small but specialised boutiques that cater to the need of the college students and the new generation of youngsters who earn enough to spend more on clothes than before.

He created a brand called Gamma from Coimbatore. It's a brand that is doing very well in the market he is in. But, then he decided to move to Mumbai. From the well woven textile and garment network of the South to Mumbai.

Why did he move here?

What's the Mumbai fashion/garment industry like?

Is it easy setting up a business here?

Who are the people he works with?

Mumbai Paused hopes to take you through a tour of Mumbai, via Nalin Jain's eye and the making of his brand - Gamma, over the next few days.

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