Friday, February 21, 2014

Gandhi Nagar - Asia's biggest wholesale market for apparel

The visit to Shanti Mohalla whipped up my appetite to visit the wholesale garment market, in Delhi - Gandhi Nagar. Touted as Asia’s largest whole sale ready made garment market, it is haven for garment manufacturers and retailers. Gandhi Nagar market is Asia’s largest wholesale market for apparel. There are rows upon rows of shops selling garments. Of course, there are plenty of other articles also which are sold. Gandhi Nagar has over 50000 shops of which around 10000 shops are of readymade garments. There are about 8000 shops in the market dealing exclusively in readymade garments. The number of small factory operating in and around this area servicing them is around 10,000. It provides employment to nearly 3,50,000 persons

The readymade garment business of nearly the entire Delhi is controlled from here. Barring the branded readymade garments, the local and others whet their appetite from here. Today, the areas where the business is carried on are Ashok Bazaar, Subhash Road, Ram Nagar, Shanti Mohalla, Kapada market, Old Seelamdpur Road and Raghuvarpura Main road tailoring material market. There are around 19 galis or lanes from the main road. These include Shyam Gali, Gurudwara Gali, Mahavir Gali, Durga Gali, Prem Gali, Arya Samaj Gali amongst others.

What one gets is products from all over the country. The traders have been shrewd and market savvy to establish links to procure wholesale ready made garments from across the country. The range caters to kidswear, teenwear, women’s wear and men’s wear. So there are specialists who procure Lucknowi Chikan and deal only in Chikanwear. There are those who work with Bengali products including gamchas, lungis, baby frocks, kidswear all made in Calcutta. Similarly garments made in Mumbai make it here as does that from Ahmedabad. Now the trend is also to products from overseas like Bangkok, China and Taiwan. This range is a boon for a retailer who offers a host of products from all over the country.

Not only that multi thread embroidery machines have been installed in homes, on terraces which carry it out on fabrics by the galore. Customisation and buying in small quantities is possible.

Location: Located yes amidst the crowded area of East Delhi and in true wholesale market parlance chaotic with handcarts, vehicles, bullock carts, rickshaws and of course people jostling for space. The easiest way to access the market is from the ITO Flyover, after crossing it to turn into the road towards Geeta Colony. On the main road itself there is a parking, the market can be accessed by foot by crossing the foot over bridge. I though took a slightly circuitous route via Jheel Mandi from the main Patparganj Road to be led into the Gandhi Nagar Market. This route can also be accessed to hit Shanti Mohalla and believe me is a simpler way of getting there!
Timings: The market is closed on Mondays. Timing morning 9:30 am to 7:30 pm evening.
Highlight: The retailer need not develop his own sources for each product but can in turn procure his entire inventory from the market. The rates are immensely economical as the traders pick it up bulk from the manufacturer and sell it wholesale.
Insider Tip: All garment designs which are “hot” or fast selling are sold here. The fabric is immaterial nearly everything from lycra halter tops to jeans, sherwanis, ghaghras are sold here. Apart from these sourcing hubs across the country and now overseas as well, a large number of garments are manufactured in and around the Gandhi Nagar area. There are tailoring units, fabricators and housewives who custom tailor these products. The units are spread across Shahdara, G T Road, Noida, Ghaziabad and more. It is these tiny tailoring units cum residence which also churn out a huge huge number of garments. The major or chalu item is jeans

Brave the traffic and you will be rewarded with some great bargain buys! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shanti Mohalla - A fabric sourcing paradise

The name Shanti Mohalla is a misnomer for a fabric sourcing paradise. There is little peace as one finds ones way through the crammed bylanes or gullis jostling small auto trucks, cycle rickshaws, pull carts and honking two wheelers. The first view of the place is rows of tiny shops with some bolts of fabric which can be seen from the main road. Despair not at the small stock which is visible. Once inside the shop, one is led into a basement or a godown at the back or an emporium tucked in the bylanes and then one is awestruck by the collection. Feast your eyes on the sheer variety of fabric and the quantity that is stocked. The bolts and bolts of colours, some printed, some plain, some embroidered, some with bling on it and more. Incidentally, the main road resembles a bylane and there are around 18 gullis or smaller bylanes attached to it. It goes without saying each is filled with fabric to the core.  And they collectively do a business worth crores every day.

For many in the profession Nehru Place the sampling adda is now passé and most bulk buyers now head to Shanti Mohalla. The variety and range is mind boggling. In the opinion of regulars, “nearly all, almost all types of fabric can be bought here”. Delhi in recent times has managed to come with uncanny spots which are great places to pick up fabrics, knits, odds and ends accessories and of course handicrafts. So amidst traditional pockets of zardozi, sujni, kantha and hand embroidery there are equally fantastic places where one can pick up some fabulous fabrics. This is another addition to the growing list.

It is motley of 2000 – 3000 shops. Of the total number of shops nearly 90% work with cotton. Cotton is the fabric of choice, so it is available in all forms and all weaves. The maximum demand is during the summer season, winters are generally a lean period. About 18 - 20 shops work with other fabrics like silk, crepe, georgette and chiffon. The range available includes voil, cambric, chambray, checks, poplin, rayon, viscose, silk, denim, corduroys, jute, cotsilk, chiffon, georgette and crepe.

Location: To the uninitiated the market is situated near Gandhi Nagar near Old Seelampur. To be precise, after making it to the Swami Akshardham Mandir crossing, move into Mandawali, then to Laxmi Nagar and from there to what is popularly known as Jheel Chowk. From here, ask for directions and you will be guided via accessible roads to the Market. This is the easiest way to reach the market.
Timing: The Market is closed on Mondays and works roughly 10:30 am to 7:00 pm or more.
Highlight: Gully or Street No. 17 has 80 - 90 shops which deal in accessories and their repertoire includes threads, buttons, elastics, tapes and embroidery threads. The other is what is called Cut piece market - which has around 200 - 300 shops. They deal in cut pieces, fabric scraps and end pieces of fabrics.

Insider Tip: Unlike other markets where cloth is sold by meter, here plenty of cloth is sold by weight especially velvet and denim. The range of silk, embroidered fabrics is wonderful. Sheeting and grey is also available in plenty. Bargain, bargain and bargain as there are no fixed prices. Prices on bargaining can drop by more than 50% especially for stock lots. For fresh pieces, the prices are cheaper by nearly 25% when compared to the market.