Ludhiana: Due to the difficult times that manufacturers are facing following frequent lockdowns in states that are heavy consumers of their products, they have started looking for other solutions. Online sales and e-commerce platforms, which have become the most sought-after modes of sale in the country, have unfortunately not been chosen by many Ludhiana factories until now. Those who have adopted this model believe that while selling online is a challenge, they will have to adapt to it. Industry associations in the city are also taking initiatives to help local units sell their products online.
According to Komal Kumar Jain, President of Duke Fashions Limited, “We have been using online platforms to sell our range of clothing and footwear for quite some time now, and around 10-15% of our total sales come from this fashion. Selling online is very difficult, especially for manufacturers, as there is a need for huge stock and variety. Besides the circle of placing orders and paying, the achievement is very large and the rate of return and exchange is high. Regardless of all of these factors, business strategy must change over time and those who are able to adapt to this change must do so for their own good. “
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Some trade associations use social media to connect buyers and sellers. Upkar Singh Ahuja, President of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Enterprises (CICU), said, “With the changing times when lockdowns have become common, people are turning more to the online mode of shopping. So we launched a Facebook group called ‘Make In Ludhiana’ in August of last year during the first wave of coronavirus. This group now has 30,000 members from all over India and even other countries. Products produced by Ludhiana factories and services offered by local businesses are advertised free of charge in this group. Purchase requests are posted by customers from all over India and overseas. A large number of business inquiries have matured in the group as people can access multiple vendors and enjoy competitive rates without spending any fees or commission. “
Ahuja adds, “To educate local business people about selling online, we organized interactions with experts. Selling online is not easy, but sooner or later businesses will have to adapt to this medium in order to survive. “
Narinder Bhamra, President of the Indian Fastener Manufacturers Association, says: “In the current situation where people are afraid to go out shopping, online shopping has caught up. Manufacturers must also adapt to this mode. Running a website with a payment gateway and other features is expensive these days and the other option of selling products through e-commerce platforms attracts huge commissions. But it is an effective sales tool, so the factories in Ludhiana must adapt to it. But when it comes to manufacturers who supply their products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), selling online or e-commerce is of no use. ”