Lord Swraj chants fashion mantra
KOLKATA, FEBRUARY 19, 2005
Indian fashion designers have proved their mettle
across the globe and his UK-based Caparo group
was weighing options to invest in fashion and
design sector in India, NRI Industrialist Lord Swraj
Paul said on Saturday.
"My son is very keen to invest in India and very
recently I was discussing the prospect of the fashion
and design sector in India with him. Maybe when we
start this, we can begin from West Bengal considering
the huge pool of talent that the state has to offer
in this sector," Lord Paul said here.
He was speaking after an interaction with fashion
design students of Bhowanipore Gujarati Education
Lord Paul, who began his business career in West
Bengal before shifting to London, said that he has
been looking to invest here in areas in which his
group was present, the iron and steel and automobile
components sector, but could not find attractive avenues.
"Considering that India's first fashion designer
was from West Bengal and also keeping in mind the
kind of progress the state is making in this area,
I think there is opportunity here," he said.
Asked how optimistic he was about continuation of
economic reforms in India, in the context of opposition
from Left Parties, Lord Paul said, India has started
enjoying the benefits of liberalisation.
He was optimistic that it would continue to do so
to make Indian economy a developed one. "India
has huge talent and there is nothing to fear."
"The only thing is, when it is opening up the
government must ensure that there is transparency
and understanding of the facts," he said.
Earlier, while interacting with students of the college,
which had made a mark for itself in fashion and technology
in recent times, Lord Paul said India's strength was
its vast pool of young university graduates.
"India is the only country in the world to produce
three million graduates each year. It is perhaps the
only country after China to have a huge number of
young graduates," he said.
Indian students needed to be more confident about
themselves, he said.
There is need to feel proud about yourself and your
country as you can't achieve anything in life if you
are not proud of yourself and your country.
"India's talent and fashion designers have great
scope. Some of the great designs in the world are
today sourced from India ... There is great scope
and I would love to encourage the fashion design industry
in India. I would like one of my three sons to explore
this," he said.
To a query, Lord Paul said India has a long way to
go in fashion design and it has good prospects. "I
am very bullish about it. Had I been younger, I would
have gone into this area." PTI