Though working through buying houses and buying agents was not a priority for many exporters earlier, the scenario has changed now, as more exporters are keen to work through them at present.
The overall order situation has improved in recent weeks, and exporters are expecting more orders in the coming days. But still, there are many challenges regarding having enough orders. At the same time, exporters, especially small and medium-level, are very careful to add new buyers, as trust factor is an issue. In such a scenario, buying houses and buying agents play a crucial role, as they are an important key between exporters and buyers. Though working through buying houses and buying agents was not a priority for many exporters, the scenario has changed to fetch orders in recent months; now comparatively, more exporters are keen to work through them.
One of the leading export houses based in Noida which had reasonable orders has also added three new buying houses with itself. One of the senior officials of the company told that it is good to work on their condition rather than keeping the sewing machines idle. Amit Agarwal, Genus Apparels, Faridabad, said, “Yes, we need orders, and we are working with buying agents and buying houses.”
Various such apparel exporters shared with Apparel Resources that though they earlier preferred to work directly with overseas buyers, now they have changed their strategy and are working with not only buying offices but also with buying agents. One of the main reasons for the same is also that various buying agents and buying houses have such wholesalers and importers with them who are comparatively less or not associated directly with exporters.
Stakeholders of the industry accepted that payment terms are being more cautiously reviewed, as earlier open terms were acceptable to most vendors. Now sight LC/advance payment is safer and many buyers are also helping with part payment as advance to give a sense of security to vendors.
Lokesh Parashar, President, Federation of Buying Agents (FBA), shares that most buying houses and buying agents report about incremental business to deal with; the problem being faced by most buying agents is not about the opportunities of business. “We are facing hardship of not having factories that can scale up and are ready to deliver on shorter lead times. Quite a few buyers depleted and consumed their inventories. We are looking for fast turnaround and need stable factories to link up with. There is a shortage of such factories owing to a variety of reasons and that is becoming a major hurdle. Many buying agents are looking beyond their existing sources for factories which are ready to deliver and move fast. So, for us in general, it has been a positive influx of business and opportunities to grow and multiply upon,” he adds.