Leading Japanese industrial sewing machine manufacturer, Juki Corp, has set up a subsidiary in India to deal with growing demand for its products and improve its level of servicing to customers.

Juki Machinery (India) Pvt. Ltd, will have a direct presence in several cities including New Delhi, Bangalore, Calcutta, Ludhiana and Tirupur. Staff will perform market research and promotional activities as well as offer technical assistance and advice to garment manufacturers planning expansion projects.

Y Sugihara, Senior MD, JUKI Corporation Japan, said the move will mean Juki India is in a much better position to expand its network with quicker communication and service mechanism.

He added: "The government of India has recognised Juki 's role in improving the quality standards of the Indian apparel industry and has encouraged Juki's idea of the setting up of a 100 per cent subsidiary company to further the cause of Indian apparel industry's modernisation process."

His comments were echoed by Masahiro Ishizaka, president of Juki Singapore Pte Ltd, who said the company's aim was to change the mindset of the Indian apparel industry towards product improvement through better technology and technique.

He emphasised the importance of upgrading the knowledge of the technicians in the apparel industry for upkeep, maintenance and repair of industrial sewing machines.

"There has been a constant research & development in sewing machine technology in tune with other developments in the apparel sector," he said. "The installation of updated technology in the Indian apparel industry calls for better skills to handle the modern machines.

"Understanding of the new applications and devices, fixing of spares and handle machinery adjustments are very necessary for hassle free operations, reduced downtimes, lower cost and better quality."

Juki operates in India through four main agents: India Industrial Garment Machines (IIGM), Jay-Cee Enterprises, Garment Machinery Systems (GMS) and Industrial Sewing Systems (ISS).

The Tokyo-based companyi has a host of India-specific initiatives to its credit and has set up training centres for its clients in Bangalore and Delhi in collaboration with its agent IIGM.

In a unique move, it has introduced the Hindi version of its engineering manual for the benefit of Indian machine operators and soon it will also be made available in Tamil language.

It has also teamed up with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to exchange industry information, educate students and organise seminars for garment manufacturers on how to improve productivity.