Okhla Garment & Textile Cluster (OGTC) organised 14th International Conference on Apparel & Home Textiles (ICAHT) on 8th September, 2018 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (India). Theme of the conference was: Creation of ten million jobs in apparel sector.
The conference was intended to cover all aspects of the apparel industry, including the problems of small-scale enterprises in the developing world and the barriers which are hindering the growth of this industry. The conference also focused on the globalization issues, resource, and manpower scarcity, quality of the product, trade laws, adopting new techniques to improve productivity, managing global supply chain and finally changing apparel industry trends with ever-changing fashions.
The one-day conference marked presence of prominent names of the apparel industry from all across the world. During session 1, Suruchi Mittar, Business Consultant, Sanai Consultants and Deepanshu Sharma, an Ex-Microsoft employee together explained what it takes to build resilient organisations for Smart Manufacturing.
“Imbibing ‘Smart Processes, Smart Technologies and Smart HR’ is a need to develop Smart Manufacturing trend irrespective of which industry we talk about,” said Deepanshu.
Lately, the garment industry in India is dwindling and the apparel manufacturers are slowly adopting new techniques to combat the situation. New business models and competitive strategies are being used to enhance profits and growth but the use of such models and strategies need to escalate in order to evolve from ‘Traditional to Smart Factories’, as believed by Jagdish Ramaswamy, Chief Digital Officer & Head of Business Excellence, Hindalco Industries Ltd., Aditya Birla Group. “The industry must use data for improving decision making, giving real time information to buyers, and for improving safety parameters,” explained Jagdish.
The data driven approach was also cited by Samath Fernando, CIO, Hirdaramani Group, Sri Lanka who emphasized the need for reading data in available KPIs. He said every company should be ‘data literate’ and know how to interpret data shown in KPIs to take decision. According to him, 58 per cent people, as of now, are using gut feelings and experience to take decisions rather than reading and analysing the available data.
Further, the industry veteran Ram Sareen, Head Coach and Founder, Tukatech delved into the need of 3D automation solution to tackle fit issue in clothes. Ram also discussed about On-Demand concept and demonstrated the audience how Lulusar, a Pakistan-based on-line apparel brand, has digitalized its entire processes.
Another Sri Lankan company talked about how smart technologies can produce garments faster, better, and cheaper. “Digital Twin can be a revolutionary solution for the challenges the industry is facing right now,” quoted Imal Kalutatoge, CEO, n-Cinga Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
Since the apparel industry is moving towards becoming technology driven, the disruptions are sure to happen and the same was averred by Gunish Jain, MD, Royal Datamatics Pvt. Ltd. “Free Energy, the Virtual Offices, Sensors, Big Data and Robotics are surely the 5 disruptions the industry is about to witness,” boasted Gunish.
However, the conference pointed out a key point that human relation can be an enabler to inculcate technology by wriggling out of status quo comfort. V. Aswatha Ramaiah, M/s Unique Consultants, in his workshop touched all the human aspects of adopting technology in a unit. Theme was to identify what people can do in an organisation and what exactly are they doing. “HR should also step up to let employees feel that a technology is not only good for the organisation but it is beneficial for them too,” stressed Ramaiah.
Markedly, Anita Stogel, Founder, Business Coaching Academy, Germany aimed at change management and building resilient organisation to move to Smart Factory. She explained 7 steps program to change the mentality of employees as well as of HR and bring change.
On the concluding note, PMS Uppal, President OGTC; R.C. Kesar, Director, General, OGTC; Guest of Honour Sudhir Shekri, Chairman, Export Promotion Committee, AEPC; and Chief Guest HKL Magu, Chairman, AEPC addressed the industry people present at the conference.