Change is all around us, change in the way we work, change in the way we shop and what we shop, change in the way we relax, change in the way we understand the importance of family and home stay… and now a change in the US president!
Many may remember the year 2020 as a year of stagnation and frustration, but I feel it should be historically touted as a year of changes… changes that made way for disruption in old ways of working and living!
Will we be back again to a ‘normal’ once we have a solution to the COVID-19 virus? Will people stomp the shops and malls again, visit leisure destinations with same fervour and start travelling for business without fear? No one really knows!
Does any way have an answer as to whether this normal we are waiting for will be the normal we knew post-pandemic, or will we experience a change of the normal to a new normal, or will there actually never be a consistent normal? No one really knows!
We all have to wait and watch, but one reality is for sure – only those who keep moving are going to stay relevant. Positivity in thought and action is going to be the only paddle to navigate the change.
As we look around for such companies, I feel satisfied that in our industry also, there are few companies helmed by visionary leaders who have kept their heads high and either looked at fresh investments or reaped the fruits of investments made in the last year to paddle through the crisis.
At a time when most companies are looking at ways to cut cost and keep finances in control, upfront companies are seeking gaps and opportunities, not waiting for business to improve, but creating capabilities and capacities to grab the business when it does come. These forward-thinking companies have not let the negativity in the industry and general environment affect their thought process.
What is noteworthy is that all companies, including the upfront ones, unanimously agree that the overall setback to toplines will be around 30 per cent, yet there is positivity… positivity in thought and action! And most satisfying is that such companies exist along the supply chain.
In the last few weeks, we have searched and featured some interesting examples of positivity in the time of doom. You can read in detail about these companies on AR, but it gives me a sense of happiness to share why I believe that these companies are the torchbears of change and positivity!
Let’s being with the companies who have shown courage to invest today. So, while an exporter like Pee Empro has strategically invested in a sweater factory, a new product category for the company, KPR Mills has made a whopping Rs. 250 crore investment in its various divisions along the supply chain, including garmenting. All for the future!
A good example of preparing for future business can also be found in the investments made by Mercury Fabrics, a top knit fabric manufacturer of North India, which has invested in processing of heavy knitted fabrics and blended fabrics in anticipation of increased demand for such fabrics in near future, both from within the country and neighbouring countries, as such orders move out of China.
Then there is a company like Trendsetters International, which is being rewarded for its smart investment in Product Development digital technology made earlier, while sustainability pioneer Pratibha Syntex has used strategic management decisions for short-term gains to remain positive.
One of the most interesting examples of reaping benefits of collaborative supply chain can be seen in the case of Chennai- based Magnum Clothing. The management’s concept of ROR – return on relation is worth looking into with all partners supporting in numerous ways from technical knowledge to training to customer and sample support.
For long, Indian apparel industry leadership has talked about missed opportunities, continuously and consistently blaming the government for inadequate support, but it is also true that only few players have made efforts to rise above these issues and think proactively.
At a time when there is a global crisis and the only reality is change, I feel happy in talking about companies that reflect positivity, as motivation is the biggest inspiration to get up and start doing!