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The Gen-Next entrepreneur is the future of the industry

by Deepak Mohindra

19-August-2019  |  4 mins read

AOI EDITORIAL 16-31
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No industry can grow unless it is nurtured and the textile value chain is no different. While upgrading and innovating is a must for future needs, it is also critical that the next generation is equally committed to the future of the industry. Though there are many names from the second and even the third generation that are actively involved in the business of textiles and garment production, the companies where fresh blood is not coming in, are relatively more. When I talk to many of the big names from the industry, I see disappointment on their faces that their children are not really interested or committed to the industry, which in turn impacts the thoughtprocess of the current leadership.

“Why should I invest and upgrade when there is no second leadership in place,” is a common rejoinder that I hear from those owners whose kids have moved away from manufacturing and are seeking new avenues, such as retail. To be honest, handling labour that too in large number, is certainly not an attractive proposition for the younger lot of entrepreneurs who see so many options as careers in New India – an India that is encouraging youngsters to think fresh and use technology as their tool for growth. The thought is perfect, but what about production… Why is there no thrust in manufacturing? Just advocating ‘Make in India’ is not enough! Where are the initiatives and incentives to work in manufacturing and achieve goals that are aligned to ‘Modern India’?

I can honestly not put all the blame on the young generation as even the older torchbearers of the industry have failed to engage the youngsters and show them what this industry is capable of achieving.

Most companies that do have Gen-Next at the helm, are struggling, not because the youngsters are not trying, but because the old and traditional ways of working that are flowing within the company, bog down the company and its attitude… Fighting a lone battle for change is not the easiest thing to do! India is changing and so is the thought- process of the generation that will take the country forward. They want freedom to experiment to seek new ways of working, and in most companies, people fear the unknown and prefer to work on a tried and tested formula, failing to understand that what worked in 1990, will not work today.

Sadly, the industry has not gone on a professional route where it does not matter if the coming generation joins the business or not… So the future of the industry is in the hands of young inheritors.

Hats off to those kids who have taken up the challenge and are preparing for industry 4.0 in earnest! These young people are true professionals with courage and understanding without whose endeavours to continue, the hard work put in by their parents to build the company and its reputation that it has today will take but just a few years to disintegrate.

These determined set of Gen-Next industry kids are very positive in their attitude and clear about the future direction that they want to take. Most of them have already evaluated the risks and are making the required changes to not only survive in these difficult times, but also bounce back strongly.

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