Conferences & Events

Conferences & Events

AEPC & OGTC ICAHT-2019 Proceedings

International Conference on Apparel and Home Textiles (ICAHT) – 2019

7th September 2019

Conference Theme: Creation of Ten Million Jobs in Apparel Sector –

Double the Industry's Size and Another Ten Million Jobs will be created

Organized by: Okhla Garment and Textile Cluster (OGTC) and Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)


Conference Highlights

India is one of the largest apparel exporters in the world. In 2018, India’s apparel exports stood at US$ 16 billion, which is 3.3% of the global apparel trade. The global apparel industry has seen some dynamic changes including globalization of supply chain, focus on manufacturing excellence and adoption of industry 4.0. With shorter lead times and reducing buyer prices, the Indian manufacturers are facing several challenges. Moreover, low cost manufacturing destinations such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia are creating competition for Indian apparel manufacturers. 

This is evident from the fact that India’s apparel exports have not increased in the past five years.  

In order to provide a common platform to the industry experts to discuss the factors that are hindering the growth of Indian apparel industry and the interventions required to boost the sector, Okhla Garment and Textile Cluster (OGTC) and Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) hosted International Conference on Apparel and Home Textiles (ICAHT) 2019 on 7th September, 2019 in New Delhi with the theme “Creation of Ten Million Jobs in Apparel Sector- Double the Industry's Size and Another Ten Million Jobs will be created”. The conference highlighted the challenges prevailing in the sector with a special emphasis on how adoption of smart technology and tools can help Indian manufacturers gain competitiveness.

The event was attended by industrialists, manufacturers (mid and high level management), heads of research institutes and government representatives. The speakers and delegates shared their views about the current status of the segment, challenges being faced and discussed the initiatives that are required to take this sector ahead. The conference was divided into two sections; presentations and workshops on production, merchandising and human relations.

Inaugural Session

Mr. R. C. Kesar, Director General, OGTC inaugurated the conference and welcomed the dignitaries of the conference.  He highlighted the agenda of the theme “Creation of Ten Million Jobs in Apparel Sector- Double the Industry's Size and Another Ten Million Jobs will be created”. 

Session 1: Dignitaries and Presentations

Session Chairman: Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Wazir Advisors


  1. Mr. Gunish Jain, Managing Director, Royal Datamatics Pvt Ltd. – Integration of the Supply Chain to Attain Business Excellence

  2. Mr. Virender Goyal, Managing Director, Aplos Global Ltd. – Smart Factory Concept: A way of Doing Business

  3. Mr. Imal Kalutotage, Chief Executive Officer, n-Cinga Innovations Private Limited – Smart Analytics: Faster Decision Making, Higher Profitability

  4. Prof. Chandan Chowdhury, Senior Associate Dean, Indian School of Business – Industry 4.0 and its Impact Employment

Mr. Prashant Agarwal, initiated the conference by welcoming the dignitaries and gave the theme presentation on “Smart Factory- A Roadmap for Manufacturers to attain Competitiveness”. His presentation emphasized on the global scenario of apparel industry, the countries gaining importance in global industry and the need for India to move towards smart factory. He also explained the approach Indian manufacturers should follow for making Smart Factories that can help attain competitiveness. He emphasized the amalgamation of manufacturing excellence and Smart Factories by outlining the features, and advantages of Smart Apparel Factory. 

Mr. Gunish Jain highlighted the Integration of Supply Chain to attain Business Excellence. He stated a concept of In-Sourcing and how the core aspects of flexibility and building capabilities affect the dynamics of relationship with buyers. He emphasized how the industry needs to move towards building deeper relationship engagements with buyers as buyers are looking for fewer vendors with a reliable supply chain. He encouraged the industrialists to think about the problem of buffers and local maximization which highlighted the vital importance of trust, accountability and different departments working in unison. 

Mr. Virender Goyal started his presentation by focusing on Smart Factory and how it was a way of doing business in the future. He highlighted the factor of experience as a gain from mistakes made by humans, and gave the example of how Google had learned and grown beyond the point companies had never imagined. He further talked about personalysis and how it could be used as a HR tool to increase employee engagement and contribution, enhance buyer-manufacturer communication and help better decision making and commitment. 

Mr. Imal Kalutotage gave a presentation on aligning the manufacturing process with use of smart analytics. He explained how it could be the key to faster decision making and higher profits. He highlighted that CSR and Sustainability were now as crucial as speed, efficiency and innovation. He further emphasized that traceability and real time data analysis are the need of the hour and the use of these in manufacturing was essential to lure buyers. He deliberated how softwares like n-Cinga could change apparel manufacturing by making huge positive impact on manufacturer’s profits. 

Prof. Chandan Chowdhury kicked off his presentation with market trends which buyers are keen on being associated with like sustainability, reduced cycle time, zero defects and visibility on manufacturing and compliance. He stated how Indian textile and apparel industry was lagging behind on Industry 4.0 even when the concept of 1st industrial revolution was started by the same textile and apparel industry. He gave an example of a garment manufacturing unit which used robots/sew bots to make t-shirts in record time and competitively cheap. He also highlighted the success story of Hugo Boss to exemplify the value of the data that a company possesses and the need to capture the data at all times even if it is not utilized at present.

Session 2: Dignitaries and Presentations

Joint Presentation 

Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Wazir Advisors and Mr. Gunish Jain, Managing Director, Royal Datamatics Pvt Ltd.

The presentation focused on the concept of Smart Manufacturing and Way Forward for apparel manufacturers. Thepresentation emphasized on how smart factories would help make Future Ready Factory with features like agility, quick reaction and faster data processing. They stated the various benefits the manufactures could reap by implementing smart characteristics such as machine connectivity, transparency for buyers etc. The presentation also highlighted the difference in conventional factory and a smart factory in various functions like T&A generation, order placement, supply chain visibility, lead time, planning tracking, traceability and timeliness, etc.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Wazir Advisors


  1. Mr. Ajay Srivastava, Additional DGFT, Department of Commerce

  2. Mr. Pallab Banerjee, Managing Director, Gap International Sourcing India Pvt Ltd.

  3. Mr. Gunish Jain, MD, Royal Datamatics Pvt Ltd.

Key questions on Global challenges and Opportunities for the Indian Apparel Industry were discussed by the panel. Mr. Prashant Agarwal posed questions about opportunities India had for expansion in the future and the fast changing waves of trends in the apparel industry across the world.

Mr. Ajay Srivastava gave a brief outline of how India had changed its strategies to increase its exports and how the country had progressed over the last few years. He explained in detail how Indian manufacturers could utilize the available schemes. He emphasized on the fact that Indian manufacturers need to diversify their product basket in order to align with global needs. He further added that the government welcomed the suggestions of apparel manufacturers for interventions required for growth of the sector. 

Mr. Pallab Banerjee emphasized on the shift in consumer preferences from formal wear to smart casuals and cotton to polyester based fabrics. He explained how the manufacturers in India were producing majorly women’s wear which in turn consisted of only tops for summer wear. He explained that Indian manufacturers need to diversify and become specialized in the segment of polyester based garments used as winter wear and train operators to have skills required for sewing polyester garments. He repeatedly highlighted that globally buyers are looking forward to source from India, however, Indian manufacturers need to become competitive in all product categories for sustainable relationship with buyers.

After further deliberations on the trends in the industry, Mr. Gunish Jain explainedhow thebuyers were changing their preferences and manufacturers need to change their strategy to have fewer surprises, lower incremental cost and better reliability. He further stated that buyers too were changing their partnership approach and focusing on identifying correct partners with medium and long term plans. He said that the manufacturers should move on from transactional relationship to co-creation strategy with buyers.

The panel discussion was followed by questions from the audience to the panelists. 

Workshop 1 (Production): Dignitaries and Presentations

Session chairman: Mr. Sanjeev Mittal, Director, Royal Datamatics


  1. Mr. Skandaraj, Group Director- Lean Enterprise, Mas Holdings Pvt Ltd. – Smart Factory Module: An Approach to Streamline

  2. Mr. Imal Kalutotage, Chief Executive Officer, n-Cinga Innovations Pvt Ltd.

Mr. Skandaraj started his presentation with a brief introduction to Mas, how their unit in Sri Lanka functions and their unique selling points. He then explained in detail about Industry 4.0 and technology evolution. He stated that business is driven by customers who are highly informed and socially aware. He explained how agility was the need of the hour and the only solution to this problem was Smart Factory. He further deliberated that Smart Factory requires great operational strategy, digital interface between manufacturer and buyer and foundation of lean. He concluded by explaining that the ecosystem of a Smart Factory consists of operational stability through integrated systems, accountable visual management, predictive management system, real time problem solving, data analytics and experimenting with simulations.

Mr. Imal Kalutoge gave a presentation on Driving 4th Industrial revolution by Empowering Data driven Decisions with a fleeting introduction to Digital technologies used in the garment industry. He went on to explain lean and agile ways of using digital transformation in manufacturing. He addressed the production challenges and need for visibility and actionable insights in real time, smart manufacturing ERP system, real time problem solving and an overall change in employee’s work culture. He emphasized that all this will lead to faster decision making and an overall reduction in time and money wasted during processing lags.

Workshop 2 (Merchandising): Dignitaries and Presentations

Session chairman: 


  1. Mr. Gunish Jain, MD, Royal Datamatics Pvt. Ltd – Dynamic Merchandising for the Apparel Industry

  2. Mr. Nitin Gupta, Executive Vice President, Asmara International Ltd. – Innovation and Technology

Mr. Gunish Jain started the interactive session by asking the audience to define a merchandiser and later defined a merchandiser as one who owns the product. He explained how repetitive activities should be turned into automated activities and that a merchandiser should give more time to production. He stated that the current lead time demanded by big buyers such as Amazon and H&M was only 30 days. Mr. Jain then emphasized that on an average 18 days of the first 40 days of any order were wasted due to unorganized activities and to illustrate this he performed an exercise showing how several days saved can be used for production, which can result in huge profits. At the end of the session, he listed out the activities that can be automated. Follow-ups, costing, indent generation, ordering of raw material and escalation matrix were a few important activities among them.

Mr. Nitin Gupta started the presentation by conducting a short polling session on different activities that a merchandiser does and laid out some interesting facts based on the results of the polling session. He focused on how product development can be accelerated using industry 4.0. He explained that 3D software can save both cost and time in development of a product and highlighted how apparel industry can explore a whole new level of possibilities with new data driven technologies. He also suggested the audience to think on global level for maximizing profit. 

Workshop 3 (Human Relations): Dignitaries and Presentations

Session chairman: Mr. Amit Agarwal, Managing Director, Genus Apparel Ltd. 


  1. Prof. Chandan Chowdhury, Senior Associate Dean, Indian School of Business – Intelligent Enterprise: Practical Approach to Building a Smart Workforce

  2. Mr. K.P. Mishra, Proprietor, Shreeya Consultancy – Strategic Business Reality

Prof. Chandan Chowdhury highlighted that the key to establish an Intelligent Enterprise is by understanding not only the customers but the customers’ customer as well. He deliberated that in order to gain the interest of the customers it was necessary to incorporate newer technology and have a strong online presence. He elaborated that an intelligent enterprise should use latest technologies and remain up to date with all the developments. He busted a common myth that the implications of an organization becoming an intelligent enterprise will be that several people will lose their jobs. 

He said that there will only be decrease in the number of employees required to perform a repetitive task as it can be automated but the need to analyze data for that automation will require employees. Thus, the requirement of skill will change but humans will remain an important asset to the enterprise. He said that the need for people who could perform tasks involving creativity and innovation had risen dramatically. He concluded his presentation mentioning that the current enterprises should incorporate Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Block chain and Analytics to become an intelligence enterprise. He also made the audience play a small quiz for better understanding of an Intelligence Enterprise and Smart Factory.

Mr. K.P. Mishra started his presentation by giving a gist of important functions conducted by HR at any corporate office or production facility. He emphasized that the HR could play the role of a strategist by aligning the various departments working in a facility and helping the employees to blur the interdepartmental lines. He explained in detail about how the activities of a strategic HR can be demonstrated throughout different activities, such as hiring, training and rewarding employees.



Date - To be Announced
Theme - To be Announced