ICAHT – 2015
11th International Conference on Apparel & Home Textiles
31th October 2015
India Habitat Centre – New Delhi
Theme: Commitment to Excellence
OGTC organized 11th International Conference on Apparel & Home Textiles on 31st October 2015 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. 354 Delegates from Industry, Academics & Research Institute attended the mega event.
Total 6 papers were presented in the pre-lunch session followed by six workshops
At the outset of first session Mr. R C Kesar, Director General OGTC gave brief introduction to the conference and welcomed delegates.
Mr. Prashant Agarwal, CEO Wazir Advisors chaired the session Mr. M K Mehra, Director welcomed Mr. Prashant Agarwal by presenting flower Bouquet.
Ms. Nidhi Sood of M/s Madura Clothing presented paper on People Engagement Practices and Reward and Recognition Systems and Mr. Surender Jain presented paper on Turnaround Story- Different Facets both speakers presented case studies on New perspectives that will propel the industry forward.
Very important presentation was made by Ms. Aisshvarya S. Shah, CEO & Chief Trainer Work Senses, Chennai questioning the industry on the goals set for their company and how they look at human resource as a part of this goal. She said “We have to link HR and training to profitability,” she stressed, adding honestly that the efforts to people management in the garment industry has not been so great in the past. What is required, she emphasised, was not ‘policing’ of workers but ‘performance management’, which is an HR job. “How many companies look at ROI for investments made in people-management?”
In the post tea session Mr. A.N. Singh presented a paper on Value Creation for Customers in Apparel Industry, Mr. Navin Chopra, Aglie Group presented a paper on New Developments in the space of Quality in Indian context and its relevance to Garment Industry and Dr. Archana Gandhi, NIFT presented a paper on Merchandising- Pre and Post Manufacturing
In this interesting session the debate veered around whether the target of the company should be on ‘value creation’ or ‘money creation’… while AN Singh, a well-known consultant argued that if a company focused on value, profits would follow automatically; Mr. Navin Chopra of Aglie Group countered that without the motivation of money, how would anyone even want to work! Both thoughts garnered interest, though both agreed that the goal in both cases was to run a successful business that was responsive to buyer’s demand.
It was stressed by all speakers that old ways of doing business could not carry the industry forward and it was imperative to innovate and adopt new approaches. Even educational institutes were under fire, with many in the audience requesting a re-look at how students were being prepared for the industry.
Mr. Lal Sudhakaran, Head MGE Madura Clothing Chaired the session on Turnaround- (Focus-Planning)
Placing significant importance on the challenging details of the production floor, the Conference featured two insightful sessions on pre-production planning and style changeovers. The first session focusing on planning was delivered by Mr. Surender Jain and Mr. Bhavesh from Wazir Advisors. The session speakers outlined on the tenets of cost and quality for optimum planning, and further detailed on capacity allocation based on deliveries through an activity which required the volunteers to plan four lines for an order of 64,000 bottoms. “Generally people will put the order in all the lines and get it completed on the same day. This however implies that there will be changeovers in all four lines that will come on the same day, so that will make a loss in all lines which will be huge. Better way to do this is to either change 2 lines at a time and then after 2-3 days again we will change based on our learnings from the previous changeover. Once you understand that, next changeovers will take lesser time,” Mr. Surender elaborated.
Commenting on ground realities Mr. Lal Sudhakaran drew conclusions, “I have never seen a buyer who is unreasonable with delivery dates – we have 4 different types of customers – MFL gives us 120 days lead time, we have three different European customers one works with 90 days’ lead time, the other with 60 days and the last one gives us monthly orders to be delivered every 45 days. When you have three different buyers with three different supply chain models – you cannot have same production strategies. In such a case supply chain management is extremely critical – it will enable the business. You get that matrix sorted out and a lot of problems will be sorted out,” he said.
The 2nd Workshop was held on Understanding of Buyer’s Perspective and Ownership session was chaired by Mr. Hemant Sagar, MD & CEO M/s Lecoanet Hemant India Pvt. Ltd. The presentation was made by Ms. Megha Awasthy, Section Head – Leather Accessories, Lecoanet Hemant, and Aditya Singhal, Founder, IML Jeans. This session focused on how the companies could use merchandising to make their mark in this bustling trade. Ms. Megha, through her presentation encouraged the merchandisers to proactively approach the buyers by bringing flexibility and agility in the processes through a few simple steps like minimizing the buyer’s involvement in the whole process at the manufacturer’s facility, which according to Ms. Megha can be done by building trust between the two. She stressed on getting feedbacks from the buyers as well as the suppliers, which is not something that is practiced by many in the industry, as a repeat order is deciphered as a good feedback from the buyer, otherwise the ends are left open. By getting feedbacks, the company can prove its willingness to improve and drive change into its structure. After explaining the importance of the customer’s point of view in the process of merchandising, she requested Mr. Hemant to explain the buyer’s point of view and Mr. Aditya to explain the manufacturer’s point of view on implementing their feedback in the process. Were distributes a few formats that could be incorporated in the process of merchandising to make it more efficient,
The 3rd Workshop, chaired by Dr. Rajesh Bheda, CEO, Rajesh Bheda Consultancy, on Turnaround-(Focus-Execution) dwelled on operational excellence. Session speakers Mr. Surender and Mr. Abhishek Kapoor from Wazir Advisors elaborated on two parameters of operational excellence, namely learning curve and SMED for picking up the peak efficiencies faster and reducing our start-up losses.
The 4th Workshop, which was chaired by Dr. Archana Gandhi, Associate Professor, NIFT Delhi, Anup Gulati, Consultant, NSDC, said rather than the traditional and conventional jargons of merchandising being discussed, the less explored aspects of strengthening a merchandising team were looked upon. Mr. Anup Gulati highlighted the importance of an “export merchandiser” through his very own holistic definition – developing, manufacturing, and shipping products in a manner which compels the customer to buy more from the company. He explained the importance of soft skills in merchandising by laying down 7 mantras which were quickly picked up by all the merchandisers attending the workshop. The session took an interactive face rather than an informative one as merchandisers from different companies were made to discuss their personal experiences out of which everyone made learning. Overall, the session pushed everyone to stress their grey matter and develop their soft skills better to gain better control over their jobs. Dr. Archana Gandhi, in the end, briefly summed up the whole workshop and made crisp points that could be taken back by the merchandisers easily.
In the HR workshop and CSR Best Practices. Maj Gen (Retd.) N.K. Dhir, Director Alphabet Teletec Chaired the session. 3 learned speakers in the field of HR from Industry made thought provoking presentation and need to look Human Resources as assist to the company and not as a cost burden.
The highlight of the presentation that the role of HR has to evolve said, “Initially an HR job was taken as only to recruit, but over a period of time companies have realized that HR can understand and associate with the very basic problem of the employees, so the focus has shifted from hiring a normal HR to having a high EQ HR. Generally, ‘non-performance’ of a fresh employee is regarded as the recruiters fault and there is a need for old-timers to change this attitude that one can judge somebody in two minutes, Similarly, HR persons need to ask themselves if they are justifying completely the concept of exit interviews, especially in the apparel industry, which has high turnover ratio.
The best HR practices help in pushing up profits and provide soothing atmosphere in the work place.
While summing Maj Gen (Retd.) N K Dhir said that “From Day 1 we are trained to catch people doing something wrong, but we have to change and catch someone doing something right, appreciate him and reward him. It will have a multiplying impact. Owners and HR have to ensure that staff/workers have enough opportunity/space and comfort to speak.
HR has a profound role to perform as all departments are equally important, so there should be dependence, independence and inter-dependence. Why don’t we encourage our line in-charge to think, and work towards the welfare of the people of his line?”
The 5th Workshop was held on FINANCE COST MANAGEMENT- BEST PRACTICES. Mr. Sanjay Gupta of Impulse is Chaired the session. 3 Eminent Speakers from the Industry in the field of Finance made presentations discuss
Mr. Kamal Sidhu, MD, Neetee Apparel LLP
He pointed out that the delay could be for many reasons not attributed to the company directly, like receiving the document late from the forwarders; documents were held back due to negligence of the office; document received by the bank but not lodged by the bank on the same day due to lack of staff. And in some cases delays can be very long. “As a solution we engaged our forwarders and informed them that we are bearing loss due to your delay, which acted as a stimulus for them to give better service; earlier it was taking 16-17 days for the job and now it takes 10-12 days. In case of shortage of staff in banks or some other kind of delay, our staff sits in the bank and completes the task,” shares Sachar. Every buyer and receivable has a trigger point to release the payment, be it delivery date, sailing date, document uploading date, the lease of bank reconciliation certificate (BRC) and the trick is to ensure that these ‘triggers’ should not get delayed in any case.
Mr. Anoop Dhanda, ED – Finance, Orient Craft
It was rightly pointed out that in our industry interest cost and embedded finance cost is not taken very seriously, as the bull’s eye is only to dispatch the shipment on time. Even the documentation department is focusing on the same, without realizing that while delay of a single day in submitting the document can prove costly, there is also a need to ensure that the same is submitted and accepted by the bank on the same day, otherwise the result is the same. Manish Sachar, Head-Systems & Finance at Orient Fashion Exports giving an example reiterated, “If there is a document of US $ 15.38 million (Rs. 100 crore), then adding other receivables like drawback duty, focus market scheme, service tax refund, etc. which on an average works out at around 8 per cent, the receipt due is of US $ 16.61 million (Rs. 108 crore). Now if I have 10 days delay and the rate of interest is 12 per cent, we are actually spending US $ 0.053 million (Rs. 35 lakhs) on it.”
Mr. Manish Sachar, Head – Systems & Finance, Orient Fashion Exports
Sustainability is all about ‘people’, ‘planet’ and ‘profit’, all of which are now ‘scarce’. While, industry makes effort to take steps for ‘people’, ‘planet’ and ‘profit’ is something which is shrinking by the day with no one having a clear vision how to perk up the same for sustainable existence. Limiting overheads, cost control efforts and sharp costing are already being used as tools to improve margins, but are the export houses doing enough on these fronts, is there still some scope for improvement, are some questions that need to be asked.
Naturally, answers to these hard questions will differ from company to company, and may vary even in some special conditions within a company. Experts are of the opinion that we need to improve our working methodology to use best practices in finance & cost management for effective ‘economic’ sustenance.
SUMMING UP SESSION
In the summing up session Mr. P.M. S Uppal, President OGTC presented cash award to three winners of the poster presentation.
Mr. P.M.S Uppal also highlighted some of the case study discussed in the conference which are of prime importance to the Industry and need for looking the problems with new and modern concepts.
He said that the OGTC conference which used to be two days till 10th edition has been reduce to one day with the objectives of shorter format with active participation.
Mr. R C Kesar while summing up informed that the theme of the conference Competitive Innovation attracted many case studies pertaining to Manufacturing /HR activities.
He announced that the 12th International Conference on Apparel & Home Textiles 2016 will be held on 15th October 2016 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
Mr. M K Mehra, Director OGTC thanked M/s Richa Global, GIZ, Wazir Advisors for helping OGTC. He also thanked Lady Irwin College for their participation and help in conducting the session. He appreciated and thanked all Speakers & Session Chairman for their active participation and OGTC members in particular for their vision and efforts in making this conference a grand success.