Textile industry needs to be Dabbang, Kishore Biyani
The first edition of the magnum opus InFashion 2011 ended on optimism, dynamism and fresh thinking of the retail visionary Kishore Biyani. In a fitting finale to the three day event the retail guru enthralled the textile fraternity.
In an engaging tete-a-tete with Mihir Bhatt, Chief of Bureau, Zee Business Biyani elucidated how he was forced to become a retailer upon repeated rejection from the multi brand retailers. He observed that the fashion industry was not sexy enough to attract the consumers to come and buy.
“We will be the first 1 billion fashion company In India,” declared Biyani amongst a thundering applause from the audience. Going further he urged the textile industry to think big. “Small was beautiful, some time ago. But now it's god to be medium and large,” he claimed. The textile industry has all the ingredients to become the best industry in the world if they got together, improved the speed of delivery and worked on mind to market.
Speaking on government support Biyani termed it the failure of the industry in presenting a clear and rounded picture to the government. China has raced ahead of us in garment manufacturing capabilities and soon Bangladesh will if we don't act now, he warned. In typical Biyani style the founder of Future Group spoke of how he missed the simplicity of travel by Saurashtra Express and his aversion for the business suit.
Earlier in the day Infashion 2011 saw a cross section of eminent personalities from the fashion communications and research fields converge to discuss innovation in textiles. The session was moderated by Somesh Singh, JD, IAM, who emphasized the fact that innovation is not about the next big technology but about bringing a change in the lives of the end consumers. Urging the textile fraternity to be agents of change Singh make a relevant observation of the best practices being the Next Practises.
Citing some poignant innovations Singh spoke of the manikin Charlie which is a manikin with a built in temperature regulatory technology. Water proof swimsuits that help athletes perform better, bullet proof vests made of fibres that are woven tighter so as to reduce impact by bullets or blade and color changing sarees were some other innovations he cited.
Taking the innovation debate further was Professor Jhala, Advisor, Plasma Textile applications, FCIPT, Institute of Plasma Research. He detailed the developments India has made in terms of plasma research for helping the textile industry.
Prof Jhala also spoke about the use of the technology for processing Angora fabric and how his organization was able to make the entire process more sustainable and eco-friendly. Adding another interesting spin to the innovation debate was Prasanjit Kundu, Design Head, Dhama Innovations. He elaborated on the ClimaCon which is a range of temperature controlled apparel.
The temperatures can be manipulated from 4-44 oc. Kundu shared that his organization is looking at sectors like armed forces and health services to make the innovation reach the common man. Kundu advised the upcoming generation to think of ideas and their conversion into practical marketable solutions.
The first two-days of InFashion 2011 saw power-packed discussions and brainstorming on various issues and concerns faced by the textile fraternity. Innovation was the key word. The panelists and speakers emphasized the importance of being innovative in the business model in order to survive and compete on the global market.