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Improved quality & positive perception must to reach the top
Dec '08
The Fiji Australia Business Council is one of most successful and high profile business councils in the region. It plays a major role in helping to shape and grow business and trade relations between Fiji and Australia.

In a recently held meeting at the Radisson Resort on Denarau Island, Mr Kalpesh Solanki, President, Textile, Clothing and Footwear association, made presentation on the various issues currently faced by once flourishing industry, the textile.

While speaking to Fibre2fashion.com, Mr Solanki, who is also the owner of Ranjit Industrues said, “From a peak in 2000 of over FJ $320 million annual exports with almost 20,000 employed to current level of FJ $100 million exports with 5000 employed, the TCF industry is still a very significant contributor to our economy.”

However, to survive in coming years, the industry needs to adapt certain things.

“The TFC sector must adopt approach of continual Quality improvement in both process and product; The Industry must keep seeking to add increasing value for its customers and potential customers by providing more and more services in support of the production activity.

“It must build and maintain strong relationships with businesses on both spectrums of the supply chain – suppliers and customers; must continually strive to maintain price competitiveness (meaning containing cost structure).

It must endeavor to achieve the world's best practices in sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution; develop an underlying culture of initiative and pro-activity.”

Mr Solanki further visualizes to be one of the world's leading suppliers of TCF goods in terms of quality and positive market perception. To have a strong branding awareness in its target markets that will say 'Make it in Fiji!'. To have a positive customer perception of high quality product at competitive prices always delivered on time. 'Provide First Class Service at Economy Class Price'.

To have a positive perception in people's mind as an Industry of choice to build a career and earn a decent living. To have an industry website portal that will act as a critical conduit for potential customer leads. To have an accreditation of 'Fair Fiji' that will convey a positive image to customers that the product is of premium quality made by employees who have been treated fairly and ethically in the 'Paradise of Fiji'.

To be recognised and be given continuous support by the Fiji Government through allocation of appropriate funding as well as resources to ensure sustainability of the Industry. To engage in regular marketing & promotion tours undertaken by the Industry supported by Fiji's investment bureau to develop new markets and increase share of existing markets. Establish strategic alliance with local training institutions to improve productivity and ongoing human resource development.

However, the current issue of a proposed 20 percent increase in minimum wageswill be a major blow to this vision and the long term sustainability of the industry.

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