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'Address issue of talent shortage' – Mr Shermon at Intexcon
Oct '09
All the 200 plus delegates and participants in the International Conference on “Steering Mature Business: A Leadership Challenge to Textile Industry” widely appreciated the proceedings and informative discussions held on day-1 of the conference. The delegates were impressed in particular, by the depth to which subjects were either presented or discussed and it proved to the hilt, to be as Dr PR Roy termed it; “Conference with a difference”.

Day-2 and the first session of the conference saw luminaries from various sectors, but connected with the textile and apparel industry in one way or the other. Mr Rishi Oswal, Managing Director of Malwa Industries Ltd. and a force to reckon with in the textiles sector moderated session-1 of the proceedings. Present with him on the stage were Dr Ganesh Shermon, partner KPMG, Mr Gautam Chakravarti, Executive Director, Blackstone Advisors India Pvt Ltd and Mr Aamir Akhtar, CEO, Lifestyle Fabrics (Denim), Arvind Ltd.

The first presentation was delivered by Dr Shermon on 'Human capital needs and its management in a globally competitive textile industry'. Dr Shermon kept the audience spellbound and spoke about the need to address the individual needs of an employee to be synchronized with that of the textile company and called on the industry to address the issue of talent shortage in the sector.

He stressed on the need to introduce the concept of ESOPs' and other incentives in the sector, which are available to employees in other sectors to attract the right talent and also do a turnaround and replace the original concept of 'customers first and employee second' with 'employee first and customer second' as after all it was the employee who directly handled the customer and for him/her, in order of priority, the customer as it is, came first and also encouraged leaders to wear multiple caps in order to drive costs.

Next Mr Chakravarti shared experiences of Blackstone Advisors about its investments and explained in length about Gokaldas Exports, the biggest apparel exporter from India and spoke about the position of apparel retail industry in current times. He looked in to the inefficiencies in the supply chain system and said that it would not be possible to only compete on strength of low labour costs alone. He exhorted the clothing exporters to have quicker turnaround time and develop the capability to deliver in smaller lots.

The last speaker of this session was Mr Amir Akhtar. He spoke on the business potential of denim fabrics as of date and in the future and presented statistical data on production and sales of denim in the Indian and global context. The session ended with each of the panelists answering queries put forth by the delegates and participants present in the hall.

Session-2 was once again a panel discussion on 'Branding and Fashion Apparel Retail', which was moderated by Dr Atanu Ghosh, Professor at IIM, Ahmedabad. The panel members were, Mr Shreyas Joshi, President, (Apparel Group) Raymond Ltd., Mr J Suresh, CEO, Arvind Brands, and Mr Ashish Dixit, President, Madura Garments (Lifestyle brands).

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