Interview with Dastaquir Ismail

Dastaquir Ismail
Dastaquir Ismail
Vice-President - Supplier Solutions
GT Nexus
GT Nexus

Accepting new technologies is always difficult
GT Nexus is the developer and operator of one of the world's largest cloud supply chain platform of its kind. GT Nexus is virtually a community of manufacturers, retailers, logistics service providers, carriers, trading partners, and banks working towards improving the pace, ease, and flexibility of doing business globally. Dastaquir Ismail, Vice-President - Supplier Solutions at GT Nexus talks about the challenges of new technologies in an interview with

Could you give us an overview of the supplier markets in South Asia and what are the challenges that they are facing as per your market study?

South Asia is a mixed bag of cultures, working styles, knowledge, best practices. Though all countries are interconnected either historically or economically, the trading relationships are unique. If we consider India, apparel exports are around $16 billion per annum, and you don't find many big players. The way we trade in South India is completely different from how it happens in the North. Growth has not been significant, but India is very hopeful on the EU free trade negotiations. Bangladesh, on the other hand, is the world's third largest apparel exporter at around $30billon of exports. It's expected to go up to $50 billion by 2021. There are more than 3000 apparel manufacturing units, and local authorities are trying their level best to bring in regulations and standardise them on their infrastructure, fire safety and working standards. This in turn has caused a strain on expansion plans. In addition, the cost of capital locally is expensive. It's great to see large buyers and finance providers working with suppliers to offer them access to cash at significantly lower interest rates. Many suppliers in the region are family-run companies. This brings a new set of challenges in decision-making. However, over the last five years I have seen a significant shift and the family-owned businesses are taking a leap toward having best of breed systems, procedures and networks of financial partners to help them grow.

What are the challenges in getting people to adapt to newer technologies?

Accepting new technologies is always difficult as vendors are already set with their existing systems. Change is never easy. The key to this is educating suppliers continuously on the market changes and making them aware that they need to be ahead of the game. The best run and most efficient factories are the most automated with new systems and procedures in place.

What steps are you taking at sensitising the market to this requirement?

The word "financing" has changed, and it's all about partnerships. We look deep into customer requirements to determine if it's short term or long term funding needs, and then bring in relevant financial partners. We educate our suppliers on modern technology and proper supply chain processes. Our platform visibility features gives a good dash board for smarter decision making.
Published on: 20/07/2015

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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