Interview with Ashish Dass

Face2Face
Ashish Dass
Ashish Dass
Vice President & Managing Director, South Asian Subcontinent
Infor
Infor

India is witnessing mushrooming of innovative fashion and clothing startup
Infor is a leading provider of business applications and solutions that are specialised by industry and built for the cloud. Ashish Dass, Vice-President & Managing Director, South Asian Subcontinent, Infor emphasises the importance of adoption of technology in the textiles industry to match trends in a chat with Fibre2Fashion.

Please give us an industry overview of software for the apparel and fashion business.

The apparel and fashion industry is continuously evolving with changing consumer demands and is one of the most highly competitive industries. For instance, a simple share, tweet, like, or pin in a social community can alter fashion trends and impact demand volatility. Hence, it is crucial to anticipate consumer appetites, monitor trends, and reach customers wherever they are-all while reducing time to market and staying profitable. Purpose-built software designed on cloud specifically for the ever-changing demands of the fashion industry plays a pivotal role to overcome these challenges that can be daunting to even the most seasoned fashion industry veteran. An integrated, configurable solution, can help manage the entire fashion process-from design, sourcing and distribution, to manufacturing, private brand retail, wholesale and is the perfect differentiator for successful brands in the market.

How do you explain Infor's expertise in the fashion vertical? What solutions does the company offer to garment manufacturers?

Fashion manufacturers, private brand retailers, and brand owners all face distinct business challenges. To address this, Infor joined forces with fashion industry leaders and experts to develop Infor Fashion, a far-reaching solution that helps the industry deal with the key processes that make up local and global supply chains. This solution was shaped by Infor professionals with decades of experience in the apparel, footwear, home textiles, and fashion accessories industry.

Infor offers purpose-built, industry-specific suite of solutions designed to address the distinct challenges of brand owners, distributors, manufacturers and retailers. Infor Fashion's comprehensive capabilities include product design and development, sourcing, demand management, supply chain planning, production management, inventory management, and support for multichannel distribution. Titled  Infor CloudSuite Fashion, Infor deploys a complete fashion solution in the cloud that includes the same proven industry-specific functionality that has helped more than 250 apparel, footwear, and textile manufacturers (globally), as well as brand owners and private-brand retailers, gain and maintain industry leadership. Additionally, we place a lot of emphasis on state-of-the art creative application design for the next-generation users. Owing to this, we have collaborated with Hook & Loop-a combined team of designers, information architects, developers, project managers, writers, and filmmakers-among others. This team is responsible for creating next-generation user experiences, thinking differently about new products, and making the value of UX in enterprise software compelling and meaningful. Our single most important mandate is to create experiences that people love.

What is the focus of Infor when it comes to Indian market? Please elaborate with respect to industry-specific solutions, cloud adoption and digital transformation.

The Indian market is witnessing the mushrooming of innovative fashion and clothing startups, creating a mounting pressure of competition between companies and even challenging the age-old incumbents. Infor understands this dynamic market and the current socio-economic developments in the country. Recently, Dixcy Textiles, one of the leaders in the branded hosiery segment in India, incorporated Infor M3 along with Infor (Xi) and d/EPM solutions to enhance core business processes and user experience for employees. With over 3,000 employees, Dixcy has the capacity to produce up to 6,25,000 pieces of garments a day which get sold through 120,000 stores.  Dixcy has witnessed excellent business growth over the last few years and was looking for an end-to-end software platform to achieve better process control and improve efficiencies. The intent was to find a solution that is modern for use by millennials, considerations that prompted Dixcy to select Infor as the solution partner. It leveraged Infor M3 along with Infor (Xi) and d/EPM-purposefully-designed to provide better solution capability, heighten asset visibility, reduce procedural complexities, and instill more confidence in client relationships and business understanding. This customer is a strong industry-oriented example of how strategic technology can facilitate a seamless transition from legacy-based process to automated operational methods.

Infor recently held fashion roundtables with textile stakeholders in Tiruppur and Bhilwara. How was the response?

We recently convened fashion roundtables in Tiruppur (in partnership with CII & Tiruppur Exporters Association) and Bhilwara-both of which saw unprecedented success. Both events were well attended; the one held in Tiruppur for example witnessed attendance by TEA members and CXOs from textile companies from around Coimbatore and Tiruppur. The main agenda of the roundtables was to discuss the importance of adoption of technology and listen to CXOs' expectations, need of innovation in the textile sector along with industry trends. Owing to the work done/ implementations made already in the industry, the CXO-level audience looked up to technology players for guidance with regard to making decisions. What stood out was the fact that in order to make the hold strong in the market, textile industries need to incorporate machine learning, cloud and comprehensive supply chain insights. The attendees were happy with the 'One Solution, One Experience' which made possible the implementation of technology to all apparel and textile customers in real time.

The Indian economy is currently in a transformation phase-with demonetisation and GST. What will be the long-term impact on Indian textile and apparel business?

Within a span of one year, the current government has made two landmark announcements-that of GST and demonetisation. Overall, both seem to adversely impact some sectors of the economy in the short run but are bound to have long-term benefits. For example, the Tiruppur cluster that has an annual business of Rs40,000 crore directly employs over 5 lakh people, according to a recent report in a leading business daily. The employees work on a daily wage and additionally, the penetration of technology is not deep enough. Industry-specific software solutions that are compliant to these latest developments will go a long way in helping enterprises keep with the change.
Published on: 20/06/2017

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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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