Can we begin with a word from you on ISKO?
ISKO is the biggest global denim company as far as capacity working is concerned. Around 90 percent of our collection is on Denim. We do have around 10 percent of business in colour denim, flashdyed or cotton bottoms also, but our main focus is Denim and will be denim in future too. We do believe that with correct evaluation of the market as well as the consumer needs, we will be able to remain focus on our main market enjoying leadership.
The sector talks for quite some time now about the adverse impacts of international textile crisis. How are things today?
We have been able to perform satisfactorily even against challenging economical situation last year, holding our niche position. With right kind of product innovation and attention to consumers need, we have been able to wade through these trying times.
Honestly speaking, we had business affected in a small way but it was mainly in lower priced segment of our product offerings. However, the ‘A’ tier market was not much affected. We had also considered widening products collection range and make some setup for special markets too. I would underline again that consumer relevant innovations has been the key to respond the crisis for us.
Growth is slowing due to the popularity of alternative garments—such as combat trousers—and also, in part, to market saturation. What is your take on this statement?
Denim in my view is not just a fabric-garment any more, but is becoming day by day a lifestyle. Denim apparel industry, in my view, for sure has faced some loss due to such alternative garments but if the company is capable to respond to consumer needs with product innovation- this stands not as a bigger issue. We do also have a small part of our collection in arena of combat trousers productions, but always we have a 'denim' feeling as far as construction of fabric and finishing is concerned; so all these different aspects combine to mean richness of ISKO collection. Along with that, denim becoming the lifestyle is something that helps us to maintain popularity of our products.
Cotton related issues like scarce supply and price hikes remain challenges currently. At company level, how does ISKO pave a way through such difficulties?
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is getting more and more important for b2b related companies like ISKO. As a global company, we do have for instance 35 direct sales offices worldwide, and these sales offices are providing information on raw material prices and such vital details. Obviously, cotton prices increase has affected our production cost, but if you look at market not just as a ‘customer supplier relationship’ but as a global landscape, may be there are few left companies that better understand the market also from supply chain management point of view and overcome this problem. Definitely, raw material prices have increased our production cost but we are able to manage these issues with help of our SCM and best relationship with our basics materials suppliers.
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.