Interview with Mr Kumar Mirchandani

Mr Kumar Mirchandani
Mr Kumar Mirchandani
Chairman, Sub-Committee (Image Building)
Sri Lanka Apparel
Sri Lanka Apparel

Sounds so good, but, for industry players, when long cursed situation of crisis has left no other way than to curtail expenses, be it on labor or operations; do you think GWG can make sound economic sense, and more brands to follow suit in current milieu?

The lag between the economic slowdown from our key markets (US & EU) to the consequent economic slowdown in Sri Lanka gave a small window of opportunity to the exporters to make necessary adjustments to their marketing strategy, lobby with GOSL for tariff reductions, reductions in energy costs and other relaxations as well as focus internally on streamlining their processes and rationalize their businesses. But there is no excuse for unethical behaviour, no matter what the economic conditions are. This is the message Sri Lanka Apparel is sending and we hope the buyers notice and appreciate this.

There is no excuse for the retailers to cut corners when it comes to Ethical buying as well.

Ofcourse! So, which all regions are major exporting destinations for Srilankan apparels? Can you also provide the figures of garments exported in recent years?

In 2008, our performance to the two major markets were about even - EU (48%) and US (45%). In 2008, we exported US$ 3.3bn, out of which US$ 1.6bn was to EU and US$ 1.5bn to US. Product between knit (US$1.7bn) and woven (US$ 1.6bn) was also about even. In the first half of 2008, we have exported US$ 1.5bn with slightly higher exports to EU than US.

Could we say recession is rewriting the sourcing rulebook for retailers in the west?

Certainly! Retailers have to contend with difficult economic conditions for consumers so obviously they will have to restructure their business models to remain profitable. The changes to buying patterns, inventory levels, product offerings and so on will ultimately impact sourcing strategies.

However, my contention is that the cheapest FOB price alone should not be the deciding factor when choosing vendors.

As much as Ethical Manufacturing is a must-so is Ethical Buying!

Definitely! And, how about principles of Lean Management?

Well, the very phrase says it all, doesn’t it? Lean, mean and green - it’s the very nature of our business success today.

That’s right. Thanks for comments, Mr Mirchandani! 'Twas pleasure speaking with you.

My pleasure too.

Published on: 07/09/2009

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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