It is imperative to ensure that corporate and social compliance along with ethical sourcing requirements are fully and firmly addressed
Mr. Pallak Seth talks about compliance in the global textile industry in an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion.
PDS Multinational Group manages the supply chain for major brands and retailers all over the world. It provides total sourcing solutions to its customers. The group has around 2800 employees all over the world, and has around 23 offices globally. It exceeds an annual turnover of USD 600 million, and is a renowned name in the international market.
Mr. Pallak Seth is the brain behind PDS. He is responsible for strategy and development initiatives. He holds the Bachelor of Arts degree with specialization in Economics and International Business. His hobbies include travelling, contemporary art collection, reading, and cricket.
In your opinion, in terms of priority, where does compliance stand? Tell us about your social compliance program.
Compliance is foremost. Despite the price pressures, quality requirements, and other value additions that we provide, I am of the firm opinion that it is imperative to ensure that corporate and social compliance along with ethical sourcing requirements are fully and firmly addressed.
We have recently strengthened our global compliance program. We have revisited our entire code of conduct and made it more relevant to the current scenario. This will be the touchstone based on which the entire sourcing strategy will be cascading. We are now working on fine tuning our entire audit process to have a unified methodology as a basic PDS standard across the globe and this is still work in progress. We have also, on-boarded experienced people from the industry to review and redesign our compliance program. We are trying to benchmark ourselves with the brands that we work for who have the most stringent standards and accordingly reshape our process.
PDS Group, a multinational unit, had its fair share of success in the years that passed. How do you see the coming years? What challenges do you foresee and how do you plan to overcome them?
Being in Fashion business, we listen to our customer requirements and provide innovative solutions which are cost effective and efficient. We expect to continue this practice and work with our customers closely. PDS group revenues exceeded $ 600 mn in 2013-14 (11% growth over previous year) in a tough market and with this base we expect to grow strongly in 2014-15. Our confidence stems from the fact that we enjoy high level of equity with our customers, banks have been supportive to provide required financial facilities and the Board has been actively working with the management teams to deliver the business results. The coming years will be challenging given the pressures on price points and compliance requirements getting more stringent. However PDS group is strategically placed to deliver strong topline and bottom line growth due to investment it has made in existing and new businesses over the last 2 years. We are expecting a 15% growth which will see our revenues rise to USD 700m in FY 2014-2015. As I said earlier, in every challenge we see an opportunity, so here again, we will be looking at educating factories, helping them improve their systems to become compliant, consolidating the source base based on factories' capability to meet the requirements and ensuring a transparent relationship at both ends of our supply chain. We will continue to build our partnership and building on the strengths of our symbiotic relationship.
You work with so many brands, some of them have very stringent compliance standards while some may be a bit different. How do you reconcile these differences, if any?
As a first step we have a clearly defined set of Zero Tolerance Violation and Critical Violation. This list is aligned with the best in class. Even if we work for customers who may not have very stringent standards, we will do our internal audits based on our standards which includes the ZTVs and CVs and then we share the information with the customer. Only after their alignment, do we move on to the next step of sourcing. For brands who have their specific requirements, we incorporate those requirements as well as part of our audit process. We believe transparency is what is going to sustain us and we will do our best to meet that requirement.
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