Interview with Mr Rod Tanks

Mr Rod Tanks
Mr Rod Tanks
Smart Fabrics Asia Pacific
Smart Fabrics Asia Pacific

Talking more specifically, can we know your observation on movements in Wearable Electronics markets? What future does it hold?

Certainly, there is good future for Wearable Electronics, however, the shape of the future is still uncertain.

There are number of important and powerful companies investigating opportunities in the market sector at the moment, some are waiting to see what becomes available, while others are getting in and moving things forward.

No matter who is involved in the industry, it is certain that it is here to stay and Wearable Electronics products will become a standard part of our every-day lives.

Today’s Tech savvy market is always on ‘want’ for ‘better’ both in performance and economic context. What strategies make this possible at Smart Fabrics?

100% agreed – today’s consumers want technology to make their lives easier and also want it at reasonable prices.

We are releasing a range of Wearable Electronics consumer accessories in the coming months that will allow consumers easier control of their personal electronics.

We believe that offering high quality products that deliver tangible usage value at reasonable prices is what consumers want and our range of accessories will set out to fill that space.

What is the scope of emerging markets for the industry, geographically?

Geographical target markets in the early stages of Wearable Electronics are those that are (in no particular order) :

• technologically mature • easy to access (ie minimal trade barriers) • where consumers have a high level of disposable income • that have a large installed base of consumer electronics • that have a desire for consumer products

Presently, which challenges does the select sector struggle to overcome?

The main hurdle within the sector is its newness. The convergence of textiles and technology has created the new sector and because it is so new, established brand holders are somewhat cautious about making a ‘big’ entry into the market.

Most large apparel brands are interested in the market and some are creating pilot ranges to test demand, but a yet no one has made a ‘big’ push into the market.

For venturing into Wearable Electronics business, which all ‘musts’ are required to be counted on? How capital-intensive is the business?

The level of capital required depends on what position within the market you want to occupy as each level has it’s own associated costs & business intelligence requirements :

• design & IP (Intellectual Property) development • manufacturing • distribution • integration • accessory development • reselling / retailing • sales / marketing • after sales support

All these areas have different cash needs & also require vastly difference skill-sets & relationship management.

This question is somewhat difficult to answer from an industry-wide perspective.

Published on: 07/04/2008

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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