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Managing Director The Woolmark Company
How will you market your product in India?
We have got about 30 different ways in which we can do that. We spend money on branding in-store. We spend money on point-of-sale. We do app development for point-of-sale. We do product development. There is no one answer to that; there are probably 30 different things that we can do for promotion.
What are the limitations of the Australian wool industry? What are your plans to tackle them?
The limitations are sales; we want to sell more. That is why we are marketing around the world, just to sell more garments.
What are your future plans for The Woolmark Company?
We will be working on some different programmes that look into product development. We are actively investing in product development. That is one. Second, we want to become more digitally abreast (of others). Certainly, we have got a digital strategy in place, which gives us digital force. Social media is an important component, and so the other thing is to increase our digital presence in the next 12 months. Over the next year, we want to talk about biodegradability of wool.
What is The Woolmark Company doing to further promote merino wool across the globe?
Through marketing. We put some marketing behind it. International Woolmark Prize (IWP) is a marketing strategy for us. We want to profile our product and our brand, and the IWP is a great example of how that works. It does those two things very well. The other component of IWP is that now we have designers showcasing wool that become internationally well-recognised.
How was your experience of judging IWP this year?
IWP is an internationally prestigious occasion. I was probably the least-known person among the judges, but it was a great honour to be among them; it is always good fun. It was done with the best intentions, and no one was getting paid. No one was making money out of this, we were just there to reward young emerging designers. It is all done in very good spirit.
What factors did you consider while judging the participating designers?
Depending on the judges, some are very creative and look for something very beautiful, some of the judges are from a retail background, so they look for something that is commercial. From my point of view, because I have a slightly technical background, I looked at the technique. I tried to help the other judges understand technically what is happening in that garment. I also tried and determined whether the person has the ability to commercialise the product; in other words, is he ready to be a commercial designer on the international stage and won't let down the retailer? So, it is very important that we do not give the prize to someone who is not ready to merchandise or does not have the business acumen or skills to merchandise on an international stage.
What are your views on the new and upcoming designers who participated in IWP?
They were a very good bunch of designers and the standard continues to improve each year. We certainly will be able to have a sort of endless supply of emerging designers that can offer us really beautiful garments. So, that is exciting; you always imagine that we will run out of these. But the standard continues to go up.
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