Interview with Enrico Ruhle

Enrico Ruhle
Enrico Ruhle
Managing Director
TUV Rheinland India
TUV Rheinland India

...a textile manufacturer can increase their profitability by 50% by reducing the quality cost from 14% to 6% in which major cost comes from internal failure cost...
Enrico Ruhle, Managing Director of TUV Rheinland India, shares his thoughts on the need for apparel testing and certification during a conversation with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi. Synopsis: TUV Rheinland Group pioneers in providing technical services worldwide for more than 140 years. TUV Rheinland India is a subsidiary of TUV Rheinland Group headquartered in Germany. It started its operation in 1996 in India and the company is a part of the India, Middle East & Africa Group and caters to the Indian market as well as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan & Maldives markets. Mr Enrico Ruhle is the CEO and MD of TUV Rheinland, India and South Asian countries since 2007. He joined the group as a management trainee at Taiwan in 1998. He is also the Founder and Director of TUV Rheinland Bangladesh since 2011. He is educated from University of Applied Sciences Mittweida (FH) as Dipl. Ing. (FH), Electrical and Computer Engineering, Business Administration. From 2011 to 2013 he also perused Executive MBA, General Management, Finance, Technology and Innovation Management from Euro*MBA International Executive MBA. Excerpts:

Please tell us something about the latest achievements by TUV Rheinland in apparel industry.

We started our Softlines operations in India in the beginning of 2013. All our three Softlines labs in India (Gurgaon, Bangaloreand Tirupur) are accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) as per ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 which is an international standard for laboratories accreditation. All our three laboratories are approved for CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) which is the mandatory requirement of testing for any children product being exported to USA.We have been successful in penetrating the market in this one year with many leading brands and retailers from Europe and America approving us for their quality testing requirements.We have been able to deliver as per the expectations of our clients with competitive pricing and sharper turnaround time compared to competition.

Why do you think that there is necessity for garment manufacturer to get his goods tested as eco-friendly?

Globally, consumers have become more aware of the product safety and quality. They want to choose an eco-friendly product over a product that is made of harmful chemicals. So, all global retailers have come up with their quality requirements to ensure compliance through testing of their products. Furthermore regulations have been made in Europe countries and America to ensure that either the use of these harmful chemicals is restricted or these are banned. There are controlling bodies that randomly pick the products from market and test them for these harmful chemicals. Products are recalled if those are found to have any banned substance or any chemical exceeding the maximum permissible limit. The products of those retailers also go through enhanced scrutiny. So it becomes essential for the manufacturers to get their products tested to meet the retailers’ requirements as well as meet regulatory requirements of the country where the goods are being exported.

How do you see the sustainability of certification industry in the future? What are the reasons?

India is a developing country where the manufacturing as well as the export industry is gradually expanding. We provide passport to enable Indian manufacturers to export their products to foreign markets. In addition we also focus on the growing domestic services, wherein we help Indian players to manage complexity in the market. For instance, the Indian Apparel and clothing sector exports in bulk to countriesaround the world. With a network in 65 countries, we help them manage the complexity in regards to exporting the same, through inspection, and quality control etc.Until the manufacturing and exporting of goods or products stops certification industry would be alive.

What steps should be taken in order to make consumers aware about the clothes which they are buying are eco-friendly?

Consumers in developed countries are more aware of the standards, regulations and labels used in the apparels and clothing. There are mandatory requirements for testing to ensure that safe and environment friendly products are being sold. On the other side, people in India are more concerned about look and feel of the garments than anything else though awareness among consumers is increasing slowly with the globalisation. Government should make strict regulation to check the quality of clothing manufactured in India or imported from abroad to ensure products being used by Indian consumers are also safe for human health and environment. Accordingly government should run a campaign in various media channels to make the public aware of its initiatives. India is a fast growing country and I am confident that in near future with enhanced consumer awareness, India will have its own testing and certification standards in clothing also.

There are many testing and labelling standards available in the market. How can an apparel manufacturer judge the credibility of any such organization?

There are many labels available in the market which tends to give an assurance about a durable and safe product though most of these labels in apparel industry are voluntary in nature. In general apparel manufacturer follows the guidance of their end buyer and gets their product tested/certified accordingly.
Published on: 06/02/2014

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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