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Resilient Tirupur brainstorms current opportunities

Feb '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The 5th edition of Resilient Tirupur, organised by Tiruppur Exporters Association (TEA) and NIFT TEA Institute in association with Sripuram Trust and TTPK, was attended by over 1,000 participants including factory owners, supply chain partners, senior professionals and students from textile/fashion institutes. The event was held on February 8 in Tiruppur.

As the name suggests, Resilient Tirupur is a testimony of the resilience of people of the knits capital of India. It was started in 2012 bringing together the apparel industry players to get inspired, learn from leading experts and renew their commitment to achieving business growth and well-being of millions of people associated with the industry.

Speaking at the event Surinder Jain, business director of Wazir Advisors, emphasised on the need to increase India’s share of exports to the US and EU. He said Chinese exporters have an advantage over India in terms of lower interest costs, lower overheads due to economies of scale and high efficiencies. He spoke of a Virtual Integration model practised by Chinese groups. He gave example of GTT group, where a core group of companies does all customer facing functions like marketing, merchandising, design, product development and approvals, whereas the order execution functions like fabric trims and garment production are conducted by other factories located nearby and profits get shared by the entire group. The group has a $4 billion turnover. Due to such reasons, China is competitive in spite of higher labour cost compared to India.   

In his address on ‘Recipe for Resilience: Manufacturing Efficiency and Supply Chain Management’, Rajesh Bheda, MD, Rajesh Bheda Consulting, said, "Lord Hanuman had to be reminded of his powers by Jambwan, at the time of a need of flying to Lanka. Upon the reminder, Hanuman regained his powers and took the flight to Lanka and rest is known to all of us. Similarly, all of us have powers to do extraordinary things, but the Hanuman in us needs to be invoked." With case studies, he demonstrated how the factories in Tiruppur can and have improved productivity by 25 per cent to 30 per cent. He also shared cases of factories of leading international groups achieving benchmarks productivity of 75+ per cent efficiency in Ethiopia with the application of best practices, against most factories struggling with low productivity there.

Emphasising the need for creating agile supply chains to reduce lead-times and on-time delivery, he stated that factories in Tiruppur must target 45-day lead time than continuing with 75- or 60-day lead time. He asked how many factories in Tiruppur are capable of virtual prototyping, which is the need of the hour for speed in the fashion business.

Speaking about the Priority Management System based on Theory of Constraints of Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, Bheda demonstrated how factories can ensure synchronisation between fabric as well as trim sourcing and production to ensure on-time delivery in much shorter lead time. The presented case study showed how a leading Tiruppur based group was able reduce lead time by 30 per cent, reduce working capital needs by over 20 per cent and increase the sales turnover by 40 per cent with same resources, by application of Priority Management System for synchronising sourcing and Lean management principles in manufacturing.

He urged the industry colleagues to work on developing young leaders in the organisations as well as industry associations. He said that the factory owners are walking around with a hole in their pocket and are losing money on various accounts like cost of poor quality, delayed shipments, low efficiency, etc. Quoting his buyer friend, he said that large exporters in Tiruppur have excellent credentials in terms of sustainability, product capability and acceptable quality. "Smaller companies need to improve but, none of them can remain in basic products. The factories must develop capabilities to deliver high value fashion products of small quantity and shorter lead time so that they are able to snatch the orders from the Dragon’s mouth."

Subhash Dhananjayan, MD of Sting Sourcing and Production-India and South Asia while speaking about ‘Shorter deliveries and Smart Marketing,’ emphasised on speed to the market. He explained the benefits of shorter lead-time for manufacturers such as, better cash cycle, lower overheads and higher turnover leading to higher profitability. He also emphasised on the role of product development and citing the example of several of his suppliers who are able to book 65 per cent of orders based on their own design developments and remaining 35 per cent orders based on customer Tech Packs.

Other speakers included Sabhari Girish, who spoke about importance of original design development; Prashant Palsule, regional head South India Polyester from Reliance talked about the possibilities using Recron fibre for product diversification specially in performance apparel. M Natarajan, VP Sales and Marketing – South from Birla Cellulose spoke about utilising viscose yarn for promoting sustainability.

Speaking at the event, TEA president Raja Shanmugham explained how the business in Tiruppur has grown three-fold in last 6 years with the hard work of entrepreneurs and all the stakeholders. He said that instead of spreading negativity, it was time to look at the opportunities to improve as explained by Bheda in terms of efficiency and supply chain management. “This is the time for the realisation. If we don’t realise, we will lose all the opportunities.”

Citing a buyer’s feedback, Shanmugham said that workers in Tiruppur are far superior, but the overall control of raw material sourcing and coordination between the supply chain partners in Tiruppur is very low. In Bangladesh, leading factories ensure that all inputs are in the factory before starting production and this helps in achieving high productivity. He also emphasised on the need for developing mid management.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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February 2020

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