Organised by Surecom Media, Apparel Connect 2019 – the conference on apparel logistics was convened at Shangri- La’s Eros Hotel in New Delhi on May 16, 2019. The conference was attended by over 200 apparel and logistic professional from across the country and abroad. It included five intriguing panel discussions that touched upon every aspect of India’s apparel supply chain.
The first panel discussion titled ‘Transformation: Supplier-Buyer Connect’ covered topics like the evolving models for long term and sustainable businesses. Are fashion brands, apparel suppliers and textile manufacturers ready for more meaningful relationships? What is the future for the traditional buyer seller equations? And, how can trade service be made accessible so that goods reach safer and faster? The panel was attended by eminent speakers: Sanjay K Jain, Managing Director, TT Ltd; Vijay Kumar, Head- Logistics, ITC; Dr Roopak Vasishtha, CEO & DG, Apparel Made-Ups & Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council; and Dr. M G Thamizh Valavan, Commissioner (Investigation-Customs), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
Sanjay Jain, CITI Chairman urged the Indian government to create a website to register every association. “This website can be used to send e-mailers to all members whenever any circular notice is published, thus making everyone aware of the latest information and updates on the apparel sector. This will serve the purpose of information dissemination among the industry on all important aspects of performance, sales, revenues, taxes and trade analytics in the apparel industry.” he added.
The second panel discussion deliberated: ‘Asia – From a sourcing hub to a fashion destination’. This was attended by Rajiv Pande; Arvind Oberoi, General Manager-Sourcing and Merchandising,Impulse; M Srinivasan,Vice President - Planning &Supply Chain, V-Mart Retail; Sudhir Gupta, Head- Buying and Merchandising, Sourcing& Retail Planning, ITC; Dr.Anil Chinna bhandar, Senior Vice President- Retail Planning& Supply Chain, Landmark Group; and Sheetal Kapoor, Joint Managing Director, SHR Lifestyles.
Post lunch session commenced with the 3rd panel discussion ‘How supply chain is getting reconfigured post GST for the textile/garment Industry’. Industry leaders who took to the stage were: Sunil Arora, Vice President, The Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI); Ratnesh Singh, Retail Head, Perfect Lifestyles; T K Sen Gupta, President, The Textile Association (India); and Varija Bajaj, Founder, Varija Lifestyles. The value-adding points that emerged during the discussion were- digital commerce accelerated the retail business, demand driven industry offers customers a low price range, GST has been helpful for the overall sector bringing down the overall tax burden, etc.
During the session, T K Sengupta pointed out export scenario for garments in India has been falling since May 2017 to 13.5per cent a month. Overall production from May to December 2018 was been 10.4 per cent. He revealed that Bangladesh is committed to its apparel business since 80 per cent of the country’s total economy is dependent on textile. Productivity of their workers is double than of Indian workers.
The 4th panel discussion was on: ‘Key trends that are impacting the Apparel Logistics market’. This brought on stage Komal Gangaramani, Sr Logistics Analyst–Origin Planning & Operations, Gap Inc, Global Supply Chain; Deepa Sureka, Managing Director, Taanz Fashions; A K Jain, GM- Commercial, Orient Craft; Pankaj Singh, Di rector, Shopzo Brand; Dinakar Malladi, Vice President- Corporate Affairs,Kerry Indev Logistics; and Keku Bomi Gazdar, Chief Executive Officer, AAI Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company . The panel briefed on the bottlenecks and opportunities in the current system and the evolving technological landscape such as the rapidly growing adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in the apparel industry.
In the fifth panel discussion professionals and specialists from the field such as Sunil Arora, Vice President, The Air Cargo Agents Association of India(ACAAI); Bhanu Dora, General Manager, Pearl Global Industries; Animesh Saxena, Managing Director, Neetee Clothing; and Prashant Batra, Retail Head, Taanz Fashions, shared their knowledge and expertise on the topic ‘Mastering Apparel supply chains’.
The panel stressed on the vital role that technology plays in the sector, and that positioning the right infrastructure has been a challenge and therefore, associations, freight forwarders and logistics service providers alike must be proactive to confront the government on prevailing issues so as to map out logistics strategies that need to be closely aligned with a company’s manufacturing and commercial strategies.