Apparel sourcing is very important element of entire apparel business. A right sourcing decision is bound to generate greater efficiencies by bringing flexibility in entire supply chain. However, sourcing is the term which has a different meaning to brand and apparel manufacture. Speaking on same, Yamini Jain, Senior Consultant, Threadsol said, “For a brand, sourcing is the right manufacturer who can deliver quality garments at the right price, time and quality who can deliver quality garments at the right price, time and quality. And for manufacture, it is the vendor from whom the raw material or job is being procured.” Globally, countries such as China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh are among the leaders when it comes to sourcing. India is still struggling despite many initiatives from local as well as central governments. There are many factors which are hampering the growth in this segment, let’s shed light upon few...
Balancing cost, capacity and compliance
Highlighting the challenges Jain informed, “Being operational into apparel and merchandising space over a decde now, I have seen few major changes taking place in global sourcing pattern. Due to the ever going evolution which this industry is undergoing this pattern is going to change further in the time to come. Both the brands and manufactures are facing serious challenges while sourcing these days due to the versatile and dynamic nature of the industry. Cost and speed are particularly important and the same time quality, compliance and capacity cannot be compromised while sourcing. The biggest challenge lies in balancing all these factors.”
Sustainability is a challenge
The key challenges for the brands and manufactures can be different. Speaking on same, Louis Amelie Leuchenberger, Marketing Head, FourSource, said, “If we talk about the market which is changing everyday so the drivers are changing as well. To hit lower lead times and still remain price competitive is the tough call now. It is tough for manufactures to remain sustainable and having long lasting relationship. The need of the hour is further innovation from the brands.”
Ashok Chhajer, Director, Krishna Lamicoat Pvt. Ltd,” I have been into this industry for last 22 years, and we have a global exposure as far as our supplies are concerned. Especially, in last five years there have been a lot of changes that industry has seen. We have now a lot of innovation which are actually done by the manufacture to the brand because industry is becoming very global now. Where brands are very eager to reduce the price but that is coming on a price also. So, adding to the point, balancing the lead time, the right quality, right deliveries is very challenging to any brand.
Going further Chhajer said, “During earlier days, people use to work with few suppliers and those suppliers were paid very well off and they were very happy to work with them. Today, a lot of competition is coming up and newer challenges are coming up every day. Hence, brands have to be very actively involved in innovation, that is the only key I see right now.”
“Efforts should not just come from manufacture side but also retailers’ side as well, they need to introduce some newer product to the market, so you have new buyer for them. You might have same buyer who buys newer product. Let’s take the example of iphone which has series of launches for same product to same or new number of buyer. And, manufactures have to be more lean and competitive,” added Ashok.
‘Hopes’ are high with India
So far, China and Vietnam are two major players in terms of sourcing, but now brands are looking for newer geographies. Unfortunately, India being such a large country has not able emerged as major sourcing hub. Today Bangladesh has become very important part in terms of number.
Speaking on same, Chhajer informed,” The textile policies in India are not much supportive. There is no dearth of qualified people to make garments at low cost, we have not been able to develop textile in our country. Even small countries like Sri Lanka they contribute lot of good garments.”
On the brighter side, market from China is moving out, the buyers do not want to put everything at one place because there is a risk involved. Also China has become very expensive in last four five years; hence, buyers are definitely looking for newer markets. Though fewer sourcing executives plan to decrease their China sourcing share, most are still working on shifting away from China. Hence, there is an opportunity for India to cash in on.
Modi government has taken a lot of initiatives to employ people by giving them job. Moreover, many states such as Odisha and Jharkhand have come up with apparel parks and local government is taking a lot of efforts in promoting the garment industry. With all these efforts we can see a better future for Indian apparel industry.