Darlie O Koshy | Katie greenyer
The North India Section of the Textile Institute (NISTI), established in 1989, has the largest number of Textile Institute members in the country. Its organic growth has been fueled by regular professional activities engaging both members and outsiders. The Textile Institute (TI) is a professional body for people and organizations working in the associated textile, clothing and footwear industries around the world. For more than 110 years, the institute has brought together professionals from all over the world for an exchange of ideas and a social community fostering friendship between members. President NISTI Darlie O Koshy, Chairman of TI (United Kingdom) Katie greenyer and CEO of TI (UK) Stephanie Dick talk to Richa bansal on the context in which the 33rd founding day of NISTI is observed today.
This 33rd foundation day takes place against the backdrop of a Black Swan event. What program is NISTI likely to set itself to help the besieged textile industry mitigate the losses of businesses and their people?
Koshy: The textile industry in India is centered around thousands of handlooms and looms and several hundred MSMEs and micro-enterprises in the downstream garment sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly caused humanity an unprecedented health crisis that is deadly by its scope and the destruction of lives and livelihoods in the area. On the one hand, there is a contraction in demand while on the other hand there is a serious labor shortage in the cities due to the exodus of migrant workers. The silver liners are: the push on diversification through MMF and technical textiles, and the push on the manufacture of PPE kits and related medical products.
It’s no wonder now that India has taken a leap forward to become the second largest manufacturer of PPE kits in no time, showing that necessity is the mother of invention and scarcity is the mother. innovation. There is also a surge in the production of home wear, informal home wear, athletics and performance wear in the recent past. This gives the motivation to show the world the great resilience of the Indian textile industry.
Notably, exports are showing positive growth, but supply chains are still disrupted and the large-scale closures and closures of retail stores and malls in many parts of the world have been a major disappointment. India, while handling the first wave of COVID well enough, was heavily affected in one way or another during the second wave of destruction.
Indian textile industry has proven the strength of excellent human resources and technical and creative professionals with over 100 textile institutes and over 500 fashion related departments in universities and other professional colleges.
Now is the time to bring more positivity to go from a “sunset” approach to a “sunny” approach. NISTI will attempt to generate and work for more positivity by reaching out to industry stakeholders to strengthen textile clusters and to improve productivity and universities and research organizations to focus on sustainable practices and push back against limits and share global best practices.
With the arrival of the “new normal” and the technological transition in industry, it is necessary to focus on requalification and upgrading of skills; and to rapidly develop the skills of cohorts currently in this value chain in the context of the Industrial Revolution 4.0. NISTI would attempt to help the industry achieve excellence in execution. It is necessary to wake up from the sleep of complacency and pride to move the industry towards a futuristic aircraft.
Would NISTI take a closer look at countries that have done worse than others?
Koshy: Studying competitors may not be the right approach. Our competitors in various segments have also suffered as the reports indicate such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam etc. China has shown resilience with many innovations by even holding special fairs to sell various health products related to the COVID-19 pandemic which shows that a strong industry response is often the appropriate response, and our industry has also shown intention, as can be seen in the case of PPE kits and related textiles and medical products.
Relatively less developed countries, such as African countries, have now started to adopt advanced technologies. India needs to reach out to many of these regions to work together. India’s human resources are second to none, and at the cutting edge of design and technology, they can regain their leadership position.
WARNING: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the interviewee and do not reflect the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com in any way.