Raja M. Shanmugham

Warsaw International (Tirupur) strengthens strategy to sustain for long in business

Raja M. Shanmugham
Warsaw International


WFB Bureau: What is the current scenario of the apparel industry in India?

Mr. Raja:It is passing through the rough weather reason being the apparel industry is a highly competitive industry where the emerging players such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka are competing heavily with us. They have GSP free status from EU and some of them have FTA factor with them which is helping them grow aggressively.


WFB Bureau: In this tough scenario, how is Warsaw international is moving ahead?

Mr. Raja:We have a history of 26 years of experience. We have faced lots of up and down, tough situations over these years. However, we kept our competitive factor sharp otherwise we would have been easily beaten up. We always keep in mind that this industry is ever growing industry and this is catering to one of the basic needs of the mankind which is ‘cloth’.


WFB Bureau: So, what practices you follow in production floor to stay relevant in the market?

Mr. Raja:We compulsorily have to adopt new practices to stay competitive like lean practices, IE aspect, and six sigma as no company can escape from this. When external pressure on price front happens, we have to look in inversely to correct our mistakes and minimize our wastage. So, we have reworked on these factors to keep ourselves motivated and cost-competitive.


WFB Bureau: Many of the exporters are just implementing lean practices for namesake as they want to clear the audit process.

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What is propelling you to implement it from the ground level?

Mr. Raja:You cannot cheat yourself. These are the factors which minimize the wastages. So without addressing these factors I cannot sustain in my business. But, I can see that people are now changing because they are getting more conscious than before and they have to comply the factors as soon as they see that wastages are getting reduced which helps them sustain the market competition.


WFB Bureau: Can you explain it through an example?

Mr. Raja:In our factory, before implementing the lean practices, there were lots of ifs and buts in production area. We used to accept orders but our logistics supply was not that much good. So we had to hold finish and wait for the missing parts to come and then again we distributed the work. This stop and start process was carried earlier and this is where we lacked earlier. We have realized in lean manufacturing process that this loophole can be eliminated. Now before starting the line, we ensure everything is in order and it enhances the productivity as well as helps in a way to increase the quality aspect too.


WFB Bureau: The cost factor is rising up. The piece buyer is taking from India in US $ 2.2 (for example), and B'desh is providing the same piece in US $ 2. How are you tackling this?

Mr. Raja:Though automation is highly recommended, the only aspect is deskilling which is taking place alongside the automation. Deskilling means mission advancement that requires less skilling to conduct an operation so if a person knows about stitching that is good enough. Now he just has to operate the machine without imparting any special skills. These kind of deskilling machines we have deployed which are all computerized. Previously skilled labour was needed, now it’s not that much needed hence brings the cost of garments down.


WFB Bureau: Deskilling automation...Please brief us about such technologies in Warsaw? And how it is benefitting your plant?

Mr. Raja:Nowadays buyers DICTATE that the consumption of fabric should be this much only. They define the outer limit and then negotiate with you. So now such kind of uniformities are happening across the globe and nobody can escape from that. Using the CAD is necessity now as buyers would not be paying for you to the wastage you have done. So with this understanding only, you have to treat the industry else this industry will betray you.
We have Lectra cutting system and with that, we make programs of cutting accordingly. We have AutoCAD also which gives us the permutation and combination of hundreds of varieties and that way we can maximize the precision of fabric.


WFB Bureau: Scope of improvement is always there. What are the areas you feel need more improvement?

Mr. Raja:We face lots of challenges day in and day out because the products we handle differ every day and multiple changeover happens. We have adopted a policy enlightening the entire operating chain from in-charge to final checker. They have years of experience and inclined more towards the working methods so imposing things on that will not work. This approach helps in psychological results. Now every line starts with a meeting. Right from checker to sewer, everybody is taught that this is the garment you are going to handle. So these are all the critical zones and these need to be addressed very efficiently and diligently by your intelligent approach and without wasting a single garment, you have to boost the productivity. We feel we have to strengthen ourselves in this area more.


WFB Bureau: Every employee seeks three supports from the employer: Mental, Financial and Social.  What are you doing to serve this purpose?

Mr. Raja:We give them salary on time. If we delay salary then issues arise. Then we have policy that we pay Rs 10 a week to each labour as incentives and in case of ailment, the worker can take support from the company of up to Rs. 10,000. If all these needs are met, I guess mental and social areas are also covered.


Image Source: http://www.theweekendleader.com


Published on: Oct 16, 2018

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