FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’s DESK…
Is the Industry ready to take on long-term challenges?
With the rupee falling against the dollar to historical lows…, there is a sense of uneasiness. My team was in Dhaka recently and every exporter they met wanted to know why this slide was happening and how beneficial it has been for the exporters.
No one really expected the rupee to cross 70 against a dollar and that too when we are considered a strong economy, but the reality is for all to see. Yes, exporters have been benefited as of now, some more than the others, but this is a false sense of competitiveness and will not last for ever. Internally, the realities remain the same and once this exchange advantage so as to say passes, the factors that matter for long-term sustenance will again raise their head.
Is the industry making preparations to remain a preferred destination or is it only basking in the currency advantage… it is hard to tell. While some companies I hear are getting back to the drawing board to rework strategies, others are busy collecting orders, in this unexpected boom.
But what is for sure is that orders are moving out of China and business overall is going to increase…will India get its share is anyone’s guess. Debates are centred around questions like – do we have the capacity, are we competitive enough, what are the product categories that can be offered etc. What I am worried about is the ‘intent’… is the industry and its generation next interested to remain in this industry. Are companies ready to make the necessary investment to upgrade both technology and people… Do they see a sustainable future?
All these questions need answers… and it has to be a collective decision. No individual company can survive for long on its own strength unless the ecosphere of growth is created on a bigger and more meaningful level.
And I am not talking of Government support. That will come and go, like the currency fluctuation. But what will stay is the determination of the industry to become a force to reckon with on all fronts.
Our competitors are preparing themselves for the additional business and one can sense the purposefulness of their strategy that is not for today but for the next 10 years.
Good factories are not only about satisfactory infrastructure and beautiful, clean interiors. They are also about better technology, more training, new systems, worker motivation, sharp resource management and attitude of the management. Whenever we talk to the buyers today, their top priority, while developing a new vendor or defining a preferred supplier, is the attitude of the management/owners… if the top brass is receptive and willing to make the changes, nothing can stop the company from growing.
Efficiencies have to improve and better utilisation of all resources to save on wastages, is the only way forward… and these can be achieved only if the top management invests time and money in the right direction. Just doing business for today is not a solution that will keep people in business forever. The most critical requirement today, is the belief that there is a future for the industry and only we can make it happen!