Episode 37

Irrelevance of seasons in the fashion industry

Category :  Manufacturing & Supply Chain

The fashion industry is known for its seasonality, for the seasons bring with it the need for change in the entire range of clothing. But for the clothing companies, this poses a big challenge, the challenge of huge inventories that are left behind with every switch of a season. Moreover, the inventories cannot be used in the subsequent year because of the fast-changing fashion trends. Hence, this poses a big concern for the entire industry and has been so for decades.

But not anymore, we have with us today, two guests: Anindya Ray, Chief Sourcing Officer and CHRO, Arvind Fashions Limited and Sachin Jain, Senior Partner, Vector Consulting Group, and an expert at distribution and supply chain solutions. We discuss the reasons behind why seasonality is such a huge concern and how we can break free from this constraint and make the seasons irrelevant. Tune in!

Transcript
Shubham Agarwal : Hello, and welcome to the counterpoint podcast. We’re discussing a very interesting topic today on the fashion industry. And we all know that for years, we’ve thought that the fashion industry is extremely seasonal in terms of, you know, the trends that go around. But what we are discussing today is exactly the opposite, the irrelevance of seasons in the fashion industry. For the discussion we have two experts with us from the industry. The first we have Mr. Anindya Ray. He’s an he’s a fashion industry professional with more than 30 years of experience, having worked with Best of the international and domestic brands, and he’s currently the Chief Strategy chief sourcing officer and the chief of Human Resources Officer with Arvind Fashion. Next we have Sachin Jain with us. He is the partner at the Vector Consulting Group, an expert at implementing distribution strategies across industries and domains. So hello, Sachin. Hello, Anindya. Welcome to the counterpoint podcast. How are you?
Anindya Ray : Good Shubham. It’s a great pleasure to be here. And thanks for that lovely introduction. So thank you so much. And hi Sachin how are you? It’s been a long time.
Sachin Jain : Yeah, Hi Anindya Hi Shubham, Thank you very much for getting me here.
Shubham Agarwal : Great. It’s always good to have, you know, two guests, because then the discussion becomes even more interesting. So hoping we have a interesting discussion on this. Great. So like I said, you know, we’re going to discuss about the irrelevance of seasons in fashion, which already sounds a bit, you know, interesting. So my first question, I want to start with Anindya, can you explain the concept of seasons in fashion? First, let’s start with that
Anindya Ray : Oh, this is a very, very interesting topic. And a very interesting question. In fact, a small tidbit, like, day before yesterday, I was on a call with an investor for one of somebody else who was asking me this very question “ki seasons kaise manage hota hai”, how do you manage seasons, so I told him the same thing I said, I don’t think seasons are relevant anymore. But let me let me go to the genesis of why seasons happened, okay. You see, pre industrial era, apparel, and clothing, were a necessity. It’s only the richest of the riches, the nobles, the kings, and all that those people had clothes that were beyond necessity. And people used to have seasons, because of extremities of seasons, “matlab sardi agayi toh” you know, for, for weather change, and things like that, there would be a little seasonal necessities that would need to be bought, but people didn’t really need to buy, right?
Shubham Agarwal : Right
Anindya Ray : Then came the Industrial Revolution. And what happened is mass manufacturing of apparel started, right. And when mass manufacturing of apparel started, people suddenly started having more, or they had more production that they actually needed to buy, because it was you didn’t need to manufacture as much as you did. And then came the era of the brands. Now the moment brands and marketing came into play, what happened is they needed a reason for people to keep coming and buying now “apne apni shirt kharidli” you bought your clothes, you don’t really need it, right? I don’t remember how much how many are from that era. But when we were young, we used to buy clothes only during Diwali, my parents would take take us out only during Diwali we would go out buy clothes, it would be very so you would have one or two “school ke kapde” then, you know, going out for parties and weddings, and then one or two clothes used to play in. That’s about all that’s all we had and we never needed any more. Now, the point was the marketers had this issue about how do you make people buy more? How do you keep getting them to come in and buy more clothes, right? And then they said okay, let’s take the seasons a little beyond this. So what if you know things changed in a season the feeling change in the season, colours change in the season, and you made things look as if you know, there was something else that you needed to go there and buy. Now, typically, if I go off the fashion industry, because you know, we always think of fashion as clothes. If you look at phones as an industry, mobile phones, every year Apple launches a new phone. Now I have been an apple buyer from iPhone three
Shubham Agarwal : Lovely
Anindya Ray : And the iPhone three used to work as well as the phone today works. I mean, from a phone perspective, it does whatever it is supposed to do, right? But it is just that somehow every year you know, you feel that “yaar kuch toh” you know they’ve done something and that they made it more interesting to buy the new product and let go of the old product. Okay, this is how fashion happens. Okay, and I’m trying to give it a different spin for people to understand how fashion is brought into marketing to actually make consumers buy more. Right and now what happened is this fashion got inbuilt into the DNA of the system. What I mean by the DNA of the system or the DNA of the industry is when you when you go into an NIFT, or any Fashion Institute and you learn about fashion, okay, they teach you about how, you know, seasonal clothing, how colours become warmer during, you know, during winter, they become lighter and cooler during summers and how it you know, expresses what do you feel. This is not real. Okay, this is this is in your mind, this is us playing consumer games with the consumer’s mindset, okay to get him to buy more, right? But the problem that happened is the industry started believing its own myth. Okay, and the industry built a DNA around its own without mythology. Okay, so everything became seasonal. So today, you have huge research organisations paid very, very well. They do amazing research in terms of what is going to be the, you know, the colour of the season one year from now. Okay, what would be the mood of the people, people are thinking of, let’s say, let’s say, let’s say you say that, you know, what do you call it, you know, the climate change is happening. So what, what does it mean in terms of colours? What does it mean to terms of mood, and you create research around it, and then you create a colour around it, and then everybody works around it. And this is an industry that is, so there’s a colour industry, there is the dyeing industry, which does colours, like they make the dye stuff, they do this research, there’s a yarn industry, which does it, there’s a textile industry, which does it, there’s the apparel industry, which does it. And this is where the, you know, the whole concept of fashion and seasons became ingrained into the concept of fashion. And I’ll talk about what happened as a result of this. So while this did extremely well, for about the last 20 – 25 years, you know, and the industry really flourished, if you actually look at data, you know, people buy a lot more now clothes than they used to buy 20 – 25 years back, so it means that whatever this is that, you know, the industry did was extremely successful. Right, people moved out of looking at apparel as necessity to apparel as a fashion product. Yeah. Okay, so just like iPhones, change seasons, clothes, also change seasons. So this is how the whole thing happened. And this is the kind of genesis of it and it’s a very interesting topic also, because if you go to Fashion Institute and ask them about seasons, they’ll give you a very different answer. They may not give you this very industry specific answer, very business specific answer, they will tell you about how everything changes the kind of research that happens. And you know, the kind of thinking the logic and why things need to change. But is it really true, as a consumer do you really does it really matter to you, in the early 2000s, there used to be this magazine called the apparel marketing magazine, I forget marketing and something. And I remember we used to do a research and in the top 10 Things that a man liked in those years, you would always have a Louis Philippe or an Arrow brand, okay, which would be among the top 10 You know, share a wallet for, for a consumer, for a man. Today, actually, if you look at the top 10 Share, I don’t think apparel even figure. It has come down from you know, to from a necessity to something that is just available for you just like that, you know, when you want. So there’s a huge shift that the consumer has taken. Okay, but whether the industry has understood this or not, is something we can talk about, you know, as we go forward. So I hope I answered your question Shubham.
Shubham Agarwal : Definitely, no, it was really interesting how you could take us down the memory lane. Yes. Sachin please,
Sachin Jain : Just just wanted to add to what Anindya said in terms of irrelevance, I would say that there was a little bit of indication, right in the industry. When the pandemic hit us, I would believe that most of the companies were forced to carry forward their inventories, let’s say what they had bought for spring summer, they were forced to carry forward to autumn winter. And by the way it sold it got sold. I mean, that is the that was the real test. What happened to those lighter colours, which were supposed to be sold in spring summer, What eventually got sold in autumn winter?
Anindya Ray : Yeah, very well said
Shubham Agarwal : Interesting. Yeah. No, in fact, you are right, and you know, how the industry has changed how the consumers choices have changed and how they have shaped up because all the marketing efforts is really interesting to look at. But I think that all of this makes the supply chain extremely complex. So I want to ask you Sachin, you know, what are your views on whatever Anindya said from a supply chain perspective? How does that change?
Sachin Jain : Yeah, so I would say first of all, Anindya is the expert on that, but let me take a chance on that. See, the way this industry is operating it typically, forces the supply chains of the companies to start predicting first of all about the designs, the colours and that starts that process starts almost a year ago because why it has to happen because of the lead times that the industry has in terms of you know, the first first of all you need to develop a sample then after the sample is developed, you know, companies will want to select it, you know, what are the right samples, which have come out and post that selection then obviously, there is a lead time to manufacture again based on a forecast. So, first of all the first forecast starts in terms of what trends will do good from you know, right from from a year you know, from today. So, that is how the process starts that is how the forecasting starts. Once those samples come in place into the organisations, that takes almost about four to five months, typically organisations, you know, conduct these trade shows where in the channel partners would come in and they select the quantities the orders are placed again based on their perception of how much quantity will they be able to sell right. So, across channels, you know, the companies will just consolidate the requirement and wherever the MOQs are met, then accordingly they will place an order that itself will take another you know, a lead time of about four to five to six months depending on the type of fabric and type of how complex the apparel is. Now, the challenge it poses to the organization’s is this once this merchandise hit the stores, the problem is some of the trends, some of the designs are obviously going to be hits, and some of the designs are obviously going to be duds. And the story doesn’t end here. The problem is the items which are hits very soon, land up into size set breakages were in you know, some of the sizes will get sold off and some of the other sizes you know, some of odd sizes will remain in the stocks, but the company’s ability to replenish those missing sizes or the you know, the trends which have got sold off within the same season is almost negligible. Again why because of the lead times, there is a lead time of almost three to four months for fabric, there is a lead time of almost a month for converting their fabric into a garment and then obviously there are logistics, you know, the lead time and all. So, the ability of organisation to replenish what is a hit is almost not there. So, organisation lands with size set or breakages. And on the other side, you have all those duds, typically, the the range of duds would vary between 40 to 50% of the entire merchandise. And, you know, you can now imagine that at the end of the season, that is why this concept of end of season sale exists. So strongly in Indian industries, wherein you have basically a lot of stuff on discounting. So, crux of the matter is at the end of the show, you land up with very low, full price sell throughs. And at the same time, a lot of liquidation happens which impacts your profitability, and obviously, your inventory turns are little.
Shubham Agarwal : Ah right, so I can see Anindya has to wants to add something, is it Anindya?
Anindya Ray : Yeah, sure. No, in fact, Sachin has put it very, very nicely. I just wanted to add a couple of points. So what happens no, based on what he’s saying is how successful you are in this business is a matter of averages. So in an average, if you make less errors, you are more profitable and doing better business, on an average, if you tend to make more errors then you go down the sink, but it just becomes a matter of averages, where you’re not able to leverage what really sells well with you. Right. I mean, that is fundamentally the, you know, actual problem that then happens in the industry. And, you know, very, very, very interestingly, what this also leads to is, is this whole issue of what I call, how would I put it, whether you know whether the industry is actually struggling to try. And so if you if you look at the American retail space, over the last five, six years, you know, US has been through something known as the retail apocalypse. There’s some 50 – 60 of the best known brands, I mean, you should just Google it and just check it out. As to brands that were involved in the retail Apocalypse, and you’ll find all these brands have actually just died. And the and the question that one needs to ask is why so many retailers are dying? Does that mean Americans are buying less clothes? He doesn’t, right? If you actually look at total number of clothes purchased, Americans are buying as much if not more. So then the question that comes out is where are they then buying these clothes from? And who are they buying these clothes from? Correct, right? So they’re not buying from the traditional brands. They the whole buying logic has shifted to something else right? The consumers have actually moved. So how this used to happen and you know, going back to what Sachin said it all started with forecasting. Okay and forecasting means that somebody in your company has to be an expert on forecasting. That means you have a design head who says, “Yaar mujhe pata hai na ek saal baad ye color hi bikne wala hai or somebody is saying ye wala fit hi bikega ek saal baad, matlab ek saal baad kisine dekha nahi hai, right?”
Shubham Agarwal : Impossible to predict. You can’t predict what you want to wear tomorrow?
Anindya Ray : Yeah. And here you have companies that are saying “Mujhe pata hai ek saal baad kya bikne wala hai tumhe nahi pata hai “okay, so consumer ko pata nahi hai but company ko. Now this very interestingly, you know, in the beginning of this when this fashion curves and the season curves started no, companies had this logic where large fashion houses used to dictate, you know, they would have these shows in Paris, and they would have the shows in New York, and people would go to those shows, and then they will, you know, take derivatives and then predict what, what would happen a year from now, okay. But what has happened is social media and digital media has completely changed the landscape. Today, brands are actually fighting for relevance. So what happens is earlier, you would have to wear a woodlands or you would have to wear athletic brand, to tell people that you are athletic, today, you don’t need to supposing I want to make a send out a message to my peer group that I’m athletic, I could be wearing this t shirt or any t shirt, sweated out in a gym, take a selfie of myself in the gym, sweating it out. Okay, and I would make the same message to my peer group, which I would do by wearing a Reebok or one of these athletic brands, the message is the same. I don’t need to buy a brand now to prove what I stand for. Right. So the ability of the brands to influence people and what they buy started reducing over the last 10 you know, one or two decades or so, to the extent that today it does not have that ability to do it. So now you have a problem that you have a forecast based system which Sachin explained. But you have a consumer who’s not listening to you “woh or kahi dekh raha hai”. Like you said, “mujhe pata nahi mai kal kya pehen ne wala hoon”. But, you know, I will buy what I like, I know if I like something, I see one of my friends wearing it on Instagram, I’ll pick up something similar from Amazon. Right. And it may have nothing to do with what somebody else is predicting. And this whole consumer shifted in the US from this predictive model. So you know, suddenly what happened is brands were trying to predict something they were unable to figure out consumer “kahi or chala gaya” consumer was anywhere buying what he wanted to buy. And it didn’t matter to him who was selling it to him. So this whole shift happened. And that is why the retail apocalypse. And I find it very funny because I kept trying to read about this as to understand as to what the Americans were understanding out of it, and they were still getting more and more drowned into, you know, what the problem with the supply chain is how to react faster not understanding the genesis of this fundamental problem starts with forecast, when you’re actually predicting one year in advance what needs to happen, rather than looking at your real supply chain and what your consumer wants and seeing, how do you fit these two pieces together, rather than bringing a third, third thing, which is called forecast, fashion, season. You know, all those things into the picture? We give you this thought that “yaha pe hum banate hai yaha pe hum bechte hai” you know ye kharid raha hai ye bech raha hai usko kaise connect karna hai. And that is where the whole supply chain, I think completely broke down in the industry. I don’t know. I mean, I am sure Sachin has a lot more, you know, thought on this.
Shubham Agarwal : So I think both the perspectives are very interesting. And you know, all this while I was thinking that, you know, we were thinking the companies are here to, you know, make us happy with their end of season sales while like Sachin said, the end of season sale is just a way to clear out their pent up inventories. And the way that, you know, you have shared the undercurrents that are happening in the retail industry is very interesting Anindya i clearly see that, you know, all these years that you’ve spent at the, with the fashion industry, you’ve really created those, you know, those shifts, why those shifts happen, and that’s so interesting and good to know. So clearly, we have a problem at hand. You know, and and the supply chain is also broken. What’s happening with the companies is also very worrisome. And you know, like you mentioned, the American retail industry is going through an apocalypse. So you never know when that hits other parts of the world. So on the one hand, it sounds like you know, the working based on seasons is the backbone for fashion because that’s how the industry has started to work. But that definitely presents a huge challenge. So is there a way out Anindya I mean, how do we try to solve it or how do we start to you know, take the first step towards solving it?
Anindya Ray : This is a very interesting question actually. That is what Sachin and I are working with vector consulting on and it’s a very, very, very, very interesting way of looking at the business. So, you know, the business has to be looked at in terms of different types of products and the kind of real time lead time that they have and consumer demand and how you marry that consumer demand with the product. So, whether how you look at replenishment product versus how you look at products which are slightly changeable may not be exactly replenishable but are somewhere partly replenishable, partly manageable like that, and of course, then you have to also look at you know, certain products which are very thought provoking fashion and fashion driven where we know which are statement pieces for the company etc, and, and all these three technically then work in different ways. So, today what happens is because of this whole seasonal thought process that the companies have, you know, we apply the same rules to everything, okay, but, but, but if one just looks at each of these streams differently, and understand that you can treat them differently and connect with the relevant consumer differently for each stream, then you become much more precise in the way you’re managing it, I will actually let you know, Sachin talk a little more about this, because this is something that is his area of expertise. So Sachin if you can, share something more with us on this.
Sachin Jain : Yeah, thanks, thanks Anindya. And so, basically just expanding to what Anindya said, you know, the basic assumption, what industry has started to make is they assume that the product life cycle of every article is exactly the same. And that is how they start treating the supply chain rules on every article exactly the same way. Irrespective of you know, finding the reality, whether the products actually have the same product life cycle or different. So, just to give you an example, you know, for years, we have been seeing some garments some apparels with you, you know, see every you know, one human or some other individual, you know, wearing that same same style, same colour for the last donkey years. For example, a plain white shirt, okay, for example, there are many solid colours for that matter, there are some checks, there are some stripes, right? Now the point is, if you look at those options, those garments, they have a product lifecycle which has been there for donkey’s years. Now, the moment I start looking at my apparels, in terms of this definition of product lifecycle, suddenly I can apply different supply chain tools. So just to give you an example, let’s say for a white shirt, plain white shirt, plain vanilla white shirt, you have some regular fit some Smart fit, whatever it is, now, when you know that this is going to continue across seasons, doesn’t matter whether it is autumn, winter, doesn’t matter whether it’s spring summer, because it is going to continue selling across months of the year, suddenly, you realise that you actually don’t need to predict that you know what trend it’s going to follow because it is going to sell that’s it the moment you have this knowledge that’s going to continuously you know, get sold. The point is how how can you cut the lead times and the answer is very simple. If you are sure that the item is going to continue, the option is going to continue have buffers in the system, that’s it. So, I told you in the beginning that you know typically the organization’s ability to react to any sales, any spurt in sales is limited by the lead times where is that lead time coming from that lead time is getting built from the fact that there is built in two to four months of fabric lead time and then there is a garment thing lead time. Now, what happens when I am continuously feeding the market through buffers. So for example, if I have a buffer in my store, the moment something gets sold, whichever size you know whichever option which I have kept under this category. And I have maintained a buffer of the same article even in my central warehouse the company central warehouse. The company central warehouse replenishes the store, the moment this buffer a central warehouse gets consumed my garment guy, he can you know immediately react to it, how he will also have some buffer because it will show that this buffer is going to get consumed, right? The moment he supplies to my central warehouse. It gives a trigger for his team to start manufacturing the same article, fabric gets consumed, the same trigger goes up to the fabric guy, the fabric guy dispatches, the moment he dispatches he triggers a production for you know the same fabric. Now the moment you have the buffers in the system, your lead time crashes. Right? And the moment your lead time crashes, imagine Shubham what’s going to happen. You cannot have any size set breakages.
Shubham Agarwal : I won’t have to go looking for the M size, which is the typical size which goes out.
Sachin Jain : Yes, absolutely, absolutely right. So, this is one piece of supply chain, which can get as big as you know, we want to believe that it can go big right as and right now, the industry is all about you know, fashion, designs. So, on one side the designers in the industries are forcing the company to have as many fashion goods as possible, but on the other side, when I am looking at the supply chain from this perspective, from the point of view of supply chain, from the point of view of consumer behaviour, there is a good enough chunk of options, which I can convert to core. Now, again, obviously, it’s a starting point, if I today, if I go to an Indian tell him that boss let me convert 50% of your portfolio to core he will throw me out right.
Shubham Agarwal : Right
Sachin Jain : So, but as we are starting journey or whatever is the core portfolio small 10%, 15% let’s start, we get the results, the company gets confidence and obviously, that is where we more on, that is one piece. Another piece which Anindya spoke about was that garments which are not exactly the same, there are small variations, which you bring in. And that’s how you continue. So, you know, we call it an attribute cluster. So for example, if I pick up a option, and I start giving attributes to that garment or an apparel or an option or what is what is the MRP? What is the fabric? What is the fit, whether it’s a striped shirt, whether it’s a check shirt right and what is the colour and all now, the moment I look at the combination of this, so, for example, I say there is a 2399 MRP blue and white striped shirt with some fabric okay. Now, if you recall your memories Shubham you would have always remembered that somebody in your lifetime would always have you know, would have wore this blue and white striped shirt
Shubham Agarwal : Definitely, my wardrobe is all full of it, yeah,
Sachin Jain : Yeah, maybe the maybe the width of the stripes would go here and there, right?
Shubham Agarwal : Correct.
Sachin Jain : This is what we want to say and this is what we are defining something as dynamic core right, you know just playing with the width of whites and blues somewhat here, somewhat there, you can also play with the colours. Now, if you see the moment you are looking at this option in this by this combination of clusters, suddenly you see that again it is not a slave of the you know the season, it has been here in the industry for seasons I mean for so many history years. So, the moment again, I look at some of the options by clusterizing these attributes, again, it gives me another way to look at the supply chain, how to deal with it, okay. And here we say that maybe we cannot have enough a buffer at the complete FG level, but at the same time, we can perhaps have my fabric ready, right. So, there are you know, there are many technologies which are coming I think Anindya can throw more light on that, they are some models wherein you have you know, basic fabric ready, you have, you know, whatever printer you want you just printed and the fabric, you know, the final fabric is there and you just convert so suddenly your lead time, which was let’s say four to five months, including the fabric lead time of three months and garment lead one month gets crashed to just one month, because you have fabric ready basic fabric is ready we call it grey fabric, you just print it, you just get it ready. And you know, convert it. There are another technology is where you know, you can keep the blank. So blank is something like you know, you have some basic t shirt ready, right? It is normal grey in colour, everything is ready and you just at the last moment, colour it and then you know, dispatch it, whatever colour you want. So Anindya can throw more light on it, but conceptually speaking, you are again trying to have a design buffer which is ready, you are having you’re trying to have a fabric base, which is always ready. So that whatever trigger you get in the market, when you let’s say one, one option is getting consumed, you want to have a similar option getting introduced in the market, the fabric is there the design buffer is there, you just introduce it.
Shubham Agarwal : Right. So basically we’ve decoupled every step of the way. And, you know, when we started this discussion, I really didn’t hope that, you know, I would have a solution for the irrelevance of seasons in this industry. But the fact that you two have explained it is extremely beautiful. So Anindya remarks from you on this, how can we break this concept of seasons and how far or close we are to, you know, actually doing it in real?
Anindya Ray : Okay, I’ll get to that. I just want to add two aspects towards Sachin said very interesting. One is what are the benefits that I see coming out of, you know, working like this, and the other is a little Toyota story. and then I’ll get back to you know what you’re talking about
Shubham Agarwal : Sure
Anindya Ray : So, you know the benefits are today for example, design teams are working on let’s say 600, 800 designs every six months, the moment you start looking and breaking down you know decoupling like you said the structure and restructure your garments like this you will realise ki yaar 15% ke liye 20% ke liye to design karne ki zarurat nahi hai. So, suddenly 100 becomes 80, then you say, acha yeh to hum design banks ke through approach kar sakte hai with something maybe you can probably also get it done somewhere else. So, suddenly 100 becomes probably 60. So, what it does is it actually reduces the workload of the creative teams, the moment you are able to reduce the workload of the creative team, the output the quality of output also increases. So, so, you know, there are multiple impacts that this has across the system, because the system doesn’t then, you know, work with a single rule to everything I’ll give a small Toyota example. Some years back, some very senior person in the industry asked me a very interesting question ki yaar tum log na shirt to time pe deliver kar nahi sakte usme variable kitne hote hai ek kapda hota hai ek dhaaga hota hai ek button hota hai okay and look at look at these car manufacturers 10,000 parts, you know, they are delivering new cars this that just in time delivery to you know
Shubham Agarwal : Good question
Anindya Ray : Toh haa dil me laga maine kaha yaar itne bure to hum ho nahi sakte so I really gave it some thought and then I went back to him and I asked a very fundamental question I said Sir, aisa hai Toyota Innova bana rahi hai 20 saal se innova hi banaye ja rahi hai, okay, agar hum har 6 mahine me naa innova ko pura badal dete hai ki uska engine bhi same nahi hai, engine bhi badlo, uske baaki parts bhi badlo, color bhi badlo, shape bhi badlo, and har 6 mahine me hum use redundant banadete hai or har 6 mahine me vo ek naya gaadi launch karte hai now because Innova stopped selling because I didn’t want to sell it because I thought consumers needed something else. Right? How do you think Toyota would have managed their supply chain at that point of time, mujhe to samjhado na bas, yeh agar aap samjhado jo hamari industry me ho raha hai to us industry me aap kardo, it struck you know. And I’m going back to this very simple concept that most other industries seem to have figured this out. So while for example, Apple does change it’s phone every year, not too much of the Apple phone changes if you look at all the component parts don’t change, they change a few things in the product and make it more desirable to the new consumer. But they don’t change the complete supply chain ki yeh nahi ki aaj chip bhi badal gaya, yeh bhi badal gaya, wo bhi badal gaya hai, hum metal bhi badal dege, glass ki jagah plastic use karege, because if you do that every year, you’re not going to get your supply chain to be able to supply, right? this is something that the apparel industry does right? So now having said that, you know because we actually put a expiry date on our products before they go onto the shelf. That is a problem with the seasonality thing brings in, so come back to how how this will change you know when when you start looking at the products differently and you will start understanding the product lifecycle of every product differently like Sachin said white shirts, okay. Or you could say like basic khaki pants matlab kitna badalta hai yar khaki pant, over the years the only major innovation that a khaki has done is usme stretch agaya hai. So, you know in a from a consumer comfort or from a consumer difference perspective. Jab aap yeh cheeze samajhne lagte ho and you start applying this to your fundamental product and you start breaking it down the amount of risk that you’re taking reduces dramatically. And one of the very interesting things which Sachin should also you should ask Sachin to touch upon is when you start looking at availability on shelf for consumer rather than trying to predict what he is going to want, but you look at ki yaar agar consumer 10 cheeze kharidta hai usme se 6-7 cheeze to wohi hai jo vo pehle se leta rehta hai. So if you make those more available and look at something else, which is actually tickling his fashion sensibility, etc. And then the whole paradigm can actually change in terms of you know, when a consumer walks in, is he getting his sizes? Is he getting the stuff that he wants? And you identify where he is looking for differentiation where he is not looking for differentiation, usko laal pant nahi pehen ni hai, wo pichle 50 saal se laal pant nahi pehen raha hai wo, you know wo khaki pehenta hai vo navy pehenta hai vo kaala pehenta hai, so the moment you start looking and clustering these attributes like Sachin was explaining and you apply it, the efficiency of your supply chain and the ability of the supply chain to react to consumer requirement dramatically changes. I mean, you can react in you know, there are new technologies like which are coming in, where you can actually, let’s say I can, I can, I could be offering 40 colours in this polo t shirt. But technically in the backend, I have only one polo t shirt, which is made in grey fabric. Matlab undied fabric me mai polo bana raha hoon, and I have a technology which allows me to do, let’s say 50,60 pieces, 80, 100 pieces, 150 pieces, right, so now, I can offer 150 into 40 colours to consumer without taking a risk in anything. Right. Now, if consumer likes 10 colours out of that, and suddenly starts buying more i’ll make more of that, I won’t make so much of the others, I will just make sure ki haa enough to. So the whole availability games drastically changes when your hit starts getting multiplied. And your misses don’t, you don’t need to worry too much about the kind of misses you have. And I’m just giving a very, very simplistic look, feel. Also, there are many, you know, printing technologies that are coming in. Today you have technology that is coming in where yarn se directly garment ban raha hai. It’s still in a very nascent stage technology. But I think in the next four to five years, you will feed in yarn, you will get the garment out. I mean, you don’t need to worry about cutting MOQs. And it’s a very, very different mindset that is happening in the world today. So I just leave it here in terms of you know, where I think the industry is going and let Sachin take over from here.
Shubham Agarwal : Yeah, your thoughts Sachin on this?
Sachin Jain : Yeah. So I mean, as Anindya said finally you know, what we are looking at is the moment your ability to react to particular sizes consumption, and not just at a option level, but even in terms of, let’s say, option itself, you know, you’re reacting to a complete option, when we spoke about dynamic or something like dynamic core, suddenly, your ability to good availability in the store. And by the way, that’s a very good, very basic requirement for as a customer for me, because today, what pinches as a customer to me the most is when I go to a shop, and I like something, but my size is not available, right?
Shubham Agarwal : True, Very true.
Sachin Jain : And if you’re attacking that very basic, not only it starts, you know, having a very good consumer perception about the brand. Suddenly, you know, when I spoke about in the beginning size set breakages, those get eliminated at the same time, you don’t have so many misses, because now you are not forecasting to that extent, right. So your your misses are getting reduced, your size set breakages are getting reduced. So as a result, as a company, I get, you know, high higher full size, you know, full price sale through my liquidation, the amount of discounting goes down. And I think the industries, the companies in the industry exist for making that right, they want more profits, they want more profitability, they want better ROI, they want better returns. So we assur that with the directions, we are taking along with Anindya’s team will surely take us on a very high path. And in terms of profitability and rotations.
Shubham Agarwal : That’s great. Thank you so much for this, both Sachin and Anindya, you know, we really have a solution that shows us the way forward. And it’s great like we, you know, like we like to call it at Vector it’s a win win solution for everyone in the industry and the consumers as well. Any closing remarks from both of you quickly?
Anindya Ray : Okay, I will share some very interesting tidbit. Which, you know, and purely from an industry perspective. So what has been happening in the industry in the last 15 odd years, is a lot of these new players have come in, the Myntra’s of the world, Flipkart of the world, Amazons of the world, there are companies like buhu, asus, and then there is a company in China called shein. The problem was that these guys, they did not come from the industry toh unko na season ka funda samajh nahi aata tha, kisi ne unhe bataya hi nahi, nobody told them.
Sachin Jain : They didn’t go to NIFT’s of the world.
Anindya Ray : Sir naukri karni hai aise mat bolo meko to industry me rehna hai. But you are right so what they did is unko samajh nahi aati thi to unka funda kya tha ki yaar consumer hai usko kharidna hai mereko bechna hai, okay, zyada bika to zyada banao, kam bika to mardo product ko, simple unko itna dimag lagaya nahi unhone. So what happened is these guys came in, and they suddenly took the whole market by strong. And today you have these billion, you know, billion dollars companies which didn’t exist 15 years back, and you have the existing companies who went into this whole bandwagon of season etc who are struggling to actually figure out ki hua kya hai yaar zamin khisak gayi neeche se, pata hi nahi chala ki duniya kaha chali gayi, consumer moved with these guys. Okay, its just these guys are continuing to think in that way. So it’s amazing what is happening. And I’m just sharing this small insight with you guys. So from my side that is.
Shubham Agarwal : This is a lovely insight.
Anindya Ray : You’re right. I mean, I just want to share this. So thank you so much. And we’re doing some amazing work. And you’re right, I think it’s, it’s really going to change the way the industry looks at things. Believe me.
Shubham Agarwal : That’s lovely, Great. Thank you so much for your time, both of you. It was a wonderful discussion. I’m sure all the listeners are going to love it. For all the listeners. If you have any questions, any concerns, any queries from any of them. You can write to us on our social media handles. You can also write to us on our website. The link is in the details. Thank you so much for your time. Until next time, bye bye
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