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Special Feature | April 2018

Move beyond conventional paradigms: K Gupta

Taking a big leap forward, industry is going through another paradigm shift, popularly referred as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” or “Industry 4.0”. The ultimate goal of the fourth revolution is to build a parallel virtual world that will control and run the physical world. Everything that can be digitalised will be digitalised throughout the course of Industry 4.0. The future of the manufacturing industry lies with big data analytics, robots, automations, programmable logic controllers and IoT.

“Move beyond the conventional paradigms,” was the phrase that was repeated again and again during the 9th Asian Textile Conference (Atexcon) in Mumbai on March 14, 2018. Dr Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner, Government of India, said, “We have to think out of the box to be competitive in the market. We have to synergise our plans. We can no longer think of cotton, synthetic as separate units. They are all integrated. We have to synergise our efforts. Now it is the stage that either it will be win win or we will lose out in the global market. And I am pretty sure that we all achieve the win win. While we all appreciate China in many ways, at the same time, let us also be reminded that we are the largest democracy and a democracy always has its compulsions. So probably what China can do we can do even better. Each person is allowed to think differently and significantly. Each person is allowed to integrate synergies.”

Manual labour will be replaced with digital factories containing advanced materials and artificially intelligent machines that run entire factories on its own. Not only that, cognitive manufacture will enable manufacturers to forecast demand, but also carry out predictive maintenance, estimate problems that might occur and trigger solutions to those problems without any human interference.

She shared an example of Liva, who have put the entire value chain across integrating the small players. Dr Gupta acknowledged and congratulated the industry for reaching to a level where they can leapfrog into a different orbit. She highlighted the need to integrate MSMEs to achieve the inclusive growth of the sector. The highlight of her address was the brief history of Indian textile sector which spanned from the age of poet and weaver, Kabir up to the state-of-the-art infrastructure being developed in Indian textile parks these days. Sanjay Jayavarthanavelu, Chairman and Managing Director, Lakshmi Machine Works (LMW), said, “Indian textile industry, despite all its drawbacks, has made a name in the Indian global market. The innovations are happening right across the industries. Today the number of fibres and their acceptability to human touch is growing. We need to be part of that industry as well.” He added, “There is a huge economic potential in new age kind of textiles. We should able to build the eco system around us and make that work towards profitability in modern times.”

Jayavarthanavelu also shared some examples. He said: “There is a company that is trying to convert wood fibre into yarn by skipping a lot of processes and making it far more eco friendly and less water consumption. There are giants that are experimenting with fabric recycling technology into high-quality thread. It will also help in reducing carbon footprint. These add far more value to the textile chain. Even the conventional business of making yarn also seem to be increasing day by day.” “Three-dimension, despite being in the nascent stage, is here to stay,” added the CMD of LWM.

Sanjay Jain, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) India, likes to always speak through his heart. This time was no different. He said, “Textile industry needs to find way to stay young and energetic. We had GST and demonetisation problems, we had slow growth and recession in front of us. We also had issues of export competitiveness; imports too had an issue. Imports are growing and probably will grow more. These are well known problems to us.”

He thinks that problems are always going to remain. He added, “Textile is a fragmented industry. We don’t have even 1 per cent share in the Indian textile market. Rather then looking at the macro picture, we should first look at the micro level.”

Jain thinks that we need to move away from conventional thinking. He added, “We should move away from the thought. There is a saying: Change is constant. But I think that change is disruptive form. Things are changing so fast. Rather than change we need to disrupt. There are coming who have been thinking out of the box, have made changes in the system and are leaders in the field. Just being large is not enough.”

The theme presentation delivered by Prashant Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Wazir Advisors, knowledge partner to Atexcon, presented the global trends which are changing the shape of industry and focused on initiatives required to be taken up by industry to keep pace.

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