Apparel Training and Design Centre (ATDC)

By Dr. Darlie Koshy, CEO
Dr. Darlie Koshy,CEO Through the initiative of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) was established in 1986. NIFT was positioned as a college of Design, Technology and Business, and at the same time there was a need for creating a cadre of skilled technicians and technical professionals to assist designers, merchandisers, production managers and many others, thus, ATDC was born out of this desire and felt-need of the industry. A team of NIFT faculty members interacted with AEPC (Apparel Export Promotion Council) to develop an industry relevant curricula, underlying the need for quality pattern makers, designers, sewing machine operators, factory managers, industrial, engineering experts and other technologies of CAD/CAM and more. As an outcome of the interaction, Chennai saw the launch of ATDC's first centre in 1996 and later in the same year another 5 centres came up in major Apparel Clusters. This was thus the starting point for an 'Institute by the industry of the industry, and for the industry.'

Today, ATDC acts as the backbone of technical skills & technology for the apparel industry. The centre develops apparel manufacturing specialists and technical professionals who can help industry develop garments for exports and 'fashion' for domestic markets. The key objectives of the centre include its emphasis on 'time' and 'speed' which are essential in making 'fashion for World Markets' clothes. "Fashion is also 'TIME' in another sense. If you are producing fashionable garments ahead of time, you can sell those at a premium; if you are producing right on time, you sell the same at a regular price. However, if you are lagging, you will sell those at a discounted price.

So, the essence of fashion is time and unfortunately, Indian fashion industry has not yet fully realised this important dimension of 'TIME'. Most of the garment makers think they're selling just clothes and forget to link time! In reality, everyone is selling 'fashion on time'. We are training students with sewing machines that have 4500-5500 rpm or even more. In other words, we are looking at developing to skilled workforce & professionals who could become 'Ferrari' or 'Lamborghini' of the fashion industry," says Dr. Darlie Koshy, CEO, ATDC.

ATDC has been at the forefront of
creating new curricula and pedagogies focused on enhancing the technological skills of the students. The entire Curricula has been developed on the request of AICTE by eminent academics & industry experts from the fashion industry under the chairmanship of Dr. Darlie Koshy, DG & CEO of ATDC in 2012-13. The curricula for short duration ISDS training courses were developed in 2009-10 and long duration courses in 2012-13. The fast-track 'SMART' courses were crafted with the assistance Paul Collyer an Expert in Apparel Manufacturing Technology from UK & and latest trained by SLITA (Sri Lankan Institute of Textile & Apparel).

"ATDC have developed a curriculum that is focused on enhancing the technological skills of the students"

"In the first year, there were about 14,000 enrolments in SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Timely) program. From that number, we had reached cumulatively 2,20,000 students by 2017. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) is the Flagship 'Placement Linked Skilling' initiative of the respective States & Ministry of Rural Development recently included by ATDC since 2012. The scheme focuses on catering to the aspirations of rural youth and enhancing their skills for wage employment in the formal sector.

In the regular learning centers, the classrooms have computers with latest software and ATDC provides students tablets to learn all the way from the typing tutor to the new technologies. We are actually following DDU GKY format which is very process and systems oriented. Classroom training is always recorded for review purposes. In specific terms, teaching has become measurable, observable, rigorous and intense," ATDC has now DDUGKY academies in 7 states in India explain Dr. Koshy and a new Academy will be established in ATDC Chhindwara Campus soon.

ATDC has 500 plus regular faculty members with another 100 plus guest faculty members & contemporary training infrastructure with 8500 machines for better 'learning' outcomes. It has adopted GAP P.A.C.E program as the base for soft & life skills training of 60-80 hrs. There are about 228 master trainers for delivering soft Life-skills training giving a thrust to comprehensive personality development. The ATDC faculty impart job specific training to make better pattern makers, sewing machine operators, production managers, industrial engineers.

Training the trainers is another aspect that distinguishes ATDC from other training providers. It has 25 BVoc training (300 hrs to 3 years Bachelors' Degree Programme) centres including
Okhla, Gurugram, Noida, Rohini, Dilshad Garden, Faridabad, Dwarka, centres in NCR and two centres in North-East. There is also online training program only for faculty upgradation. This is especially being offered for the faculty who are teaching B.Voc courses. B.Voc students receive scholarships from GAP USA & other CSR sponsorship agencies. There are students who have keen desire to learn but family situations stop them. "A student's mother was laid up for long time with father working as an 'itinerant' labor. This student had tremendous aspiration for learning but financial situation was bad. The B.Voc program assisted by CSR sponsorship helped the student to get more employable skills before industry placement", states Dr. Koshy.

Supervising the students' progression to sustainable careers, ATDC has been facilitating large scale recruitment through 'Rozgar Melas' for every batch. Almost 200 Apparel Exporters and domestic industrial on-line e-commerce brands are regular recruiters. Dr. Koshy asserts, "Students come from humble family backgrounds. They have a fire in the belly to achieve. For them, we provide both support for education through CSR and loans for entrepreneurship through NBCFDC and other apex agencies etc." He believes that Industrial Revolution 4.0 is knocking at the door with robotics and Artificial Intelligence alongside. However, fashion and apparel industry being a creative one will always demand creative professionals. ATDC is creating the essential difference in this by skilling students with technology, innovative thinking culture for now and the future.

Dr. Darlie Koshy, CEO
Dr. Koshy is a PhD from IIT Delhi and MBA rank holder from CUSAT. He got specialised training in Fashion Management FIT, NY during 1986-87 for setting up the 1st NIFT in New Delhi. Thereafter he worked as the Founding Head of Fashion Management at NIFT (Ministry of Textiles, GoI), New Delhi before being appointed as the Director of NID Ahmedabad (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, MoT, GoI) from 2000-2009 and then took up the charge as DG & CEO of Apparel Training & Design Centre (under the aegis of AEPC, sponsored by GoI) from Jan, 2009. He has two Major books on 'Fashion Marketing and one on 'Indian Design' and has been awarded many International/National recognitions including 'Holden Medal of TI, UK'. He is a respected teacher and guide, and for the last 10-11 years Dr. Koshy is heading ATDC helping in its transformation and leadership position in Vocational Education and training.
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