The Indian fashion technology space has been lagging behind when compared to the global fashion industry for many years now. The lack of creative designers and professionals working in the field and the pedestrian attitude of the people has been holding back the industries growth in the country. With the establishment of various fashion technology institutes and the advent of the latest technology, the Indian fashion technology industry is all set for a brighter and more prosperous future. The attitude of the people towards the industry is also changing after realizing the immense job opportunities that the sector can offer. With many young aspirants showing interest in pursuing their careers in fashion, the previous perception of not seeing fashion designing as a mainstream profession is also falling apart.
"Technology today has evolved so much so that you can design a garment, judge the sales volumes and generate a PO using software algorithms"
1. How has fashion technology space evolved over the years? Provide insight into the kind of innovations that the sector has embraced over the years.
Fashion industry has been evolving rapidly in the past decade in India. The trend of buying fabric to stitch garments has diminished in the last 10 years and the fashion industry has thus grown and transformed as ready to wear garments in a big way. Tailor shops in the vicinity have vanished and trendy, fashionable ready-made clothing stores have taken over.
With Myntra, Flipkart, and Amazon, it has become very easy to make choices. The apps present you trendy looks and also give suggestions to match the tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories. The age-old taking your best friend to choose clothes for you is behind us today.
2. With the world seeing rapid technological advancements, how has technology assisted in fashion technology? What modern-age technologies is the sector looking forward to?
With the emergence of world-class fashion institutes such as the National Institute of Design, National Institute of Fashion Technology and many others, the young talent has been groomed to cater to the fast-changing needs of the fashion industry. These tech-savvy young professionals have introduced novel ideas. Today a lot of shopping happens on phones and tabs which is the biggest technological advancement.
The technology today has evolved so much so that you can design a garment, judge the sales volumes and generate a PO using software algorithms. There are a few brands that are using these algorithms with minimal manpower and have managed to reach turnovers of 300 Crores plus. Making tech-packs, measurements, and auto-cutting have advanced so much. Sewing machines have become automatic and interactive. They capture data and show you analysis.
3. As the fashion technology industry is flourishing at a frantic pace, what future prospects do you think the segment awaits?
The segment has a great future. Whether its retail, brand, e-tail or designer-wear there are great opportunities that can be tapped into. There are plenty of career options like manufacturing, quality, design, merchandising, and supply-chain which are challenging and futuristic careers in the fashion industry.
4. How is this market helping in building a more coherent and cohesive workplace?
Workplaces are evolving. They are more lively, futuristic, and technologically advanced. Even manufacturing is now advanced with a lot of robotics. The speed of communication has drastically improved. One can have a video conference today with customers sitting in the US or Europe which has made the world so much smaller today. So everyone is linked and boundaries between personal life and work-life are diminishing. Workplaces are serving all three meals in many cases which brings people closer and offices are becoming second homes.
5. What strategy should the fashion technology industry adopt in order to position its growth in India?
Fashion technology should work in innovation to improve cost competitiveness. The government of India needs to negotiate trade deals to make fashion retail as well as exports more attractive business propositions. Domestic consumption is increasing and with your phones and tabs today, the need of the hour is to engage the young millennial who will propel the growth of the industry rapidly.
6. On a concluding note, based on your robust industry experience and knowledge, what message do you want to put across to the readers, stakeholders, investors, business partners, start-ups, and budding entrepreneurs?
I think today we are at crossroads as far as the fashion industry is concerned. Manufacturing, Exports and Retail need to evolve along with the present sustainable fashion which is also cost-competitive. Companies, who will be able to do this, will grow many folds. At the same time, if companies do not adapt quickly we may see a lot of them dying. So look for good picks whether it's an aspiring professional, entrepreneur or investor.