The global Coronavirus pandemic has brought the country to hold. The impact of COVID-19 on the apparel industry is no different. With nation-wide lockdown, the manufacturing units and retail shops have been shut. Thus, impacting the production, sales, exports, and jobs in the apparel industry. We interacted with Dr. Darlie Koshy, Director General, Apparel Training and Design Centre (ATDC) to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the apparel industry. Read more from the excerpts from our conversation.
Developments in the apparel industry due to COVID-19
The Coronavirus pandemic has created an impact on every sector in the country and the apparel industry is no exception. Like in every manufacturing industry, the operations and sales in the apparel industry also came to a halt. However, there have been a few positive developments in this area.
Our perception of many things has changed. We moved from the crowd to the community. Some of the leading associations in the apparel sector have taken excellent steps to cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic. These associations have requested major apparel brands to not cancel their export orders due to the global pandemic. Companies like H&M and Mango have assured us that the orders will not be canceled.
Steps have also been taken in the direction of bringing a little more cohesion, in terms of policy modifications, to take support from the government, RBI and banking sector. This has brought much relief and coordination to the manufacturing companies. This coordination has also enabled many companies to work upon manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Adoption of technology and automation
With the closing of Industries and manufacturing units, many migrant workers went back to their homes. In the post-COVID scenario, when these workers come back, they need to be trained on technological advancements and automation. The “RUN” – Reskilling, Upskilling, and New skilling approach must be followed to train not only the existing employees but also the new entrants in the labour force. The post-COVID scenario will lead to a rethinking of factories, where the industries might adopt technology rapidly and go for new attachments, profiling machines, and modular production systems, etc.
Online learning during COVID-19
Many international organisations, like GAP, are conducting the Master Trainer Program on the Zoom platform. They are also conducting online meditation and yoga classes to keep their employees motivated during the global pandemic. Similarly, many other companies are also using new technologies to keep up and cope with COVID-19. The companies have been able to collectively communicate, motivate, train the trainers, etc. through digital platforms and use of technology. Therefore, digital training will grow exponentially in the coming months.
Related Article: ATDC goes online to deliver DDU-GKY courses during COVID-19 crisis – Read More: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/atdc-goes-online-to-deliver-ddu-gky-courses-during-covid-19-crisis/
Many digital or online learning platforms have also cooperated and enabled online learning for students at affordable rates. There have been many free services, global digital cooperation among the organisations. This changed our perception, the tools, and techniques of performing tasks. With all the positive steps taken, India will come out of the pandemic as a superpower.