Sustaining business amid pandemic key to survival
Balbir Kumar, Director, Octave Apparels
Industry & Lockdown
Ludhiana, May 25
Balbir Kumar, director, Octave Apparels, has been running the company successfully since 1991. Octave is a well-known name not only in the city, but across India. It manufactures garments and has a large retail chain.
With the passage of time, it has been able to spread its wings outside the country too. It has been running successfully since long with the turnover of Rs 250 crore yearly. “Since its establishment, the company has faced several challenges, but the Covid-19 proved to be the toughest of all. However, we are quite optimistic that this tough phase will also pass soon, giving new life lessons,” says Balbir Kumar.
What is the impact of Covid on garments manufacturers and industry?
The Covid-19 pandemic has badly affected the economy and the industry. Apparently, sustaining the business during these tough times is the key for survival. The unknown fate of retail sector, especially shopping malls, where huge inventory is in stores, is inaccessible currently.
What are the things that can get the industry back on track?
We need to introduce new innovative products with anti-microbial /anti-viral treatments. Besides, conservative production for coming seasons, and more of basic and functional fashion with controlled prices can help revive the industry. It will take at least 18-24 months to revive the economy.
How are you tackling your workers?
We are assuring the team of a promising future. We are paying full salaries and wages for the lockdown period. Ensuring safety gear for workers, including face shields/masks/gloves, is our main priority. We are also maintaining social distancing on the work premises and ensuring frequent sanitisation of workers as well as premises.
What is the impact of decrease in imports from China?
Travel restrictions will result in lower/negligible imports of garments. This will result in growth for domestic manufacturers/brands. Vocal for local will also help in growth of domestic players. I am hopeful of getting on track within a short span.