Sonal Jindal, Founder/Director of MEDUSA and Managing Partner of MEDUSA Source, says in clear terms that the Indian fashion industry will need to rethink its production strategy and value quality over quantity, if it wants to come out of the current pandemic unscathed. She adds that the out-of-box thinking, like focus on just-in-time production is going to help the industry survive against the corona onslaught.
Sonal is the owner of MEDUSA, which is an exhibition and event management platform that showcases budding designers in different fields. Her birth into a family having deep roots in the hospitality industry instilled in her the business ethos right since the beginning. She has synchronised her ambition with her career so beautifully in the form of MEDUSA. Therefore, as an insider, she is in a better position to advise the Indian fashion industry regarding survival in these harsh times.
Retailers Association of India has predicted that the clothing sector will take about a year to recover post-COVID-19 scenario. In a recent webinar, along with other industry associations, anticipated a 25-30% cut in business with a ripple effect that would impact almost all subsidiary industries and lead to job losses. Therefore the need of the hour is a robust survival plan, says Sonal Jindal, Founder-Director, MEDUSA, a B2C exhibition platform.
At present, retailers selling apparel and lifestyle products are not allowed to sell in their stores as well as on online platforms. With the industry experts’ forecast that large and small companies in the business will take anywhere between 6-12 months to revive themselves, Sonal believes that it is the manufacturers’ and retailers’ ingenuity & creativity that will see us through this pandemic and help us survive the worst of times.
The apparel manufacturing industry employs about 12 million people, out of which 7 million work in the domestic sector. Job losses and salary cuts will be another severe impact that the industry will have to bear. Sonal Jindal advocates looking after these vulnerable workers in these difficult times. However, more importantly, she says, what is utmost is the workers’ safety, especially those who are forced to continue work in the factories where basic operations have to be kept running.
Despite the bleak forecast of all kinds, Sonal, also Managing Partner at MEDUSA Source, feels that the industry can still bat on the front foot if it innovates. Sonal advocates, “Out-of-the-box thinking is required to move forward during and post-COVID-19 era, just like the world gathered itself and survived the World Wars, Spanish Flue, The Great Famine, etc.”
She bats for sustainability in garment business, more investment in researching anti-virus clothing range, focus on just-in-time production, etc as pointers to help the industry find its way out of the pandemic.