Q. In your opinion, what is the state of safety industry in India and what is the trend you see in the space?
While we applaud the growth of the safety industry in India and the evolving maturity that some of the industry leaders have brought in, our reading is that there is a level of compromise still noticed at times with some players in the industry using low-cost and less effective protection equipments, which obviously continues to be a huge risk.
The Government’s structured and rigid approach on safety measures will surely help increase the standardisation in process and equipment within the safety industry. In coming times, with the focus on “Make In India” being initiated at the highest level, I see a positive trend in huge reduction in this level of compromise that still exists.
Q. What are the safety related products that you offer?
Dickies believe in building quality into each and every product that carries its name. We are known to maintain consistency across our entire product range globally.
Built upon a legacy of innovation, the Dickies portfolio is broad. Internationally, it ranges from the Iconic Work Pant to Denim, Work-wear, Outerwear and Cold Weather accessories, to casual use of products for those who enjoy work-inspired apparel.
In India, our safety related product introduction has been in the FR (Flame Resistant) clothing area along with Hi-Visibility Work-wear and Safety Footwear. Later this Year we plan to introduce other PPE products like Safety Goggles, Gloves & Helmets after we have localised production of these ranges to counter heavy import duty impact.
Q. What is the advantage of Dickies products vis-a-vis the competition?
In India our competition are mostly home-grown brands, who have used innovation and a fair amount of R&D to popularise the performance of their clothing/safety equipment. At Dickies India, we lean on the reputation and long-standing history in Work-wear which Williamson-Dickie has achieved.
As a quality policy we rigidly comply to AQL 4 standards for all work-wear products and similarly inspect footwear as per internationally recognized ratings.
In general, every Dickies product is QA checked and no style / prototype is put into bulk production without formal approvals from Dickies USA. Third party lab testing is done regularly on each product-type to reassure ourselves and stake holders about the product and performance standards
Q. What is the marketing and channel strategy?
Being primarily a B2B brand in India, we would like to market /communicate to the group/category with specific media. We would be part-taking in sport, music and events to market Dickies Work-wear. We
plan to increase our distribution channel partners covering all parts of our nation
and portions of our neighbouring countries within this year.
Q. What are the challenges that you are currently facing in India.
The biggest challenge in India is creating awareness about the quality of work-wear that is required. Most MNCs are aware of the need for quality work-wear. However, Indian Companies are yet to completely transition from the smaller/disorganised supplier base, who are entirely capable of meeting the need for quality work-wear and safety products. The bigger concern is the compliance level of these suppliers’ workshops and factories – most of them still indulge in sweat-shop manufacturing methodology.
Additionally, considering that safety work-wear is treated as secondary requirement, most organization do not respect reasonable payment terms and these delays do cause cash flow issues at our end.
Q. How do you account R & D activity in your company?
One can expect no less from the number one global brand in Work-wear. Dickies have protected America’s workers since 1922 with quality work-wear that’s built with purpose. Our Flame Resistant products are carefully constructed with premium materials that meet or exceed safety standards and are designed for comfort and durability. Most Dickies FR garments are also NFPA 2112 certified to protect against hazardous condition found on the toughest jobs. Designed for protection and selected for comfort!
In the industrial sector, we use durable, long lasting and rugged fabrics which stand up to work, wear and tear. All products are mostly fade resistant, stain release and wrinkle resistant for easy care and all day comfort for indoor and outdoor work.
Similarly, the safety footwear range has been carefully replicated from the wider Dickies International range, keeping in mind the hazardous and challenging Indian Work conditions.
Q. What kind of plans and expectations do you have for this Dickies Safety Products?
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Dickies in India will also focus on brand building and expansion efforts across the nation. Besides the efforts that are already yielding results from social media marketing and sales via ecommerce sites, we plan to introduce our first “Guide store” in Bangalore and spread the branding via advertising in various media.
Product launches from time to time will be introduced using these vehicles so that Dickies as a brand is more well-known across the entire market.
As always the Dickies brand stands for providing values of comfort, durability and functionality at an affordable price to the customer. The efforts to grow and strengthen the Dickies business in the sub-continent will be the primary focus for my team and I over 2017 – 2018. We have started exploring avenues to market our work-wear in Sri Lanka and would be looking at Bangladesh towards the end of the year.
About Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co.
Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. is the world’s leading provider of authentic work apparel, specializing in innovative performance work wear since 1922. The company offers premium quality products at an unmatched value across a vast assortment of apparel, footwear, and licensed goods in more than 100 countries. Williamson-Dickie operates through wholly-owned affiliates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, China, Japan and the Middle East; exclusive licensees and distributors in Africa, India, and the Asia Pacific region; and under the Dickies®, Workrite®, Kodiak®, Terra®, Walls®, Big Smith®, 10X®, Liberty® and Duxbak® brands.
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ID Overseas Private Limited
ID Overseas is a group company of Indian Designs Exports Private Limited. From a humble beginning in 1993, Indian Designs Exports Private Ltd. has grown to become a preferred supplier to some of the World’s best-known and most respected clothing brands and listed as one of the top ten apparel exporter from India. We currently employ around 12,000 people and produce up to two million garments per month.
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