HK Apparel: Embracing technology to grow in the post-COVID world

April 27, 2021

On 20 April, Serai and HSBC hosted a panel of industry experts to discuss how the Hong Kong apparel industry can embrace technology to grow in the post COVID world. 

We were joined by Vivek Ramachandran, CEO of Serai; Anita Ou, Managing Director of Corporate Commercial Banking at HSBC HK; Edwin Keh, CEO of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA); and Will Lam, Managing Director of High Fashion Group

Vivek Ramachandran began with a brief analysis on how the apparel industry has changed. With new ways of working across travel, data, and more, the world is not going back. 

To adjust to this new reality, Hong Kong manufacturers must adapt. 

  1. Differentiate beyond manufacturing
  2. Adopt digital tools
  3. Embrace transparency

Edwin Keh from HKRITA spoke about some of Hong Kong company’s competitive advantages as manufacturers, and how they can come out of this pandemic with new ways of dealing with opportunities. 

“Most people work with Hong Kong based suppliers and sourcing companies for reasons that date back many years and don’t apply anymore. They’re here because it’s cheap and because it’s flexible. But today, the customer is actually looking for more.” - Edwin Keh

Consumer demands have changed, and there is a need for new types of businesses to serve those. What businesses need is more agility to deliver to the right marketplace, whether it is traditional brick and mortar or e-commerce. 

Hong Kong companies have a few advantages going into satisfying these demands. 

  1. HK’s legacy in both a sourcing and a financial marketplace
  2. The tremendous upstream and downstream visibility for most global supply chains
  3. Value creation in technical design and logistics all the way to “last mile” distribution

Lastly, Will Lam from High Fashion Group concluded the webinar with a few key pieces of advice from his business’ experience handling the pandemic. 

Companies always need to stay prepared for new business models. For High Fashion Group, the question at the core of their business is “How do we stay productive?” By investing in video conferencing capabilities, enhanced system integrations, and inventing operating systems to increase transparency, internal and external communications are more efficient than ever. 

No matter if you’re in Hong Kong, mainland China, Asia Pacific, or the US, clients can easily access the data High Fashion shares. They can track the production flow of garments, and their status at different points. Sharing this data helps improve trust among the clients. 

“We will make sure that we keep finding new ways to change and cope with the new world. Digital transformation is one of the keys to enhancing communications with clients, staff, and other stakeholders.” - Will Lam

We hope you enjoyed these highlights, and if you want to improve your digital presence today, be sure to sign up for Serai now!

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