Innovation emerged as the leitmotif in two diverse events that I had the opportunity of attending recently. These were the Scottish Textile Conference held at Glasgow and an exhibition showcasing the work of the acclaimed textile designer Bernat Klein.
“Not to innovate is to perish”, is how Giovanni Benedetti, a serial entrepreneur and Chairman of Benedetti International plc, described the importance of innovation at the Scottish Textile Conference. He urged the textile industry community to pursue innovation to keep ahead of the competition. His call was particularly relevant to the present day context, wherein the Scottish Textile industry faces the challenge of high production costs in Britain and an increasingly price sensitive market. In such a scenario, differentiation must be made in terms of innovation and quality. A business based merely on a “me-too” approach, runs at its own peril. The only edge that it may have is a cost advantage. But that too may be short-lived, till the next “me-too” arrives with an even lower price. So, unless a business consistently creates something novel, it cannot hope to survive in the long run.