What Is the My Changing Role and Key Skills to Be Acquired?
I am working for an apparel manufacturing company, EthnicCharisma, dealing in personalized fashion garments, essentially for women. We have only two outlets in the Dubai and we cater mostly to the local buyers including tourists. At present several tourists buy traditional scarves and garments as souvenirs for their families back at home. However our focus is not on exports. At present we are making moderate sale especially during the winters. Our company focuses on brick and mortar based point of sales rather than e-commerce. Also the tastes are changing and hence competition from online transactions is increasing becoming our threats.
UAE is one of the key textile markets globally and was worth USD13 billion in 2011. The apparel and footwear segments went through slow growth compared to 2015. This is due to falling prices of oil and gold since 2014. The retailers are coming up with innovative offers in order to compensate the situation and maintain some kind of positive growth (Euro Monitor International, 2017). The pressure is higher due to slowing economies, budget constraints and salary cuts. So the key factor is innovative ways of marketing and adapting to changing westernized tastes and preferences. Also the more the firm can diversify the better.
In my company where I mainly look after the marketing and customer relations, the focus is essentially on traditional women’s wear. They are presently contemplating diversification into kids’ and men’s wear. However I personally think that instead of considering garments, the venture could stream into gems and jewelries or accessories like bags and designer watches. The products should also match the changing tastes and be knitted into more fashionable light and close fit garments instead of loose and heavy work ethnic embroideries.
The first change driver would be the marketing department. Also a research team might be required in order to carry out some market survey to know the tastes and preferences from potential customers’ feedbacks. I also believe the company’s presence in social media and e-commerce is essential. All these aspects can help in improving the ways of marketing. All these would require proper training, fresh hiring of young and technical people. Skills should be upgraded. Company can hire a professional fashion designer if required. So leader’s change related action, change-related training and aligned human resources practices are the key change drivers (Whelan-Berry and Somerville, 2010). This will obviously take its toll on the cost burden but the investment should pay off in long term. Some of the old staff might feel vulnerable and at risk. The company needs to figure out some ways of using the old people as well instead of wasting too much time training them. Other companies might take advantage of this disturbance if the change is not managed well and attempt to takeaway our market share. This is the main threat. Maintaining consumers’ confidence in the face of rising international brands like H&M, Zara, Next and Matalan is a major challenge but the new strategies should also bring more opportunities to cater to the global market now (Euro Monitor International, 2017). This will be a phase of proactive change which could be difficult as well as an opportune change process for us (Nadina, 2011).
My role would perhaps shift from more talking to more typing and less talking. There is a chance that I will need to develop content for marketing through social media. The website needs to be developed attractively. I may need to get involved in some market research before launch of new product line for men and kids. Also its will be important to play as the linkage between customers and the designers and tailors.
By the end of the module I expect to be able to apply the theories to practice. In fact I am already associating the theoretical terms more commonly relevant to the business I am familiar with. I also believe I will be more tolerant and confident in dealing with consumers. It is at times important to think like the owners in order to perform better. One needs to expect the worst and work for the best. Keeping a backup plan is very important to face drastic changes. I should be able to do this more efficiently as the module ends.
Euro Monitor International, (2017), Apparel and Footwear in the United Arab Emirates, Country Report. Retrieved from: https://www.euromonitor.com/apparel-and-footwear-in-the-united-arab-emirates/report
Nadina, R.R.(2011). METHODS OF IDENTIFICATION OF THE NEED FOR ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AS BEING OPPORTUNE, West University of Timioara, Retrieved from: https://ideas.repec.org/a/ora/journl/v1y2011i2p707-712.html
Whelan-Berry, K.S. and K.A. Somerville, (2010), Linking Change Drivers and the Organizational Change Process: A Review and Synthesis, Journal of Change Management, 10( 2), 175– 193
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