Clothed in Cotton and Innovation

So I’m still plugging away at my portion of the project for Global Issues related to the Indian textile producers and exporters, particularly those from the city of Tirupur. But I’ve also got more than a little prep I’ve been working on for this weekend’s continuation of the Managing Technology module.

I spent a good part of yesterday going back and forth between the two topics because I was gifted with something nearly miraculous: a Wednesday in which ALL of my need-to-be-in-the-office-for meetings were cancelled. I had one teleconference but that can be done anywhere.

For the technology module this weekend we’re talking about, among other topics, innovation and managing technical professionals. We’ve got two expert guests (one works for Motorola Solutions, the other for IBM) who will assist Dr. Bond in teaching us on the topics. For the innovation topic we were supposed to watch this video with the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Dr. Clayton Christensen. We were also assigned a couple of summaries/reviews of the Innovator’s Deilemma so that we could be somewhat familiar with the topic without having to read the entire book (320 pages…would be a tall order considering everything else).

Add in another few articles on both topics and you’ll get the idea. Two short videos and a few dozen pages of reading. Not awful, and it made a nice filler when I was tired of reading and writing about imports of cotton apparel from India. India imports about $355M in cotton apparel (shirts, pants, underwear, PJs, you name it) to the United States right now each year. This represents 4.5% of the overall market for those product groups. Imports from seven major countries (China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia) represent anywhere from 41% to 81% of the total U.S. market for those clothing items. (Men’s shirts and underwear are lower shares, Women’s & Girls pants and shorts and miscellaneous cotton clothing at the top end). I don’t know for absolute certain, but I’m assuming the dollar amounts are what’s paid to Indian manufacturers not the end sales revenues for the products when you or I buy new skivvies and such.

I am learning something from this project, but I’m not yet enjoying it. I’m thankful I get to work with a great team of folks, and that my cohort is first-rate and we’ll make Bradley (and our employers) proud when we present in Tirupur. But I’m still longing to get on to the capstone and be done with the program. Four. More. Months.

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