If there ever was a picture that spoke of the status and the opportunity that uniforms offer India it is this. On one hand we see an ultra-modern technologically advanced Made in India missile showcasing that India is on par with the best in the world, and on the other hand is an image of abysmal usage /non-usage of uniforms /PPE.
This is but just one example.
We must observe around us, and we will see so many opportunities for better uniform usage – to create a corporate image, or to offer protection to workers. Or both.
It is not about money – as companies and individuals can easily afford a good set of uniforms – it is about attitude.
A change in attitude towards uniforms and uniform wearers can become a huge catalyst for India and its image in the world. China has become the world’s largest uniform usage market – reported to be worth US$ 25 billion. The standards that China follows are very strict, uniform usage is wide and as it has three seasons – the per capita usage of uniforms is equally high.
European and American uniform companies would be upset with themselves for ignoring this opportunity, which Japanese companies took full advantage of; this can be seen in the design and standards that are followed in China for uniforms.
Making our workers smart – would have a ripple effect all around:
- Textile mills will benefit;
- Employment will grow;
- Worker will be more confident, and productivity will improve;
- Overall country image will improve – people in uniforms get noticed and in this age of global media coverage – good uniforms will lead to a positive impression of the country;
- It will improve the health and safety guidelines and practices;
- It will help inculcate the missing D-in India’s global offering – Discipline.
Uniforms do make a difference. We must recognise this fact, stop cutting corners while working on a uniform programme or looking at the need for one.
Like China, India is all about numbers. To give just one example, we have more than 9 million private security guards – in our offices /homes/societies, etc. – how many of them have a proper uniform? Just dressing them well would require nearly 40 million metres of fabrics. With at least 18 million sets of uniforms to be stitched – that would be quite an employment generator.
How can we improve the usage of uniforms
- Strict guidelines for uniform usage and its Implementation.
- Zero tolerance towards negligence in specifying the correct protective wear for workers.
- Openness to accept global best practices.
- Uniforms are not an expense to be cut – or avoided – they are an integral need for the work to be done. We must focus on good design/quality to help give fit for purpose uniform.
Today when the textile industry is struggling – uniforms can be the balm that the industry needs. While a marriage can take place without guests or much fanfare – a worker cannot work without uniform.
(Mukesh Vijaywargi is Area Director, New Markets, Klopman International)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Klopman International SRL