Last week, Founder & CEO, Suuchi Ramesh sat down for an interview with host of NADAQ’s Trade Talks and Global Markets Reporter, Jill Malandrino, to discuss how technology is revolutionizing legacy industries such as apparel. Suuchi explained how technology such as the Suuchi GRID can allow brands and retailers can use the GRID to track their entire supply chain in real-time. In light of the ever-developing US-China trade wars, Suuchi also explained that if brands are looking to be able to survive in the industry.
Watch or read the entire interview to learn more about Suuchi Inc. and the importance of technology throughout the apparel supply chain.
Jill Malandrino: Welcome to NASAQ Trade Talks. I’m your host Jill Malandrino, Global Markets Reporter at NASDAQ. Joining me at the MarketSite in Times Square we have Suuchi Ramesh. She is the Founder & CEO of Suuchi Inc. and we are going to talk about tech continuing to disrupt legacy industries. Suuchi thanks so much for joining us.
Suuchi Ramesh: Thank you!
JM: So, Suuchi you’re a next-generation supply chain for the apparel industry. Tell us a little more about that. What does that mean?
SR: We’re a next-generation platform for fashion brands and retailers. So what that means is that our backbone is the Suuchi GRID. The GRID is a software that tracks the entire supply chain, it provides minute-to-minute data, tracking, analytics for all the participants and the GRID is very intuitive. Its a very modern interface and it sits on top of a network of freelancers and factories. So today we have about 350 factories in our network, most of them in North America, but some in Central and South America, as well. So, through the software and this very powerful network, we actually provide solutions–design, production of clothing, shoes, bags–for over 300 brands today and we have a capacity of over 30 million units.
JM: Before we get into the technology behind it, let’s discuss the elephant in the room and of course that’s US and China trade as the rhetoric continues to escalate. How’s that going to impact apparel and consumer spending trends?
SR: Look, I think the smartest brands and retailers should be building a portfolio and a supply chain much like any financial portfolio. If you have your entire supply chain sitting in one country or continent, you’re exposing yourself to so many risks. So the macroeconomics aside, I think the brands that will survive tomorrow will hedge their risks and hence diversify their portfolio and their supply chain across the world. Of course, you add the other shift which is consumers today. The conscious consumer wants things fast, they want to be able to buy clothing that is made locally, they want it to be sustainable, and they also want variety in design. If you combine these two things together and we’re going to see a shift for a creation of a global supply chain that is really local-for-local. I think is really a timely–with the macroeconomics aside–we have seen executives in these really large companies making decisions about sowing the seeds to having local supply chains and that’s not just a trend, that’s a permanent shift.
JM: Now you’re a technologist by trade.
JM: Now tell us more about your background.
SR: I’m a software engineer. I did my MBA in software, as well, and I was in tech for about 10 years before Suuchi Inc. I started with Intel in the Supply Chain Analytics division and then went on to join two other venture-backed tech companies in the B2B enterprise space. So coming into building Suuchi Inc., I had a very different perspective and perhaps both a little bit naive, but also a fresh pair of lenses and a fresh pair of eyes if you would.
JM: We’ve seen in a lot of industries that tech is coming in and it really is transforming how legacy industries work. Why haven’t some other industries really caught on with how data analytics and supply chain are changing everything about the landscape?
SR: Yes, if you look at it outside looking in, there’s really two different types of industries in the world we live in today. There are some industries that are really in the fourth or fifth wave of analytics and data, but if you look at mature industries, the apparel supply chain for one, and some other mature legacy industries, a lot of these participants are still on email. They’re very technology-hesitant, so it’s very hard to go from where they are to jumping on to data and analytics. It’s really a staggered step-wise approach where they need a strategic partner that is really guiding them to strategy and having an opinion on data that’s really a stepwise. You can’t take somebody that is not even on email and expect them to adopt advanced analytics. So how do you stage them towards getting there, I think that’s the solution.
JM: It sounds like, Suuchi, that particular platform can be used for multiple industries.
SR: Yes it does and that’s the goal, ultimately, is to provide a very simple, intuitive platform that can handhold companies no matter what stage they’re at to have a data thesis or having a data voice, but really allowing them to do it in a way that makes sense for them. Then of course we clearly see a path to having the GRID and the Suuchi Inc. ecosystem applied to different types of industries.
JM: Suuchi thanks so much for joining us at MarketSite.
SR: Thank you! Great to be here.
JM: Thanks for joining me on Trade Talks. I’m Jill Malandrino, Global Markets Reporter at NASDAQ.