Sunday, January 20, 2008

India Day 4

In India there are a lot of one word historical epochs

1947 was ‘Independence’
1974-1976?? was ‘Emergency’
Jan. 19th 2008 ‘Adjustment’

adjustment. this is what they call delhi belly. for me the 36 hrs. was more like what i’d imagine the best and worst of an absinthe hangover in a sadistic weight loss clinic. i was pretty sick (delirious...fwiw)

lesson -- don’t drink the water in India. no -- seriously, don’t. they don’t even drink it (if they have a choice).

After a rough outing on the first day of the show and an effective withdrawal on the 2nd, Merrow did well on the third.

I met one of the largest garment factories in the world (employee base, 50,000-75,000.... people) We talked shop about buttseaming (they have 60 -- can someone please get me an accurate idea of the # of machines a company should have at a given size--it appears that if you're big you have 60-80. end of story. what??), and scheduled a visit in Bangalore

With many more customers we talked about blanket stitching, emblem edging and butt seaming.

We also found out how little people know of Merrow. They know 'Merrow' (high quality xyz machine) -- but no one knew what we did in entirety. And almost everyone we spoke to had a supply issue.

We need more machines & parts-- we need to get our act together and shorten our delivery times. Customers need a lot of different machines, lots of different parts, this is their challenge. Now we figure it out -- this is our mandate.

This means getting them machines, parts, support. A new website, new stitch samples, marketing material-- this means blocking and tackling. It's easy to talk about in the office -- a lot harder to see how much energy companies with hundreds of sales people will dedicate to Merrow if we can give them something to work with....

that said, the people at HCA were fantastic -- I took video of the party after the show tonight, like nothing i’ve ever seen.

India is growing roughly 10%GDP per year (this year will be a little less). You can feel change in the air, and smell it and hear it. And yet there is always the relative measure of how things are ‘it’s not as good as last year...’ They have no idea how good they have it...which is an almost impossible thing to really believe when you see how far India is from approximating US infrastructure. Yet their growth is something the US has not seen in 40 years.

So empowered with perspective and cunning, we will adopt their GDP growth, and China's and Brazil's and reap the rewards.

It is a good time to work for Merrow -- this is exciting.

I’ll be traveling north tomorrow, saying goodbye to delhi. We should return soon however.

Unknown Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

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