Waqas is a PwC-trained Chartered Accountant, currently serving as the Group CFO of one of the top export houses in Pakistan. He is a certified director with more than 12 years of professional experience.
Crucial Risk Considerations for Textile Exporters in Today's Global Markets
In today's global export landscape, there are a couple of significant risks that every exporter should have on their radar. First and foremost is the credit risk. Increasingly, buyers are shying away from issuing letters of credit or providing security, preferring open account, DDP, or LDP trade terms. This shift to unsecured lines can pose a challenge for exporters across regions, creating a need for robust risk management in this aspect.
Additionally, market volatility and price risk play a crucial role. Fluctuations in raw material prices and inaccuracies in buyers' sales forecasts can have a profound impact on the textile industry. The production cycle takes 45 to 60 days, and maintaining inventories for up to 120 days is a substantial financial commitment. In these times of economic inflation and heightened forecast accuracy challenges, the textile export industry is especially vulnerable to even minor inaccuracies.
To thrive in this environment, it's essential to have strategies in place for handling these risks effectively. Being well-prepared and keeping a keen eye on credit and market fluctuations can make all the difference in sustaining a successful export business.
Strategies for Textile Exporters to Navigate Currency Risk and Exchange Rate Fluctuations
While exporting to Europe and the US, we often grapple with the effects of currency devaluation. By the books, it seems beneficial because it boosts local earnings when converted from foreign currency. However, there are significant challenges. For instance, in Sri Lanka, the currency value recently decreased from 380 to 300, and in Pakistan, the exchange rate shifted from 308 to 290 against the US dollar in a few days. The key issue is rapid devaluation when it exceeds 7 to 10% within a year.
Such volatility makes pricing difficult and inflates our working capital needs. Imagine needing an extra 12 billion rupees just to fund a hundred million dollar business due to devaluation. It's a risk we can't ignore. Hedging tools exist to manage this, but they are effective only within a reasonable range. So, while export businesses can benefit from devaluation in moderation, it's vital to tread cautiously in the face of rapid fluctuations, balancing the gains with potential risks.
Strategies for Textile CFRs to Mitigate Global Supply Chain Risks
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many financial and supply chain departments learned some vital lessons. The most significant takeaway was the importance of visibility and diversification in supply chains. For instance, Inditex Group, responded proactively to the crisis because they had clear visibility into their inventories and order statuses at various suppliers and manufacturing sites. This visibility allowed them to adapt swiftly.
To avoid overreliance on a single source, it's crucial to diversify your suppliers. Many industries, like textiles, have local and international sources to ensure a steady supply of materials. Recent global political changes have added another layer of complexity, with some US customers hesitant to purchase products made from Chinese raw materials.
In this dynamic environment, maintaining multiple sources of raw materials is not just a smart strategy; it's a necessity. So, keep an eye on your supply chain's health, diversify your sources, and stay adaptable to navigate the challenges of an ever-changing world.
A Guide to Managing Regulatory and Reputational Risks Amidst Environmental and Sustainability Challenges in Textile Exports
In today's business landscape, customer expectations have evolved significantly over the past couple of decades. Customers are no longer just the endpoint; they have become partners in our sustainability journey. It's not merely a risk but an opportunity to embrace sustainability. Investing in eco-friendly materials, recycling, and energy efficiency isn't a burden; it’s a chance to innovate and differentiate ourselves.
Recycled fabrics and yarn offer vast potential for innovation and branding. When it comes to energy, there are substantial cost-saving opportunities. We can take the lead in various sustainability initiatives. Most importantly, this shift isn't solely about doing well; it also positively impacts the bottom line. So, do not view sustainability as a cost center. Embrace it as a profit center and a way to stay competitive, satisfy customers, and lead the industry while preserving our planet.
Strategies for Textile CFOs to Ensure International Trade Regulation Compliance and Risk Management in Global Exports
It is crucial to address the concerns surrounding consultants and compliance when dealing with international buyers. Fortunately, we have both local and international consultants to guide us. Our buyers play a pivotal role too, as they send their teams to assess us and share compliance checklists even before onboarding. This proactive approach ensures that exporters are well-versed in the regulatory landscape of our customers' regions. Most importantly, it's reassuring to see the diligence importers exercise in their due diligence. This risk is effectively managed by their efforts, making it a smoother process for exporters. So, rest assured, the collaboration is well-structured and secure.
In the global sustainability landscape, it often seems more about marketing than genuine planet-saving efforts. This presents a significant opportunity for key players worldwide to unite and address the textile industry's environmental impact. By reevaluating water consumption and reducing reliance on virgin materials, we can work towards safeguarding our natural resources and minimizing harm to the environment.