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Yves Morin, President of the UITIC, live on World Footwear

Jan 26, 2016 India
Yves Morin, President of the UITIC, live on World Footwear
The 19th Congress of the UITIC - International Union of Shoe Industry Technicians will take place in Chennai from the 3rd to the 5th of February. Mr. Yves Morin is the President of the UITIC and CEO of the CTC Groupe
At the UITIC Congress brands, footwear manufacturers and experts will join to discuss the Future of the Footwear Factory as well as the relevant innovations in the footwear industry. It is the first time that the UITIC Congress will be held in India, the second largest footwear manufacturing country in the world.

This congress will bring together experts and decision makers playing an important role in the worldwide footwear business and manufacturing process. As part of the official program, visits to footwear factories will also be scheduled and participants will be able to visit the IILF 2016 - Indian International Leather Fair.

We have taken the opportunity to speak with Mr. Yves Morin, President of the UITIC and CEO of the CTC Groupe since 2008, who has also worked for the French-based Technological Centre as its General Secretary (since 1997). By his experience of business, he drove the change and piloted the growth of the activities of CTC, which become a leading global resource providing quality assurance solutions, consultancy and training for the leather, footwear, leather goods and glove industries. Before joining the CTC Mr. Morin used to work for international companies such as Colgate Palmolive, GL Events or KPMG as manager in finance and in development of businesses.

As part of this conversation we asked Mr. Yves Morin about his views of the upcoming UITIC Congress, and the future challenges of the industry.

The theme of the 19th Congress of the UITIC is the Future Footwear Factory. What fundamental topics can we expect to be under discussion in Chennai and how will these matters impact the industry’s future development?
Talking about the future is always a very difficult exercise. No one can tell what will be the future. But one thing is sure, if you do not try to understand or discover what could be the future, if you do not take time to sit down and think about it, you won’t be prepared to face it, and you will for sure miss the changes that will occur! So, our target is not to be directive or to explain what will happen. We just want to launch some concepts, some ideas, we want food for thought for the footwear factory managers.
Those ideas will be linked to the whole supply chain, starting from the consumer and ending in the workshop, such as" intelligent factory and smart supply chain" or "attractive footwear factories and new way of management".
Additionally, digital is no more a dream, it is a reality in some industries and everybody have to try to understand how it will impact our economy and industry, this will be one of the topics.

What will be the main advantages of participating in the Technical Footwear Congress in February?
The main advantage is to sit down for few days and think about the future as mentioned above. The second advantage is networking! During our Congresses people from the whole world will come and it is a very good opportunity to meet each other and create connection between people. The third advantage is to discover the Indian footwear industry and its members, which are promising and growing very fast. Last but not least, participants will visit the different fairs organized in Chennai around the Congress, it is really very efficient and saving of time.

In your view, what will be the main challenges for the footwear industry in the next few years? What priorities should be elected by the footwear companies?
One of the main challenge will be for the manufacturing part. If we consider that world population is growing fast and that purchasing power is increasing in so many countries, we will have to face a huge demand from the consumer side with may be about 40 billion pairs of shoes to produce every year. So manufacturing will have to deliver so many products that we will have to improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability. Raw materials and skilled manpower will be rare as well. In addition everything will go quicker and quicker thanks to the digital economy.

What role can be played by Europe in the future of the footwear industry and in particular, in the more technical components of the process?
A huge percentage of the world production was concentrated in China during years. This will change. First of all because China does not want any more to be the World Factory! Secondly because brands are now also sourcing from other countries than China. This will help those countries to find their place in the world sourcing map and to improve their footwear districts in order to be an alternative to China. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico or Ethiopia or many others will progress, or come back on the market! It will be the same for Europe, but for some specific categories of products such as fast fashion products or high value / luxury products or "niche" markets.

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