by Johanna Mischke

June 8, 2016

What happens if you need a few million items? – Interview with WTUS16 speaker Jason Kra, Li&Fung

Jason Kra is the President of FRC, a sourcing arm of Li & Fung Limited, which is the world’s largest apparel & hard goods sourcing organization. He will be speaking at our WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2016 USA this year! Get a first idea of his presentation in our exclusive interview with him:

Li & Fung is the leading Asian company to commercialize products in the Asian market. How can your company help wearable technologies product makers?

The wearable world needs to think about scalable supply chain. It may be one thing to make a few hundred or thousand of an item but what happens if you need a few million? Is there a scalable supply chain for smart wearables? Making an activity tracker is one thing as every one is the same, but if we make fashion clothing or bags smart we have to deal with so many more factors. We have fit, color, trend, fabric, subjectivity, and many more. Soft goods such as apparel are very complex as there is a lot of variability and you cannot get huge production runs of 1 item. There is much more diversity to the quantity of styles and of course less units for any 1 item. So we say in wearables “hard is easy and soft is hard” and as the world of wearables move from “hard” things to “soft” things the supply chains gets infinitely more complex and diverse. This is what Li & Fung can bring to the market, a scalable flexible global supply chain to any product category.

Which are the top 3 countries when it comes to making wearables?

Our goal is to be able to mass produce wearables for all market segments. Currently the tech world lives in Taiwan, Japan & Korea when one thinks of top Asia countries for wearables. China is growing at a massive rate and will be by far the largest producer of all things tech enabled very soon if not already. There is a tech start up movement in China and will only grow bigger. The ability to really rapid prototype anything in China will make it not only the low cost scalable production country, but also the quick rapid proto and proof of concept country as well.

Which is currently your favorite wearable?

I am a big fan of all things chargeable. At the end of the day every person has devices which always run out of power at the worst times. We need to have more functional wireless charging products and capabilities. We created a great scalable wireless charging device that is in production which is very affordable for all levels at retail. We see chargeable as a core component that can be added to so many existing products. At the correct price, nearly every person would have a need. Chargeable is not a fad but really a necessity as we become more “connected.” Wireless chargers may have the best exponential growth curve of any wearable product.

Meet Jason in person in San Francisco on July 12 and 13! Join us for WTUS16!