We had a talk with Tharindu Athauda, founder and CEO of THINKSTUDIO, an entrepreneur, academic and consultant in the electronic textiles and wearable technology industry.
1. Who are you and what is your wearable technology business?
I’m Tharindu Athauda who is an entrepreneur in the e-textile and wearable technology fields. I strongly believe in open-innovation principles and the mutual benefits it provides to collaborators and partners. What I try to do is to develop a consultation platform which provides ideation, tech know-how, validation of MVP (Minimum viable product) and networking for the startups and SMEs in the e-textile field.
2. What prompted your decision to become an entrepreneur after being in the industry and academia?
Well, I was thinking about this idea for a while I was working for a multinational company around 2014. It was clear that e-textile and wearable technology is an emerging trend and there is massive market potential where the electronics become smaller and apparel becomes smarter.
I believe academic credentials will a boost when you think of a consultancy as a profession. There is so much opportunity to serve in both industry and academic research. I also believe that continuous improvement is one way to stay in the game. Therefore, while working on the consultancy venture, I do work in parallel with industry and academic to stay up to date with tech trends and to experiment my own ideas.
3. Who are your clients?
I consider e-textile and wearable technology start-ups as my best interests.
4. What services do you offer?
– Collaborative ideation to define what’s possible
– Develop technology strategy and technology framework
– Development of MVP and building eco system for the venture through partner networks
– Supply chain and client management
– Data management and data mining
5. What sets your consultancy company apart?
– 10+ industry experience in textiles, apparel product development and wearable technology
– Working experience with likely minded apparel brands and startups in US, Europe and Easy Asia
– Systematic tech scouting with the support of experienced team in the e-textile fields
– Undertake solution from design to development and optimise for mass deployment
– Data management support on top of apparel support
– Help you to develop sustainable, earth-friendly apparel solutions.
6. What is the best thing about your job?
Its fun and it always feels satisfied! I love speaking to people. It may be a casual chat or may be a serious business discussion. At the end, I’m happy solving problems!
7. What skills are essential for your role?
– Experience in understanding textile electronic interfaces
– Apparel product development
– Familiarity with testing, quality protocols and aesthetics
– Critical thinking and deep analysis skills
8. What excites you about the textile innovation industry?
It’s evolving. Fashion industry sets the phase of overall textile industry and consumer demand pushes the textile innovation to do more, do better! There is a bigger acceptance for e-textiles as a trend setter but still has its own limitations to maintain stability in mass market. This is where the innovation can play a vital role.
Data is the new ear of any industry, even for textiles. Having access to sustainable electronics-textile solutions, make the life much easier for data scientists to access supply chain, consumer data, buying patterns and sales. The very same solution can also give the vital information about consumer vital signs, physical and psychological comfort to consumers which aspire sports, health and lifestyle applications.
9. What piece of advice would you have given to your younger self?
– Work hard and work smart
– Always believe in you and your guts
– Its good to have plan B and C!
10. What are your plans for the future?
– Continue to experiment and never stop learning – Experience is vital for survival
– Continue to do what I like to do!
– Collaborate and conquer
– Mutual Vision. Partners in Growth!
If you’re looking to contact Tharindu, you can contact him via: Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tharindu-athauda-a8161322/, Thinkstudio LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thinkstudioconsultants/?viewAsMember=true, Website : https://tharinduathauda.com/.
If you want help starting your own wearable technology or e-textile brand or are a fashion designer who wants to know more about these fields, please contact us at @Chanodil.