The textile industry must step out of its comfort zone
Nearly 10 leading garment exporters from India have come forward to invest under the Production Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme and it is good to see that now along with cotton they will also make their strong presence in synthetic fabrics or garments made from synthetic fabric.
Our industry has always been well aware of the growing demand and reach of synthetic garments, but some limitations existed and due to these limitations, India could not grab a large share of this product segment.
These limitations, such as limited processing expertise and less product development at the yarn and fabric stage, will now diminish, as companies not only receive incentives, but also support for the supply of raw materials.
But mindset and a sense of satisfaction rather than an appetite to continuously grow and grow is also the reason why there are very few global champions in the Indian textile and garment industry.
And that is why, despite having the world’s largest man-made fabric manufacturing center in Surat, India is globally known only for cotton-based garments.
And this problem is not limited to cotton or synthetic fabrics, the majority of the industry works within its comfort zone and according to a defined pattern only. Why Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, Ludhiana in Punjab and Kolkata in West Bengal are mainly known for knitted garments while Mumbai in Maharashtra, Delhi-NCR and Bangalore of Karnataka are mainly known only for woven garments. Likewise, same goes for most other hubs like Ahmedabad in Gujarat for denim, Indore in Madhya Pradesh for children’s wear, Panipat in Haryana for home furnishings and Jaipur in Rajasthan for women’s fashion wear uniquely.
One can make a strong argument that each region has its own strength and identity, but since the raw material is almost the same as that of the majority of textile-based products, the whole supply and value chain is there. also established. If most of the hubs have most of the product line or at least increase their product basket, this will naturally not only increase their business but also motivate or force them to do more design, to be more competitive in terms costs and provide the best service overall. to their customers. All of this will be like a win-win for all.
These limitations are not limited only to the manufacture of hard core textiles or garments, see the example of Kolkata. All major mass market underwear brands are sourced from this hub only. There are hardly any out-of-town underwear brands with strong market reach and strong brand value. There’s disruption from budding startups or some e-commerce companies because they’ve done it in innovative ways, whether it’s design or sustainability aspects.
Thus, almost every segment of the Indian textile and apparel industry needs to diversify their products, increase their scale and there is no real reason that can stop the flag carrier.
Government regimes may or may not exist, industry leaders, as well as startups or players who dare to set new standards, all kinds of systems in place and a real professional culture across the organization should think and work in that direction. .
Every stakeholder in our industry must understand that in the textile and garment industry, Bangladesh or Pakistan is not our competitor whether it is garment export or even domestic market from India. Our fight is with China; stepping out of our comfort zone, we must work to have everything, at least as many resources and products as possible, regardless of the naturally developed strength of particular hubs or clusters.
Our government strongly believes that PLI will help us to create global champions, why can’t we have many global champions in Indian textile and garment industry in all clusters, producing wide variety of products which are different from the base of raw materials for different usages to cover various markets in India as well as globally.
Our government has set an ambitious goal of becoming the number one country by 2047 and this will only be possible with continued job creation, a strong economy and massive export growth. And compared to the textile and apparel industry, there can be no other segment to reach these heights.