The Garment Industry of India is an Rs -one trillion
industry. Almost 33 % of its knitwear production and about 20% of its woven-garment
production, both by volume, enters export markets. Overall about 25 % of the
volume of its garment production goes into export markets, leaving 75 % for domestic
The Industry covers over one lakh units and employs about 6
million workers, both directly and indirectly in almost equal proportion. The indirect portion helps to sustain the direct production sector in the shape of
items associated with the garment industry production including sewing/embroidery
thread, buttons, buckles, zippers, metal plates, cardboard sheets, plastic
butterflies and packaging material.
Organized sector of the garment industry is roughly 20% of
the total industry, concentrating chiefly on exports. These are usually limited
Companies while the rest are proprietary or partnership Companies.
Geographically, men's garments are largely produced in western and southern India while production of ladies garments predominates in North India. Eastern section of India specializes in children garments where in
fact, these took their birth.
Fibre-wise, 80% of the production is of cotton garments, 15%
of synthetic/mixed garments and the rest of silk and wool garments.
The industry manufactures over a 100 different types of
garments for men, women and children. These includes overcoats/raincoats,
suits, ensembles, jackets, dresses, skirts, trousers, shirts, blouses, inner-garments,
T-shirts, jerseys/pullovers, babies garments as well as accessories like
shawls/scarves, handkerchiefs, gloves and parts of garments.
Fabric constitutes 65 to 70% of the cost of production with labour making up a further 15% and the rest go for overheads and manufacturer's profit.
Retail trade in India is spread over department stores,
hyper markets/discount stores and specialty stores. A number of shopping malls
have sprung up all over the country, especially in the metros. Due to this, land
prices have spiraled. Attention now shifts to "B" class, "C"
class cities and the rural area.
Government policies of economic liberalization have raised
incomes, encouraged women entrepreneurs resulting in a steep rise in family
incomes and making available increasing levels of disposable income in their
hands. This has helped to increase purchase of garments but has limited this
purchase due to rise in prices of food grains on account of unseasonable weather.
The benefit of economic reforms has percolated down to rural areas coupled with
the spread of education. In fact, some of rural areas enjoy a life-style comparable
to or even better than that enjoyed by urban folk.
For the last several years, 9 to 10% of the disposable
income goes into the purchase of garments and textiles in items like house-finishing,
drapers, tapestries and the like.
Export of garments and accessories from India are routed to all corners of the world. However, the USA, EU and Canada together account for 70% of world exports. Markets in Asia, Africa, East Europe, Australia, New Zealand and countries in the Pacific Ocean account for the rest.
Immediately after the cessation of ATC (Agreement on
Textiles and Clothing) in December 2004, limiting exports of textiles and
garments from India, there was a 25% spurt in exports of garments in the
following year. This has since slowed down to around 10%. A number of
supplying countries from Asia have come into existence, notably, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Srilanka, Cambodia and Pakistan resulting in cut-throat competition in the
supply of popular varieties helping to bring down prices. India has had to adopt innovative practices by upgrading the quality of product in order to sustain (leave alone increase) her market share in the world community.
In recent years, appreciation of the Indian Rupee vs.US $ and the downslide in
US economy has had a restraining effect on garment exports from India, but the
industry is now coming to terms with the development.
As a labour-oriented industry, the activity in production and marketing has now shifted to Asia with India and China being leading suppliers as
well as markets for garments.
About the Author:
is associated with The Clothing Manufacturers' Association of India.