Handloom industry is a traditional and also a cottage industry in India. It provides employment to the large section of poor people. However, the role and significance of the industry to the national development is declining. In fact, the industry is facing lot of problems such as men, material, methods, machines, money, marketing and management. In this article, the problems faced by the industry and the solutions to solve the problems are plotted in Ishikawa diagram and presented.
Handloom industry is a cottage and rural based industry and the handlooms are part of an age old Indian tradition. 35 lakhs handlooms still exist in the country and 65 lakhs people are engaged in the profession. This industry contributes 15 per cent of the total cloth produced in this country. There are 470 Handloom clusters spread in all over the country in highly decentralized manner. Indian handloom industry is the largest in the world and it is low capital intensive industry.
Conceptualization of the Problems
At present, in the whole of Textile industry, the Handlooms-cottage sector has to co-exist with other two sectors, namely unorganized power loom sector and organized mill sector. If we look at globally, due to the huge competition of these two sectors, many developed countries gave up the handloom industry, and there are no handlooms exist at present in many of the countries. In India also, number of handlooms in different clusters is decreasing day by day. In the last fifteen years it has come down to 43.32 lakhs from 65.5 lakhs Handloom workers engaged in this sector. As the handloom industry occupies an important place due to the economic importance, it has been realized that India cannot leave away this industry as other countries did it. On the other hand, India has to pay much more attention to safe guard this industry.
The causes for declining of handloom industry with respect to men, material, machines, methods, money, marketing and management categories have to be grouped in order to find the corresponding remedies. This type of analysis will help to effectively address and solve the problems faced by the handloom industry. Ishikawa-Fish Bone Diagram, which is one of the problem solving tools of the Total Quality Management (TQM), is used to plot the problems and identify corresponding solutions.
R.G. Panneerselvam is Deputy Director at Weavers Service Centre, Kancheepuram, (TN) and Dr. L.Rathakrishnan is Professor, RIM at Gandhigram Rural Institute, Gandhigram(TN)