E-commerce has grown rapidly in recent times and is expected to reach new geographies, soon encompassing all markets, says Rajveer Singh.

The e-commerce market is booming. The Chinese e-commerce sector has grown significantly and has a higher share compared to India. Indian businesses are adopting e-commerce rapidly. However, the rate of expansion is still small as compared to their Chinese counterparts.

The first lesson from the table below is that there is tremendous potential for Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). They can improve their e-commerce transactions in the domestic and global markets by increasing participation in India's extensive e-marketplace.

The textile industry holds a significant position globally as textile was the first manufactured item to be exported. Due to size and reach, it has enormous capacity to generate employment and income.

The Indian apparel industry is amongst the largest in the world with a huge manufacturing base and large raw material pool. It is a major contributor to our economy in the domestic and exports markets. By 2021, textile and apparel exports from India to developed nations is expected to touch the US$ 82 billion.

As per the Export Import Data Bank, Ministry of Commerce and Industry:

1. Exports under HS Code 61, i.e. articles of apparel and clothing accessories - knitted or crocheted -- has grown 10.54 per cent from Rs. 50,15,336.86 lakhs in 2015-16 to Rs. 55,43,985.49 lakhs in 2016-17.

2. Exports under HS Code 62, i.e. articles of apparel and clothing accessories not knitted or crocheted, has jumped 1.2 per cent from Rs. 61,02,945.08 lakhs in 2015-16 to Rs. 61,76,253.29 lakhs in 2016-17.

Exports from India are routed majorly to countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Germany. Men's or boy's suits, ensembles, jackets, trousers; women's or girl's suits, ensembles, blazers, dresses, skirts; babies' garments and clothing accessories, T-shirts and singlets represent the significant chunk of India's apparel exports.

New technologies are transforming the way people buy and sell. The digital revolution is at its cusp in India, so this is the time for MSMEs to wake up to the tremendous potential of e-commerce apparel exports. Various major initiatives introduced by the Government of India like Digital India, Skill India, Make in India, and Startup India are gaining momentum, indispensable in driving the growth of long-term e-commerce. Apparel export figures for 2016-17 show that the digital economy has moved from potential to mainstream. It is no longer just another channel but the channel to be mastered. The network of apparel in Asia-Pacific forecast for 2016-2021 is expected to be US$ 167.7 billion, a growth rate of nine per cent.