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Textile & apparel sector to grow by 9% - Technopak
Oct '09
Technopak Advisors, one of India's leading management consulting firms hosted its first Annual Leadership Forum for the Textiles and Apparel industry in Mumbai on October 6, 2009.

The by-invitation-only forum provided the platform for 150 industry stalwarts such as Mr. J Suresh, CEO, Arvind Brands; Mr. Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak Advisors; Mr. Arun Sirdeshmukh, CEO, Reliance Trends, Mr. Iqbal Ibrahim, Managing Director, Al-Karam (Pakistan) and Ms. Deepika Rana, Executive Vice President, Li & Fung, (India), among others to debate and offer industry perspectives on the state of the regulatory framework, growth prospects and opportunities for both the domestic market and international trade; as well as the key challenges faced by the industry.

The key conclusions arrived at from the key note and panel discussions were:

•India's current share of the apparel market is 3%. This is far below the initial projection of 15% by 2015 when the quotas were first phased out in 2005. The reason for this lost opportunity is that in spite of having the second largest textile complex after China, there is segmentation within the industry. Cotton, yarn, and fabric-manufacturers exist as lobbies working at cross-purposes rather than as one industry.
•Rural, mass and ethnic wear are huge opportunities that are popularly overlooked in favor of urban, premium and western wear.
•Indian domestic apparel market is currently pegged at between 12-15 thousand crores, with several high potential demographics still untapped such as teens, extra large sizes and children, among others.
•Currently, 40% of international trade is between the European countries. Much of this presents an opportunity for Asia.
•The textile and apparel industry is facing a liquidity crunch therefore investments are low
•4-5 big retailers consume 50-60% of the industries production capacity with imports having become weak.
•Mass merchants such as Reliance, Aditya Birla, Walmart, Metro, Kafu expanding their business would be an opportunity for producers and a threat for brand owners.
•The industry is faced by economic challenges that threaten its growth as compared to competing countries such as Egypt and China. While low cost of labour is an advantage, power and water is expensive and scarce; interest rates and capital subsidy are very high.
•Technical textiles provide a huge opportunity as there are more than 6000 different technical textiles. However, to be able to succeed in this area in the western markets requires performance guarantees that the infant technical textile sector in India would find difficult to offer. The other barrier in capitalizing on this opportunity is lack of access to intellectual property. So while it may be possible to acquire the machinery, the technology itself is restricted. Currently 500-1000 crores are invested in technical textiles.

Technopak also released a white paper on the Indian textile and apparel industry. Some highlights from the white paper are:

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