Close to 14% of the industrial output and 30% of the export market share is contributed directly by the Indian textile industry. Indian textile industry is also the largest industry when it comes to employment that generates jobs not just within but also in various support industries like agriculture. As per a recent survey the textile industry is going to contribute 12 million new jobs in India by 2010 itself.

Indian textile industry is as old as the word textile itself. This industry holds a significant position in India by providing the most basic need of Indians. Starting from the procurement of raw materials to the final production stage of the actual textile, the Indian textile industry works on an independent basis.

Until the economic liberalization of Indian economy, the Indian Textile Industry was predominantly unorganized industry. The opening up of Indian economy post 1990s led to a stupendous growth of this industry.

Indian Textile Industry is one of the largest textile industries in the world. Today, Indian economy is largely dependent on textile manufacturing and exports. India earns around 27% of the foreign exchange from exports of textiles. Further, Indian Textile Industry contributes about 14% of the total industrial production of India. Furthermore, its contribution to the gross domestic product of India is around 3% and the numbers are steadily increasing. Indian Textile Industry involves around 35 million workers directly and it accounts for 21% of the total employment generated in the economy.

Strengths of Indian Textile Industry are as follows:

  • Huge textile production capacity
  • Efficient multi-fiber raw material manufacturing capacity
  • Large pool of skilled and cheap work force
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Huge export potential
  • Large domestic market
  • Very low import content
  • Flexible textile manufacturing systems

Weaknesses of Indian Textile Industry are as follows -

  • Increased global competition in the post 2005 trade regime under WTO
  • Imports of cheap textiles from other Asian neighbors
  • Use of outdated manufacturing technology
  • Poor supply chain management
  • Huge unorganized and decentralized sector
  • High production cost with respect to other Asian competitors

The Ministry of Textiles under the Government of India has taken some significant steps to arrest these problems. It has framed "The National Textile Policy 2000" to address the aforesaid issues. This policy aims at negating these problems and increasing the foreign exchange earnings to the tune of US$ 50 billion by the year 2010. It includes rational road-maps for the development and promotion of all the sectors involved directly or indirectly with the textile industry of India. Further, the policy also envisages to bring the unorganized decentralized textile sector (which accounts for 76% of textile production) at par with the organized mill sector. Furthermore, the policy also aims at introducing modern and efficient manufacturing machineries and techniques in the Indian textile sector.

It's not just the present that is shinning like a bright start but also the future, as the textile export market of India is expected to reach a high of $50 billion by 2010. This will eventually make a profit by 300%. In order to attain this target Indian textile industry has already started improving their design skills, including a combination of various fibers. Indian textile industry is all set to meet international standards and is planning to invest $5 billion in machineries very soon.

Most of the international brands like Marks & Spencer, JC penny, Gap have started procuring most of their fabrics from India. In fact, Walmart, who had procured textile worth $200 million last year, intends to procure $3 billion worth of textile this year.

Source: Igmatex News Magazine