Amidst the pangs of recession, Indian denim industry is competing fairly well in acquiring their slice of the pie.

Jeans, which was once considered as a weekend and casual wear, has gradually penetrated into every single aspect of our culture. Now jeans are a preferred choice as a formal wear, and on big events. College students choosing jeans for the day has become a normal sight as brushing their teeth. Jeans is not a garment which one would like to wear once or just a couple of times, they just get better with the span of time.

Indian Denim Market:

Global demand for denim fabric is estimated by industry analysts to grow by 5-6% in the next year. Despite the twinge of recession, sales figures of branded jeans grew at a healthy rate of 17% in 2008. Worldwide market for denim is estimated to grow to approximately US$ 56.2 billion by 2014. This would be an increase of 8.9% in a seven year period. About 50% of the global denim manufacture is concentrated in Asian mills, and majority in China.

The age of an average Indian is calculated to be below 25. With the Indian youngsters becoming more fashion conscious and increase in the disposable income, market for premium category of jeans wear brands are sky rocketing. Indian denim market is estimated to be around Rs 2000 crore. Analysts predict a 17% growth in the Indian market segment. Brands such as Flying Machine, UFO, Avis, and Wings are established successfully in the market. The growing demand for jeans among people of all ages is now attracting more international brands into this segment in the Indian market. Other brands such as Guess and Diesel are making inroads into the Indian market.

To get an expert opinion on the denim industry, Fibre2Fashion had an exclusive interview with Dr P.R.Roy, the pioneer of denim in India and former Chief Executive Officer, Arvind Mills Group.

What is your opinion about the impact of recent policy changes on the denim industry in India? What areas need improvement in terms of policy and industry reforms?

"Industry as a whole was upset with the new MSP of cotton that made it perhaps for the first time in recent decades more expensive than its international counterparts, besides which duty draw back on readymade garment export, interest subvention on packing credit, refund of state level duty, etc were bone of contentions for the industry".

He added by saying"Although , taking corrective actions on such issues, particularly the MSP of cotton would favorably influence the industry's performance, perhaps the reforms by the industry itself on leadership and strategy, understanding competition, financial management skill and acumen, alignment of sales and marketing strategy with the business strategy, human capital needs and its management and finally the interplay of all, leading to development of sustainable new products would have more telling effects".


What additional procedures you think is necessary to boost the denim industry in India?

"R&D in any sector of the textile industry should not be seen isolated as the developments in one sector may lead to more fascinating developments in the other sector of the industry like the much talked about Liquid Ammonia Process, which was first utilized by Cluette- Peabody for its 'Sanforset' process for denim jeans, but today, the process finds application at many places excepting perhaps in denim jeans".


What are the positive facts supporting the growth of denim industry?

"A series of novel yarns used in newer ways in fabrics and finally newer castes, de-sizing , mercerizing, over-dyeing and more and more use of sulphur dyes and innovative coating techniques, etc have been keeping the denim fabric development flag flying high and additionally, application of natural fibres like Flax (Linen), Hemp, Ramie, Bamboo, etc and man-made natural fibres and newer man-made fibres and filaments would play important roles in the R&D of denims and it is high time that the denim and jeans industry experience a major breakthrough", he concluded by saying.

Denims have kept fashion designers to come up with new innovative designs. Known for their durability, they have a unique feature, and look all the more appealing as they fade. A rebellious pair of simple jeans, and a designer wear, both has the same appeal among the shoppers. Apart from the normal jeans, denim skirts, jackets, shirts and many other fashionable types of apparel are making their way into the Indian market. Modern product development such as cuts and washes are used in creating unique designs.

Denim apparels are becoming a fashion statement in India, and are preferred by all class of people and at all ages. From normal attire, denim apparels have grown to be a fashion icon and are a symbol of modern culture.