Background


Handloom sector is known as a very old textile production mode. In the last 100 years, it has accommodated many socio-economic changes in its fold, and yet has been able to provide employment to lakhs of families in India. However, the changes in the last decade have been tumultuous and revealing. Growth of handloom sector in the last decade and half has become a challenge, and sustenance of livelihoods in this sector has become a major goal for both the government and others.


The `50, 000 crore per year turnover in this sector has been impressive. The promise of near about `1 lakh crore market demand has become an opportunity. More than 3 crore families are dependent on this sector for their livelihoods. Properly handled, with an emphasis on human resource development and a sector capable of absorbing them in productive employment, the presence of skilled weavers in an environment, where investment is expanding and the industrial world is ageing, would be a major advantage. This is a business, that too an artisan business catering to the whims and fancies of textile lovers around the world. It is a serious business, wherein there are established practices and principles.


Time warp has been hitting these characteristics. It is also bringing to light the hollowness of growth strategies and is also questioning the established premises and models of business and product development.


This paper is an attempt to look at these growth strategies and tries to bring in a fresh perspective that needs to be debated and adopted widely.

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The author is Independent Textile Analyst