Handloomsector 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 beenable to provide employment to lakhs of families in India. However, the changes inthe last decade have been tumultuous and revealing. Growth of handloom sectorin the last decade and half has become a challenge, and sustenance oflivelihoods in this sector has become a major goal for both the government andothers.

The`50, 000 crore per year turnover in this sector hasbeen impressive. The promise of near about `1 lakh crore marketdemand has become an opportunity. More than 3 crore families are dependent onthis sector for their livelihoods. Properly handled, with an emphasis on humanresource development and a sector capable of absorbing them in productiveemployment, the presence of skilled weavers in an environment, where investmentis 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 andfancies of textile lovers around the world. It is a serious business, whereinthere are established practices and principles.

Timewarp has been hitting these characteristics. It is also bringing to light the hollownessof growth strategies and is also questioning the established premises and modelsof business and product development.

Thispaper is an attempt to look at these growth strategies and tries to bring in afresh perspective that needs to be debated and adopted widely.

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The author is IndependentTextile Analyst