Source: Textile Review

Indian Textile Industry is one of the leading textile industries in the world. Though was predominantly unorganized industry even a few years back, but the scenario started changing after the economic liberalization of Indian economy in 1991. The opening up of economy gave the much-needed thrust to the Indian textile industry, which has now successfully become one of the largest in the world.

Indian textile industry largely depends upon the textile manufacturing and export. It also plays a major role in the economy of the country. India earns about 27% of its total foreign exchange through textile exports. Further, the textile industry of India also contributes nearly 14% of the total industrial production of the country. It also contributes around 3% to the GDP of the country. Indian textile industry is also the largest in the country in terms of employment generation. It not only generates jobs in its own industry, but also opens up scopes for the other ancillary sectors. India textile industry currently generates employment to more than 35 million people. It is also estimated that, the industry will generate 12 mill ion new jobs by the year 2010.

Indian textile industry can be divided into several segments, some of which can be listed as below:

  • Cotton Textiles
  • Silk Textiles
  • Woolen Textiles
  • Readymade Garments
  • Hand-crafted Textiles
  • Jute and Coir

India textile industry is one of the leading in the world. Currently it is estimated to be around US$ 52 billion and is also projected to be around US$ 115 billion by the year 2012. The current domestic market of textile in India is expected to be increased to US$ 60 billion by 2012 from the current US$ 34.6 billion. The textile export of the country was around US$ 19.14 billion in 2006-07, which saw a stiff rise to reach US$ 22.13 in 2007-08. The share of exports is also expected to increase from 4% to 7% within 2012. Table 1 shows area, production and productivity of cotton in India during the last six decades.

Though during the year 2008-09, the industry had to face adverse agro-climatic conditions, it succeeded in producing 290 lakh bales of cotton comparing to 315 lakh bales last year, yet managed to retain its position as world's second highest cotton producer.


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


  • 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


Current Facts on Indian Textile Industry

  • India retained its position as world's second highest cotton producer.
  • Acreage under cotton reduced about 1 % during 200809.
  • The productivity of cotton which was growing up over the years has decreased in 2008-09.
  • Substantial increase of Minimum Support Prices (MSPs).
  • Cotton exports couldn't pick up owing to disparity in domestic and international cotton prices.
  • Imports of cotton were limited to shortage in supply of extra long staple cottons


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Originally Published in Textile Review,Jan-2011

Mr. C. Suganya is Lecturer at Dept. of Management (UG), Karpagam University, Coimbatore & Mr. K. Muthukannan is Asst. Professor at Department of Management Science(PG), STC College of Arts & Science, Pollachi.

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