The Indian textile and apparel industry has witnessed tremendous growth in the last 2 decades and its market size today stands at US$ 67 billion. India has positioned itself as a manufacturing destination with cheap labour, cotton-based raw material and easy access to US and Europe markets. With the abolition of quotas, India surged ahead of other non-competitive countries and positioned itself as a value-added manufacturer with a varied material base, an educated and English-speaking class of executives with high product development and design orientation. While textile and garment exports have been growing at an average pace of 8 per cent, it is the domestic market that presents itself as a larger opportunity, hence firing the imagination of manufacturers, entrepreneurs and marketers. The Indian domestic apparel market size is US$ 33 billion of which only 16 per cent is organised.
A number of factors are expected to fuel the growth of the domestic market in spite of the many challenges faced by this industry. Growth drivers include increased incomes, high growth of GDP leading to rapid urbanisation, growth of organised retail with the entry of a large number of domestic and international players, and a growing awareness of global trends along with the need to look fashionable.
The authors are associated with Technopak, a management consulting firm.