The Sourcing Map theory, in the context of apparel manufacturing, identifies regions and countries which have a very large scale of unemployment and extreme poverty. This is because among various manufacturing industries, apparel and garment manufacturing probably supports the highest statistics in terms of employment. This, among other reasons, has resulted in India becoming a large manufacturing base in apparel. Another significant contribution of our country lies in its rich heritage and tradition of colour, creativity, craftsmen and centres which represent volumes of historic design traditions and unique textiles and techniques.

Even today, the apparel and textile sector contributes close to 14 per cent of our country's exports and employs over 7 million people, the largest in the manufacturing sector. Traditionally, people seeking employment in the industry were among the poorest and least educated. As the global apparel and garment industry evolved along with consumerism, a high sense of quality, commitment and competition became an inherent part of the DNA.

While India boasts of a demographic dividend and an opportunity through its apparel and textile industry to provide growth, employment and foreign revenues, it must keep in mind that we need to run faster than moving ground under our feet. Numerous initiatives by various ministries are flooding the country and implementing agencies are available dime-a-dozen. Skill development in the apparel and textile sector is an opportunity, both in the organised and unorganised sectors.

The government is rolling out initiatives which can help the sectors create a skilled workforce, which is in a position to compete globally, and support the future economic goals and initiatives like 'Make in India'.