And, how about faring of Indian textile and clothing industry in current times?
Indian Textile Industry in the post quota regime was more affected than China : in the sense that Chinese manufacturers focused on serving major retailers through large scale production and speed-to-market through an emphasis on logistics .With China’s dominance in the sector low-income countries became most vulnerable in the post-quota era. China continues to be an undisputed leader in world Textile sector making a quarter of apparel sold worldwide.
But I feel, India also enjoys a few key benefits like self sufficiency in Cotton whereas China imports a fifth of its cotton requirements.
We have higher export realization i.e. while china caters to the mass segment; India has the ability to service high value niche orders and has better design resources. This is reflected in the higher average export realization of India as compared to China. Design and fashion capabilities are key strengths that will enable Indian players to strengthen their relationships with global retailers and score over their Chinese competitors.
Moreover, as our Union Minister for Textiles has the recently quoted during International Apparel Federation, another advantage for India is that the Production facilities are available across the textile value chain, from spinning to garments manufacturing. The industry is investing in technology and increasing its capacities, which should prove to be a major asset in the years to come .The Indian textiles and apparel market is currently valued at $40 billion and is growing at 14 per cent. Indian textiles and apparel exports, which is worth $22 billion, is expected to register a four-fold increase to touch $90-100 billion in the next 25 years.
The Indian retail market, which is the fifth largest retail destination globally, has been ranked as the most attractive emerging market for investment in the retail sector. The GRDI report states that apparel is the "largest organized retail category", accounting for 39 per cent of the organized market. It is growing at the rate of 12 to 15 per cent annually which is good news for apparel retail and advantage for the organized Retail sector.
The TUF which was initially launched in 1999 was later extended by the Ministry of Textiles for the 11th Five Year Plan to boost the industry .With TUF many entrepreneurs saw the option for cheap availability of finance but they tend to forget the vagaries of the market, and tinge of cotton purchasing. Revival of the global economy from the financial crisis, alternatives for crippling power cuts and an improvement in the yarn and cotton prices will bring about a positive change in the performance of the industry. TUF policy towards Indian textiles needs to be strengthened to reap its positive results.
Well, that is all about the advantages that India has. Please also tell us about the facets which can be identified to be threats or impediments for its prosperity? How can they be figured out for betterment?
The Indian textile Industry had been plagued by obsolescence, labor problems, raw material vagaries and lack of modernization, Infrastructural bottlenecks in terms of power, utility & road transport. Infrastructure development is the need of the hour as Power and water contribute to nearly 37 per cent of total production costs in the textile industry .The Dearth of this has led to companies investing considerably in their own power supply & water treatment facilities causing substantial cost disadvantage. Infact we have invested substantially in our own Natural gas based power plant and over 20 crores in Effluent treatment plant.
Besides Indian textile Industry does not measure up appropriately to the global competitiveness factors such as cost, quality, and timely deliveries. To enhance competitiveness both categories of factors Internal -like productivity and technology adoption by individual units, and External –like fiscal policy measures, labor policies and infrastructure are important factors to improve in.
Supply Chain Management issues (speed to market) are also prevalent in our industry. Indian textile and clothing industry has one of most complex, fragmented and long supply chain in the world right from raw material procurement to shipping port handling facilities. The average manufacturing and delivery lead time from fabric buying to shipment of apparels comes to 45-60 days and in most cases can extend to 80 days. The mean delay in procurement of raw materials for garments and then exporting finished garments from India is estimated to be 15 -16 days. Since shelf life of fashion driven products is hardly 45 days, such delays are untenable.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.