How is the RMG market faring worldwide and in India? Which issues shall remain to be worked upon for better performance in the sector?
Readymade Garment Industry is one of the sectors which will definitely continue growing across the globe for years to come. In the past i.e. in the last decade or two, the growth has been at around 5% - 8% year on year and it has a substantial growth prospect to double the volumes in the next 5 years.
The market world over is very distinctly divided into two sets as suppliers and buyers, having varied positions geographically and economically. The Buying market is predominantly governed by the US and the EU. Besides, off late Russia also seems to be catching up with the buying fever. Geographically this is been termed as western market and economically these have been the world’s strongest markets. On the other hand, the Supply side has been India, China, and Bangladesh which are economically growing markets. Having spoken about Bangladesh, it has been noticed that Bangladesh has been growing at a very rapid pace in RMG exports. This can be well appreciated by the fact that the apparel export of Bangladesh was 4% of its total exports in 1980, whereas the same accounts for 80% in current times. Bangladesh beats other Asian countries in terms of its low manpower cost.
In the last 10 years Indian Apparel exports have seen good growth. However, the last 3-4 years have been struggling times for the Indian industry, the reasons being the double dip recession post 2008 and the shifting of international interest towards countries like Bangladesh. However, the Indian export market will definitely benefit from buyers who are trying to shift away their sourcing either fully or partially from China. Moreover, Indian domestic market itself is maturing at good levels as the taste as well as buying power of Indian urban consumer is growing. Though Indian domestic market is being more sentimental than required towards US and EU slowdown, overall there exists a great deal of optimism. I expect the Indian retail market to grow tremendously once the FDI approval issue gets sorted out.
Volatile labour condition is one of the biggest challenges Indian apparel manufacturing industry is facing and this is the largest issue to be worked upon. Lower wages is one of the major factors because of which the interest of workforce seems to be lower towards this industry than any other. Companies need to look at working with the concept of economies of scale. There lies a great need for very large and ultra large manufacturing units which can compensate their overhead savings towards better pay hikes to workers thus attracting stable workforce. Certain state governments have already started giving incentives to large manufactures due to heavy employment opportunity in this sector. The State and Indian Central Governments need to continue such efforts to help boost the entire industry. India with a large population and being one of the fastest growing economies has all the potential to become the world hub for RMG market.
Published on: 04/04/2012
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