IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section

Rajiv Sirohi
Rajiv Sirohi

‘Portugal is taking away a major share of the mill made sector.’

Company Details

Business Area:
Manufacturing and export of home textiles
Debenhams, Hertie, Haase, Katag, Manor, Breuninger, Galeries Lafayette, Galleries Nouvelle, Sarmag, Pier Imports, Ahlens, Ikea, and JC Penney


What kind of fabric is in demand in export markets of home textiles? What are the challenges and issues faced by the sector in manufacturing for export markets?

Natural fibre fabrics have always been the focus out of India and therefore the major demand is for cotton, linen and jute fabrics. The major input is craft, primarily handcrafted.
The dynamics of global economics have impacted Indian exports in a big way. Recession in western economies has resulted in weaker demands from the overseas markets for the last few years. This has had a cascading effect, shaking the entire structure of the Indian home textile manufacturing sector.
Indian textile mills supply in the market has dwindled. This has impacted innovation in the mill-made fabrics. A shrinking overseas market can be activated with new products. New products are possible with a combination of new fabrics and creative value addition by exporting units. The contribution of the mills is reduced drastically increasing the pressure on the creative abilities of value addition by the exporters.

On the other hand, the problems of the power loom sector are diminishing labour availability and low demand while the handloom sector has almost shrunk to an unviable export production level.    

NREGA is responsible for major movements from the loom centres of trained loom operators. Trained craftsmen are also decreasing in numbers as alternative employment opportunities have emerged as well as multiple job opportunities. Increased costs of living are forcing craftsmen to seek alternative employment as well as multiple jobs to meet both ends. Therefore the SME sectors as well as the mill sector are seeing troubled times.

The issues are more related to prices. Indian exports have become more expensive. Portugal is taking away a major share of the mill made sector due to shorter delivery times, being in Europe and having no import formalities and costs involved. On the other hand a lot of designers have set up small online e-commerce businesses in the Western countries, which are not big enough to initiate import orders but impact the customer base of large chain stores. Within the compliance format, the overheads and direct costs have increased reducing the margins drastically.

Published on: 17/12/2015

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.

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