India Inc India Inc: Friday, 29 September 2017 13:21

Top 3 reasons to watch out for India’s textile sector

The Indian textile industry is a $100-billion beast, arguably the oldest of its kind in the world. Currently, it employs about 50 million people, making it the country's biggest employer in the organised sector and one of the largest contributors to India’s exports. 

And that’s just scratching the surface of its full potential. 

India already has the necessary tools for global leadership: abundant natural and man-made raw material, highly skilled and relatively cost effective labour, world class design talent and entrepreneurial class. What it lacked so far was freedom from bureaucratic red tape and support from the government to push ahead.

Enter Smriti Irani – the young dynamic minister now in charge of the textile sector, propelled by the support of a "can-do-will-do" Indian Prime Minister, and that last constraint is already falling away.

The opportunities are massive: 

1. India has a minuscule sub-four per cent share in readymade garments – a segment that can capture maximum value. 

Global majors such as Zara, Marks & Spencers, H&M, as well as Indian leaders such as the Aditya Birla Group, Raymond and Bombay Dyeing are investing billions of dollars on both the front and back ends of their operations, using India both as a sourcing base as well as a market for their products. 

2. China’s rising wages have diminished its competitive edge, leading American and European principals as well as many Chinese companies to look for other destinations to move their factories. 

3. Let’s not forget the sector’s huge potential to generate millions of low, medium and high skilled jobs for the waves of young Indians who enter the Indian employment market every month.

After years of moulting, India’s textile industry is finally experiencing resurgence. With its large pool of talented workers, abundant local sourcing opportunities, a wide range of available materials, thousands of design school graduates and a new focussed minister, it shouldn’t be too hard for India to fill the gap in the global market. The recent $1-billion Textile Policy unveiled by the Indian government doesn’t hurt either.

Read the full article titled Unleashing Indias Textile Talent’ in the latest issue of ‘India Investment Journal.

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