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Cover Story | August 2014

Hometex: Homing in on targets

Burgeoning domestic demand, laudable export performance and emergence of new breed of entrepreneurs characterise India´s home textile industry in the last couple of decades.
Samuel Joseph and Karthik Muthuveeran attempt to drive home the points of changes that keep this industry at the forefront.


They came, they saw, they conquered. Less than three decades back, some entrepreneurs from textile industry achieved a similar swift victory when they had a go at the potential of home textiles, particularly in exports. Welspun, Bombay Dyeing, Alok Industries, Fabindia, Portico... the list now has grown bigger. All of them homed in on their targets with ease & aplomb.

There was a time when products such as bed linens, curtains, towels, bedspreads, etc. were bought only when the old ones were torn apart! But that was more than a decade ago. Thanks to the increase in purchasing power and growth of retailing, the lifestyle of Indian middle class is tranforming. Growing demand for home textiles is a part of this transformation. The housing boom has also fuelled demand for home textiles in India. With Narendra Modi-government coming into power and with the appointment of new textile minister, the home textile business is [further] expected to grow in leaps and bounds. After taking charge of the ministry, Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar said he would work towards promoting Brand India abroad and boosting country´s textile exports.

Home textile segment is dominated to the extent of nearly 90 per cent by the price-conscious unorganised sector. So, home textile for the present leaders in all earnest began with exports to the premium markets of the US & Europe, but is now densely percolating to the domestic market.

Indian home textile companies have expanded rapidly across the value chain to take advantage of the emerging growth opportunities. The bulk of the capacity expansion has been commissioned over the past three fiscals withthe help of low cost funding through the TUF (textile upgradation fund) route. The expanded capacities have not only enabled the players in this segment to meet bulk orders but also customise their products as per the demand.

Dr P Nayak, Secretary, Textiles Committee, shares some statistics on the home textile market in India and abroad. According to him, home textiles export in the world, during 2013, was reported at $55.79 billion and its share around 8.67 per cent of the total textiles and clothing exports of the world. The major exporter of home textiles in the world is China controlling around 48 percent of the total exports followed by India which is way behind China by catering to only 8.45 per cent of the total export market. China has recorded a CAGR of 13.17 per cent during the last decade and India has witnessed 9.89 per cent CAGR.

The global home textiles market, estimated at $70 billion, offers tremendous opportunities for Indian players. The domestic market is no laggard. The home textiles market in India is estimated at Rs 17,000 crore and is growing at over 9 per cent annually. The home textiles and furnishings market is expected to touch Rs 26,600 crore by 2015, and is spawning a new breed of entrepreneurs, who have developed a robust fascination for household textiles.

India is the largest supplier of terry towels, bed linen and second largest vendor of cotton made-ups to the US markets. China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam are major competitors for India in this segment.

Weaving the magic
Of the various segments within home textiles, bed linen and bath linen contribute to two-thirds of the total market size. Kitchen linen, curtains, upholstery and rugs/carpets contribute to the rest of the market. A fast emerging economy in the world of home textiles, India produces a wide range of products, including home furnishings, household linen, curtain tapestry and ya

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