- Peter Stahlecker, JMD, Spindelfabrik Suessen GmbH
Our industry is here to stay! As I am writing these lines, the year 2013 is coming to an end, time to take stock of what has happened. I would request my readers to keep in mind, that what follows are the simple thoughts of a mechanical engineer, who, for the past many years has had the privilege to visit India frequently and to meet many owners, MDs and GMs in our spinning industry. So please do not expect any deep philosophical statements.
In my opinion, the most important issues in 2013 were: The rapid depreciation of the Indian Rupee vs EURO and CHF; The continuing lack of electrical power in some areas of India; The shortage of labour.
The many customers I met have all coped well with this difficult scenario! They grasped the opportunity to expand their exports, they increased their efficiencies still further, implemented power saving measures and installed labour saving equipment - and thus generating jobs for skilled labour!
Allow me to say a word about increased labour cost. We all want India to develop further, but what does this mean? In my view, this means that the most unfortunate segments of our society will be better of than they were - and this includes higher real wages. Sweden, to take an example, may have fewer billionaires than India and has not attempted to send a probe to Mars - but we all agree that Sweden is more developed than India. So, I feel the upward pressure on wages is a good sign for India´s continuing development!
I am very optimistic about the future of India´s textile industry - and this optimism seems to be shared by the industry! New projects are started at a rate that I do not remember in my 20+ years of exposure to the Indian spinning industry - and what better sign of optimism could possibly be given? We will not grow fur in the future, so the demand for textile products will remain, the question is only whether they will be made in India, or whether the industry will move out of India, as it has moved out of Europe and USA. Africa and Latin America are the only possible candidates, but I do not think this will happen: In the past 20+ years, these areas have been stagnant at best, and I do not see any sign that this will change.
Post spinning will increase in India and the demand for excellent yarn will grow - and my customers, the Indian spinners, surely know how to make excellent yarn!
As a foreigner, it is definitely not my place to put requests to the Indian Government. I do expect that the Government will continue, hopefully at an increased speed, to develop the infrastructure and the power supply. Micromanagement of the industry is not needed, and should be avoided - nobody knows better than my customers how to invest their money, they need no bureaucratic advise, guidance or nudging!
On a personal level, I am looking forward to many more years of association with "my" Indian spinning industry!