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Cover Story | February 2017

Textile dreams of Maharashtra

Maharashtra textile industry is a blend of culture and technology and provides resources for every investment in the entire value chain of textile industry, says Avinash Mayekar.

Dreams are usually seen of the milestones which are not achieved till date, however, in case of Maharashtra textile industry, the dreams can be ‘achieving the same glorious past of Maharashtra witnessed during the golden days of British era’. Maharashtra, in fact Mumbai, was the major textile producing hub for entire world, but unfortunately during independent India it could not take it to the next level. Its importance got diluted due to urbanisation along with growth in real estate. Also rising operating costs in Mumbai compelled the industry to shift to other towns and even States.

In the later part of 19th century, Mumbai textile industry grew significantly contributing to Maharashtra’s prosperity. There were about 130 textile mills which contributed to the growth of textile and cotton industry. It covered an area of almost 600 acres of Mumbai island. In 1982, due to major strike of 18 months, the mills were permanently closed and brought down the closure of the struggling industry.

Overview

Maharashtra is one of the largest states in India. Maharashtra has a long history in textiles with Mumbai being the original home of India’s textile mills. Ichalkaranji, Solapur, Malegaon and Bhiwandi are some of the cities known for textile industry. Today Maharashtra is one of the largest cotton producers in India. The State has the largest area under cultivation for cotton crop (41.92 per cent). Man-made fibres are also produced in abundance in Maharashtra and production was 269 million kg in 2014-15.

Maharashtra contributes about 11.4 per cent to India’s textiles and apparels output. The silk production of Maharashtra stood at 221 million tonne (mt) in 2014-15. The textile industry is the largest employer in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra contributes around 28 per cent to India’s total textile exports. It produces nearly 310 million kg of cotton yarn with an installed capacity of 4.61 million spindles, equivalent to 9 per cent of the country’s capacity. Textile parks, aimed to provide world-class infrastructural components for the textile sector and enhance productive capacity, are being set up in Maharashtra to maintain its leadership position in textile exports and production.

With the global trade in textile and clothing expected to grow from $784 billion at present to $800 billion by 2016, the State has an immense opportunity to leverage its existing strengths to capture a larger share in the textile market. Maharashtra has 46 processing units with 115 million metres capacity per annum. Installed capacity of power loom is 12.80 lakh, which is equivalent to 51 per cent of the country’s capacity.

Cotton spun yarn accounts for production of 311.8 million kg in 2015-16, which is the major category among total spun yarn in Maharashtra, whereas man-made filament yarn has total production of 285 million kg in 2015-16, which is the second largest in total yarn category of 2015-16. For past few years there is a steady decline in total yarn production which is a great concern.

Handloom cluster in Maharashtra

Handloom weavers in Maharashtra exist in pockets scattered throughout the State. The uniqueness of handloom is its regional specialisation of a particular kind of product that is known by the name of the place from where it is woven, i.e., Nagpur sarees, Paithani sarees, Mehendargi choli khans, etc. As this industry is totally decentralised, efforts have been made to assemble artisans under a cooperative fold so that they can avail themselves of the various schemes of the Central and State Governments in an organised manner.

Co-operative mills in Maharashtra

Total number of co-operative mills in Maharashtra as per 12th Five Year Plan is 131, out of which 55 is in working condition, 17 are closed, 4 are converted, 30 under liquidation and 25 are under construction. In total, 131 co-operative mills, installed spindles are 2.11 million, 6,320 rotors, 432 texturising spindles.

Of which, currently 1.3 million spindles and 840 rotors are in working condition. The yarn produce in these co-operative are mainly 40s and 30s count.

Vidarbha: The next emerging textile hub

Vidarbha is one of the largest cotton-growing regions of India and contributes for nearly one-thirds of the State’s cotton production. Vidarbha’s potential for the textile industry is well known and it is also expected to be a next emerging hub for textiles.

Advantages of Vidarbha region are as follows:

  • Central location in Indian subcontinent
  • Strategic place on international aviation routes
  • Well connected by rail, road and air to all parts of India
  • India’s fastest growing cosmopolitan city with highest per capita income
  • Abundant availability of raw material
  • Presence of prominent textile players for many years
  • Availability of skilled labour
  • Presence of technical institutes in and around the vicinity

Highlights of textile policy of Maharashtra

  • Cooperative spinning mills: New cooperative spinning mills in Vidarbha/Marathwada and north Maharashtra will be given equity support as per the existing financial pattern (5: 45: 50) (Own Share Capital: Government Share capital: Loan)
  • The Maharashtra Government announced to give the capital subsidy instead of Interest subsidy to the textile units in Maharashtra for the units with term loan is sanctioned after April 18, 2016.

Maharashtra has tremendous opportunities to invest into textile and technical textile sector, as the Indian Government has already declared “Make in India” drive to boost manufacturing sector and providing full support with various textile policies.

Abundant availability of raw material is the major advantage of Maharashtra, which is suitable for denims, terry towel, and bed sheet. So, one can think of investing into these categories, which have tremendous export potential. Nearness to the port is an added advantage for industry in Maharashtra.

Ichalkaranji is one of the major powerloom clusters in Maharashtra, so one should think of procuring yarn from spinning mill in Kolhapur and invest into weaving unit. In case of technical textiles, medical textile is a big opportunity, which can be produced and supplied to hospitals and hygiene industry in Mumbai and all over Maharashtra. Similarly, cotton produced can be directly converted into finished products for exports.

Sports textiles: As the importance of sports is growing with rapid pace, sportech consumption is also responding positively. A lot of activities are happening in sports all over. With Maharashtra and Mumbai being the major location, the sportswear manufacturing city can be developed near Mumbai.

Work wear fabric: As Maharashtra is the leading state for so many industries, with stringent rules and regulations, there would be a huge demand for quality work wears and a brand can be established in this segment to cater to the needs of Maharashtra.

I would always like to see a dream vision for Maharashtra as a region, which can have dedicated cities e.g. denim city, towel city, technical textile city, sports city, etc. so that entire world can look at it as a one-stop solution for all their needs in this sector.

In brief, the Maharashtra textile industry is the blend of culture and technology and provides resources for every investment in entire value chain of textile industry. Under the ‘Make in India’ campaign, the Government of Maharashtra is also aiming to cherish the dream of “From Farm to Fashion” and “Fashion to Retail”. We are sure this dream of Maharashtra would come true very soon.

- The article is authored by Avinash Mayekar, MD & CEO, Suvin Advisors.

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