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Viewpoint | January 2014

Advantage India

Standing at the doorway to 2014, textile industry seems to be in the grip of a jubilant mood. This was very much evident during the Texfair exhibition, held in Coimbatore in the middle of December 2013. Industry leaders were vociferous in expressing with optimism the hopes for a much-needed resurgence in the textile fortunes of our country. A few decades back Indias share in global textile market was about 13 per cent, which sank to 4 per cent in the last decade. Last 3 years were tougher, with the Indian industry struggling to keep afloat, while China stole a march with a 35 per cent share in the global market. Our per capita consumption has been staying at 4.5 kg, while that of China is 18 kg and of the US 38 kg.

But now the wheel is about to turn. China is sitting on a tinderbox of misfortunes. Labour cost has soared to $450. Cotton, rotting at the warehouses, is causing concern. People queuing up for white-collar jobs are on the rise. The PRC is losing the glitter. Bangladesh, another competitor, is also losing its grip on the market for garments. The positive signs are that Europe is bouncing back and the US returning to its previous healthy status. Against this, India has weathered recession in a far better way than other countries. The industry has come out of the initial shock of rupee depreciation and is reconciled on its realistic rate. Indias youth population is booming with lifestyle changes and unflagging zest for more & more new clothes. Cotton scenario is bright with the yield statistics & production increasing year by year. Technical textiles, another driver of growth for the textile industry, is showing signs of picking up speed. The Governments have also veered round to the view that textile industry has all the ingredients to boost the economy.

India lost to China in the first race. But the second inning may be a golden opportunity. Read about it in our Outlook 2014, a curtain-raiser to Indias New Year Vision.

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