"Ahmadabad’s textile market is worth around $25 billion, contributing nearly 12 per cent to India’s textile exports. It is backed by a strong supply chain from cotton production to textile machinery and now a thriving hub for apparels. As all resources are available close, the city can even quote an extremely fair price to the exporters, which makes it all the more a lucrative proposition."
Ahmadabad’s textile market is worth around $25 billion, contributing nearly 12 per cent to India’s textile exports. It is backed by a strong supply chain from cotton production to textile machinery and now a thriving hub for apparels. As all resources are available close, the city can even quote an extremely fair price to the exporters, which makes it all the more a lucrative proposition.
While there exists no labour related issues, owing to entrepreneurial nature, some of them start their own job work or small job shops after gaining experience. In lieu of this, companies are doing a commendable job in retaining skilled workforce. For instance, CA Patel Textiles is offering incentives to workers, and also training them to increase productivity. It runs programs in nearby villages to bring labour to the factory apart from offering living space at discounted rates, transportation, etc. Operating for close to 60 years, CA Patel Textiles, entered casual and semi-casual shirt manufacturing just six months before for its own brand ‘Italfic’ with 200 stitching machines. It further plans to install 800 stitching machines in the next two years.
Another manufacturer, Komal Texfab is now diversifying into jeans and ethnic wear manufacturing with an investment of nearly Rs50 crore. It is also going to double its circular knitting capacity which is currently 200 tonnes per month. Globe Textiles India, manufacturing two lakh jeans (majorly basic as well as semi-fashionable) for the Indian and the overseas market, is also increasing its stitching capacity. Kolkata based brand, AppleEye recently tied up for 25,000 garments per month with one such Ahmedabad-based company. Two years old, Bubble Bee Export House, which had seen 200 per cent growth last year, is in the process to install 250 stitching machines.
As a stakeholder says garmenting was already there in Ahmedabad but it was majorly for the domestic and unorganised market. However, for last few years, it is growing in an organised manner. There are hardly any big exporters in India who do not take fabrics/printing support from Ahmedabad, so they tend to have a fair idea about the fabric required for export.
Swapnil Patel, Director, CA Patel Textiles, highlights the positive business environment, good infrastructure such as electricity are driving factors for companies to venture into apparel business. Having an annual business of Rs. 300 crores, the company is expecting 30 per cent growth. The focus has shifted towards apparel with capacities enhanced at the fabric level and now companies want to cover the entire value chain.
While things are moving at the right pace, the industry feels bringing overseas buyers to Ahmedabad is comparatively difficult. However, events like Textiles India help in this regard. Stakeholders say now companies should focus on attracting buying houses from Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru to visit Ahmedabad frequently as it is important to boost exports. Better prices and improved service can also provide solutions. Most apparel exports from Ahmedabad is to Middle Eastern countries rather than the US, EU or other countries. One of the reasons for this is Ahmedabad is not viable as competitive exporting countries have duty advantages in the US and EU. But local exporters feel with growing apparel manufacturing capacities, more companies from Ahmedabad will be able to cater to bulk buyers. It can be taken as a positive indication that some entrepreneurs accept and insist that the city needs to change its mindset, skillset for export, only then will it be able to challenge established apparel exporting hubs in India.