Currently contributing 5 per cent to India’s GDP and 14 per cent to overall index of Industrial production, the textile sector was once one of the key industrial sectors in India. A study by Wazir Advisors and PCI Xylenes & Polyester says, the sector has potential to grow 5 times to around $ 500 billion market.
However, in recent times, textile companies have been feeling the heat, and many smaller countries have surpassed India in terms of share of exports in the global supply chain. What was once an advantage for India (lower energy, labour costs, compliance costs, etc) is now becoming the advantage of other countries.
Unlike many of its other neighbours, the requirements to manage obligations on energy and environment are stringent in India. Productivity lags behind other producing countries. Thus, new technologies are required and as also skilling staff to use these technologies. But all is not lost for the sector. There is an opportunity to turn things around. Emergence of Big Data Analytics and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) provides an amazing tool for the sector to explore and invest in process changes, resource optimisation and technology upgrades to double the energy/resource productivity.
The Indian textile industry with support from government should focus on technology upgrades and doubling resource/energy productivity - extracting maximum value out of its resources (considering that we have our presence in the entire value chain from fibre to garments). Once we do it all other disadvantages would be sort mitigated. Budget provisions will have to care for other business fundamentals but all benefits should help the industry move towards adaptation of new technologies and the utilisation of funds made available to the industry have to reflect progress on these key aspects.