Textile industry in India is considered as a pioneer industry, as India’s industrializations in other fields have succeeded through the resources generated by textile industry. Though, from the early 1970s to the beginning of liberalization in 1992, the industry tended to be isolated as measures taken by the Government (with the apparent objective of protecting the cotton growers, the large labor force and the consumers) have constantly eroded its prosperity.
World over, the Indian textile industry is PERFORMANCE FABRIC considered as the second largest industry. It has the biggest cotton acreage of 9 million hectares and is considered as the third largest producer of this fiber. In terms of staple fiber production it comes fourth and sixth for filament yarn production. The country reports about one fourth of global trade in cotton yarn.
With over 15 million people employment, the textile industry accounted for 20 percent of its industrial production. Covering textiles and garments, thirty percent of India’s export comes from this sector, in terms of exports it is the largest contributors for the growth of Indian economy. In spite of high capital and power cost, the Indian textile and garment sector’s strength comes from the availability of cotton, lower labor costs, well skilled supervisory staff and plentiful technical and managerial skills.
Although very few countries are endowed with such resources, today’s globalization has brought new opportunities for the India textile industry. Concurrently, it is exposed to threats, particularly from cheap imported fabrics. Thus, India has to fight for her share in the international textile trade. Even if it is assumed that WTO will mean better distribution of the world trade, the benefits for India will not be any different than for the other developing countries. The Indian textile industry would, therefore, have to not only rely on its strengths but should also endeavor to remove its weakness.
India’s apparel exporters, though, have been employing various strategies to make sure that they remain competitive in the liberalized trading environment of 2005 and beyond. Many manufacturers are taking action for improving production efficiency through advanced automation system, re-engineering of production systems, merging separate production units and backward and forward integration of operations and are keen to expand their production capacity in anticipation of enhanced demand in 2005 and beyond Among other manufacture are seeking changes through diversifying their product ranges, exporting high value apparel and improving their design capabilities and some of are planning to raise added value by setting up joint ventures with foreign firms, to take benefit of their technical, design and marketing proficiency. Others are making relationships with foreign buyers to increase their marketing capability.
Support has also arrived from the Indian government in the removal of restrictions on investment by large companies and foreign investors. The Government has also provided assistance to expand the infrastructure for exporters and has given incentives for techno-logical up-gradation. Though, most important restriction is the inflexibility in labor laws, which cause it hard for large firms to cut their workforces when require.