Upskilling Textile Workers: How To Beat Global Competition?

There may be opportunities to explore in the industry, but India needs to scale up the productivity and give a competitive edge to bigger countries

In 2019, Indian textile industry estimated to be at US$ 100 billion, giving employment opportunities to 4.5 crore workers, including handloom (35.22 lakh). The sector contributes % to the global textile exports and is an important contributor to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. While the figures are intimidating, it cannot be ignored the textile sector is also highly unorganized and dispersed due to which the global competition is tough to beat.

Regardless of being the second-largest exporter of textiles in the world, India has difficulty in beating a stiff competition by smaller countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh. It is because of several reasons, namely threat of low-cost substitutes, better bargaining power of other countries, technological edge, and risk from new entrants. There may be opportunities to explore in the industry, but India needs to scale up the productivity and give a competitive edge to bigger countries.

Here’s why India must outperform the global competitors:

Improving The Infrastructure

In the textile industry, workers and land play an essential role in boosting execution, but infrastructure cannot be disregarded. Even though the country has a global favoring when it comes to textile exports, it lacks machinery as well as technology. This reliance on other nations for machinery combined with the hesitance of discarding the traditional measures of assembling must be the biggest roadblocks for the industry. Although India dominates in spinning and weaving because of its wealth of talented workers and small business units across villages and towns, manufacturing seems to be ignored. Market players are reluctant to update their machinery and technology, provocatively affected the degree of system manufacturing. This can be avoided by allocating budget into upgradation.

Reduce The Skill Gap

In order to penetrate more countries, India’s textile workers will have to offer extraordinary designs and innovative inputs. Doing this will have an eventual impact on the marketing and sales as well. The pandemic has had an important role to play in the changing dynamics of the industry. Buyers demand for skilled designers and merchandisers as well as tech-savvy textile workers who can improve their profits. Educational institutions, government-funded platforms, and brands themselves are responsible to train the textile and apparel industry workers. They must possess internet-marketing skills, technical training, skill-based learning, IT as well as English-speaking coaching. This will not only improve employment opportunities but also improve the overall welfare industry workers.

Investment In Technology

Indian textile and apparel brands need to venture into the Industry 4.0 revolution, already adapted by other countries around the world. While few organizations have stepped up and shifted towards the creation of "strategic factories" that most associations are hesitant because of the underlying investment and change in infrastructure. They resonate more with the current methods of assembling which have been discarded long ago and have faith in making This short-lived vision is hampering India's development in apparel and textile market as its rivals are going full scale into Industry 4.0.

The onus of execution relies upon activities and steps being taken by the Government of India to improve indigenous workers. Different nations are rooting for Indian textile sector and it's an ideal opportunity to outfit supply chains, quality, and deliver within the guaranteed timeframe, which will empower India to turn into a global leader.

The author is Karan Bose, Managing Director, Hula Global

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