Indian textiles are as diverse as the vibrant Indian culture and that goes without saying. From dyeing techniques dating back to thousands of years to the machine-woven apparels matching up with the latest fashion, Indian textiles house a wide variety of forms. The textiles secretary, Ravi Capoor, recently told media that India is organising the world's largest virtual textile fair soon, that will incorporate nearly 50,000 sellers and 30,000 buyers across the globe. The government, at present, is looking for an Indian platform for the same.
This comes at the time when the industry is suffering financially due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving lives of many an artisan out of order. Subdued domestic demand and declining export demand due to lockdowns in global markets on account of COVID-19 come as a double blow for textile companies, reads a report by India Ratings & Research. The government is expecting to revive the loss, with the virtual fair at the helm of it.
“80% of our exports go to 5-6 markets and we are focused on a few markets, which is good but we need to expand to newer markets… We can move to new areas when the chips are down for major suppliers,” explained Capoor who strongly believes that India has the potential to double the exports in the coming to year in foreign markets and that a huge outreach programme could help significantly expand in these markets, especially in Japan, Latin America and the countries under Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
“We are concentrated on few markets only. We should expand in the markets where India was never present. This is the time for the textile industry to increase its market share and take advantage of the international markets,” he said.
Some industrialists and business experts believe that the pandemic has, in fact, opened up new vistas for the Indian textile industry and that India could gain market share of China in the developed world, especially the US and the EU. Capoor, for instance, says that this might be the most promising of times for the industry, with a growing domestic and export demand in the backdrop. As per him, the orders for Indian textiles are already pouring in and it is how the industry manages the supplies and delivery schedule, that'll shape the fate.
One such country where the business opportunity seems bright is Japan. Sanjay Kumar Verma, the Ambassador of India to Japan recently shared during the inauguration of 7th edition of India Tex Trend Fair (ITTF) that, “Covid-19 pandemic has brought up the necessity for diversifying the supply chains and therefore Japanese companies also plan to reduce their dependence on any particular geography. Although India's share in the Japanese market is negligible, in the textile sector there's a good potential for increasing bilateral textile trade between the two.”