Agility is the way forward for textile industry
Being nimble and technology adoption are timely needs for the global textile industry, says Prof Seshadri Ramkumar
On May 24, 2021, as a mark of celebrating the 33rd foundation
day of the North India Section of The Textile Institute (UK), industry
stakeholders joined via Zoom to discuss the way forward for the textile
industry and in particular, the Indian sector.
T Rajkumar, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian
Textile Industry (CII), provided detailed account on the Indian industry and
outlined schemes for the growth. Value-addition and skill development across
the value-chain are needed. Technical textiles is a sunrise sector and emphasised
the need for some mandatory usage of products such as airbags, quality
enhancements and standardisation. Highlighting how the Indian textile sector
geared-up during the current COVID-19 pandemic to make India self-reliant on
PPE, he stated the growth of the sector is about 13%.
Indiaâ€™s technical textiles sector offers
opportunities for growth in double digits. This scribe predicted the growth of
this sector, based on empirical modelling using GDP numbers in 2008. The
report, â€œIndia Rising: Opportunities in
Nonwovens and Technical Textiles,â€ estimated the
growth till the year 2050, with an annual growth around 13 percent. Todayâ€™s
statement by Rajkumar proves the growth numbers predicted in the 2008 report.
Government of India has to be greatly acknowledged for seeing the potential of
this field, with investments such as National Mission on Technical Textiles and
the establishment of Centers of Excellence in different fields of the technical
textiles sector all over the country. The current Indian government is
investing about $ 211.7 million for a period of four years till 2024 for this
Shirshir Jaipuria, Chairman and Managing Director
of Ginni Filaments, emphasised the need for agility, speed, and technology in
the textile industry. He highlighted four trends, which will impact the Indian
sector: 1) Technology; 2) Development of sustainable products; 3) Marketing
strategy and 4) Understanding of consumers. Industry should be data driven and
should focus on open and better exchange of ideas, added Jaipuria. Stating how
the IT sector is agile in coming-up with new products, Jaipuria encouraged the
industry to be nimble and adapt to the requirements.
Professor Vijay Kothari emphasised the need for
better coordination among academia, research organisation and industry. He
added, working in silos need to be overcome and integrated approach is needed.
In my view, cost effective new products which
consumers need and focusing on products that cater to health care, environment
and industrial applications are needed. Having said that efficiencies must be
achieved in the commodity fiber-to-fashion supply chain as this sector is an
important bread winner.
Seshadri Ramkumar is the Professor, Nonwovens & Advanced Materials
Laboratory, at Texas Tech University, Texas, USA. He can be reached on email: