The PLI scheme is a step in the right direction

The PLI scheme is a step in the right direction

From setting up the first textile mill in Ahemdabad to becoming the third-largest textile mill in the country, Mafatlal Industries has built a foundation on passion, commitment, and service. After establishing a base in Mumbai in 1919, there has been no looking back for the pioneering textile company. Divya Shetty converses with Priyavrata Mafatlal, Managing Director of Mafatlal Industries, as he delves into the company’s performance and shares insights on strategies to enhance export growth.

What was the company’s performance in the calendar year 2023?

In the calendar year 2023, Mafatlal Industries achieved remarkable success, marking it as one of its most outstanding years to date. The company strategically shifted its business model from asset-heavy manufacturing to an asset-light outsourcing approach, propelling its growth. Emphasising the Business-to-Government (B2G) segment, Mafatlal Industries has positioned itself as an aggregator and supplier to various state governments. This expansion extends beyond textiles into personal hygiene, healthcare, and digital infrastructure, contributing significantly to its overall progress.

Amid the global uncertainty, how can we boost our exports?

In the face of global uncertainty, India’s prowess in exports can be enhanced through substantial scaling up of garmenting capacities. Currently holding a 5 per cent share in the world’s textile and apparel trade, achieving a $10 billion export target necessitates an increase in garmenting capabilities. The significance of a favourable Free Trade Agreement (FTA) cannot be overstated, as it plays a critical role in boosting exports. Furthermore, India must transition from a manufacturing-centric approach to embracing research and development, engineering, and design skills. Getting to compete with China is more of question of scale than expertise.

What are the policy / schemes the government can incorporate to encourage the industry

For the industry to flourish, the government must establish a robust ecosystem conducive to the rapid scaling of the textile chain, thereby attracting crucial investments. Given the labour-intensive nature of the garmenting industry, a supportive labour policy is essential. Additionally, investment in developing garmenting skills is crucial to enhance productivity and compete with nations like China. The Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is a step in the right direction. Negotiating and signing favourable FTAs is paramount for the government to position India competitively against countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Reducing the cost of debt through the creation of a framework for the textile industry to secure funds at more affordable rates is imperative for global competitiveness.

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