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Status Quo: Indian Textile Industry

India is known to be a country with youth majority and the business opportunities in India are vast. The textile industry is not untouched by it and with the development path India is on, the textile industry is paving its way for development too. This progress can be earmarked by some of the interesting facts enlisted below:

  1. India tops the list in manufacturing of textiles and apparels.
  2. After agriculture, Indian textile industry employs the largest workforce in India providing employment to an estimated 45 million people and with its increasing growth, the number of workforces is expected to reach a whooping 55 million people by 2020.
  3. In terms of natural fibre production, India is the biggest producer of cotton with the production of 345 lakh bales in 2016-17 and second-largest exporter after China.
  4. 8 million farmers livelihoods are dependent on the cotton industry and approximately 40-50 million people are directly or indirectly working with other processes of textile industries like processing and trading.
  5. India is the largest producer of jute in the world after Bangladesh.
  6. And India continues to be the 2nd largest silk producer after China producing around 18% of the world’s total silk.
  7. Just to give an estimate of the quantity, theoretically, India produces 70 tonnes of cotton and 22 tonnes of jute in a single minute.
  8. Of the total production of world’s handwoven fabrics, India is responsible for 95% of the total production.
  9. India is the second-largest exporter for Apparels after China and 3rd largest exporter for textiles and apparel globally.
  10. The domestic textiles and apparel industry accounts for 2.3% of India’s GDP and approximately for 13% of industrial production. In the country’s export earnings chart, domestic textiles and apparel industry is responsible for 12% of the country’s export earnings.
  11. In 2018-19, FDI in the textiles and apparel industry has reached upto $3.1 bn.
  12. According to a study, the Indian textile industry is forecasted to reach USD 223 bn by 2021.
  13. Exports in the textiles and apparel industry are expected to reach $300 bn by 2024-25 resulting in a tripling of Indian market share from 5% to 15%.


Some of the major factors contributing to the Indian textile industry growth are:

  • Raw material availability- natural and synthetic fibres both
  • With an increase in disposable income, the Indian population is presenting itself as a major consumer market as well.
  • Availability of trained and skilled workforce
  • Support by government policies
  • Presence of entire value chain makes the final products competitive
  • Organised retail and e-commerce landscape
  • With cheaper internet and smartphones, online shopping is the buzz word in rural India as well, growing a new set of consumers.
  • With the claustrophobic increase in the end-user base for end-user industries like infrastructure, automotive, healthcare etc, the focus on technical textiles is at its peak.

Government Initiatives:

  • Programs and policy initiatives specifically in the field of textile and handicrafts, technology, infrastructure creation, skill development is applaudable. Some of the prime intitiatives by Indian Government are enlisted below:
    • Amended Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme (ATUFS)
    • PowerTex India Scheme
      • Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks
    • SAMARTH- scheme for capacity building in the Textile Sector
    • Silk Samagra- integrated silk development scheme
    • North Eastern Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS)
      • National Handicraft Development Programme (NHDP)
    • Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS).
    • The Textile Ministry of India announced Rs 690 crore (US$ 106.58 million) for setting up 21 ready-made garment manufacturing units in seven states for development and modernisation of Indian Textile Sector.
  • Free trade with ASEAN is allowed and the textile sector is allowed for 100% FDI. All these policies can give the required momentum required by the textile industry to reach new heights.

Make In India Campaign:

Prime minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Make in India’ campaign on September 25, 2014, to boost domestic manufacturing units. The aim of this campaign was to increase the contribution of manufacturing in GDP from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. PM mentioned this phrase in his Independence day speech 2014 emphasising on his concern that most entrepreneurs are moving out of the country. Government is eyeing on the textile industry to be a source for employment generation, attracting foreign direct investment, and transforming India into a preferred manufacturing hub across the globe. This campaign has definitely boosted FDI in the country.

Current Industry Scenario

In 2016, the textile & garments industry in India is was $137 billion which is expected to reach a landmark of $ 223 bn by 2021.

Indian textile industry boasts of having the entire value chain and raw materials in the country itself and self-sufficient to cater it’s needs. It has the whole chain of supply from fiber, yarn, fabric to apparel. The diversity in the industry makes it all the more unique with segments ranging from products of traditional handloom, handicrafts, wool and silk products to the organized textile industry.

Indian textile industry can be categorised into the organised and unorganised sector. While the organised sector is basically the industries with salient features such as: capital-intensive technology for mass production of textile products like spinning, weaving, processing, and apparel manufacturing while the unorganised sector are small scale industries with less capital investment, outdated technology, labour intensive etc.

Including handicrafts, the domestic textiles and apparel industry was calculated to be at $140 bn in 2018 out of which $100 bn was consumed internally within the country while the rest $ 40 billion was exported to the world market. Showing further breakup, the domestic consumption of $100 bn accounted for $74 bn apparels, technical textiles at $19 bn and home furnishings at $7 bn. In the exports, $20.5 bn is the textile exports, apparel exports at $16.1 bn and handlooms at $3.8 bn.





Anshu Chauhan1,a, Sachin Chauhan2,b                 

1 M.S. – Wuhan Textile University, China; B Tech- TIT&S Bhiwani (Haryana); Merchandising Manager (Pinnium Brands), Bengaluru

2M.S. – Wuhan Textile University, China B Tech -TIT&S Bhiwani (Haryana); Asst Manager, National Textile Corporation, Delhi

aanshu135151@gmail.com , bsachinch20.94@gmail.com



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