We all know that even when the reforms started during the Narasimha Rao government regime, the same apprehensions were raised of markets being flooded with cheap goods and that the India industry will die out because of the competition, but then a different type of industry popped up and a whole new generation of entrepreneurs was born.
I do understand the threat that China and its inexpensive products pose to the industry but RCEP could have been an opportunity too, an opportunity to have access to its vast market and also to its resource base. Both of which are not only huge, but also diverse.
Otherwise too Indian market is flooded with Chinese goods so what more damage could it have done… at least we would have had a chance for reverse penetration.
Look at Bangladesh and Vietnam, both these apparel manufacturing destinations, without having a strong resource base like we in India claim, have grown and done exceptionally well for themselves… backed by a strong supply chain outside the country… so why can’t we have an integrated cross-board collaboration.
It is worth noting that we already have FTAs with four of the developed markets in the RCEP, so why do we need to add the new markets with which we either have or can have bilateral treaties. It seems futile.
Though, in all honesty I must also say that India has not been a gainer in any of the FTAs which it has signed so far, including Japan, which is always projected as a major market opportunity for apparel manufacturers.
Let’s hope that Atamnirbhar and ‘Be vocal for local’ gain acceptance and industry takes this opportunity to give us better negotiating power.
We have continued to carry news on Atmanirbhar and are proud to promote young companies and people from our industry that have embarked on the path of ‘self-reliance’, as also joint ventures that are going to or are already manufacturing in India.
Recently, 4 Tirupur-based firms developed hot air seam sealing machine Sealking, which is not just suitable for PPE coveralls but can also be used for activewear garment category for long-term sustainability of businesses. Another news that created waves was on the wonder boy, Vaibhav Agarwal, a seventh semester student from NIFT Delhi, who has created indigenous N95 mask manufacturing machine which is the first-of-its-kind for the industry and is giving serious competition to similarly performing international machines.
A long time, true blue- Make in India believer, Ramsons has responded to the pandemic with its ‘Made in India’ disinfectant equipment. The company, with its strong R&D team, worked 24X7 when COVID-19 hit India hard and was one of the first to develop Made in India products that are CE certified.
The efforts of Flipspaces, in collaboration with Magnum Resources, to reboot workspaces, are quite significant. The company has launched a suite of services and products for workspace transformation (for both factories and offices) called REBOOTSPACES. A local effort that can change the workspace dynamics for the better!
Not to be left behind, Bengaluru-based GA Morgan Dynamics Private Limited, an Indian subsidiary of Italy-based fashion, textile and automotive technology provider Morgan Tecnica, has indigenously developed a range of allied equipment for the cutting industry in India.
The movement is strong and augurs well for the future of the Industry and the determination to be self-reliant or Atamnirbhar as the Prime Minister likes to call it.
But is this enough…I don’t think so.
We need to elevate the effort and integrate the country’s strength in the IT sector to gain recognition in segments that are still largely unexplored, namely the ‘smart garment industry’.
Start-ups should invest and develop smart garments for sports, defence and health sector that can fetch up to fob US $ 700 if it appeals to the targeted audience… what more can a manufacturer ask for.
It is time that India sways away from regular competition in traditional product categories to be leaders in segments that they have potential strengths in and are future growth areas!