Akira Kawashima, Senior Director, Japan Fashion Week Organization/Textile Division
“Due to the turmoil caused by COVID-19, global apparel and textile industry has been greatly affected. In Japan, many people are forced to work from home and consequently not only individual workers (including freelancers) but also company employees are frightened of large-scale personnel-cuts. Incomes have reduced to 60 per cent of normal. Amid such a situation, people’s desire for ‘dressing’ is low. This tendency will continue for a while even after COVID-19 is over, which will lead to local small-mid-sized textile companies suffering from lack of funds, as they cannot wait for recovery, causing more bankruptcy and/or voluntary closures.”
How will COVID- 19 impact Japan’s apparel & textile industry’s business in the mid to long term? What is the most critical aspect?
Due to the turmoil caused b... Read more
Andrew Lipsman, Principal Analyst, eMarketer
Consumers are actually spending more on essential goods: Grocery stores saw a 26.9% increase in spending and health stores saw a 4.3% increase. This is partly because these are the only brick-and-mortar stores that are allowed to remain open right now, but it is also because consumers are worried about spending money unnecessarily with a significant recession looming on the horizon. Across the board, sectors that rely on discretionary spending have seen declines. “There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the future,” says Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at the research firm eMarketer. “People are shifting their spending to focus on the things they really need and cutting their budgets on less essential goods.”
But the coronavirus lockdown has changed our lifestyles in ways that make buying new clothes particularly irrelevant. Since people are finding ways to... Read more
G B Aras, Director Textile Engineering Group, ATE
“One inherent advantage Indian textile industry has is that we are fully independent as far as the supply chain is concerned. Compared to other industries like pharmaceutical, electronics etc, their supply chain is dependent of global suppliers including China. So the industry that can really take advantage from global market with sustainable increase in exports is textile. If the government realizes this and gives proper support the industry will bounce back faster and increase its export share.”
What challenges is the Indian textile and garments industry facing right now? How can they be overcome?
The textile industry was already under a financial stress for entire 2019 and the sudden event, known as the ‘Black Swan Event’ when suddenly things like this happens was not expected. There will be a long term impact on individual business and the country’s e... Read more
K K Lalpuria, MD, Indo Count
“The current situation is very uncertain, complex and unprecedented. Customers who closed their stores or point of sales have no option but to cancel their orders. In fact, we are unable to ship to even those who have not cancelled their orders. Some have deferred it where there is low impact believing it may start by the first week of June. As the situation has impacted both parties in the business they should take each other’s views in resolving issues; should be open for suggestions and see mutually how they can minimize the loss. They should plan together to see how they can sustain their market share and build on opportunities.
Our first objective is to ensure all our staff and workers are safe. Once we are allowed to start operations, we would convert the whip to finished form and keep goods ready for shipment. We are studying the credit terms and customers business in detail ... Read more
Ramesh Poddar, Chairman, Siyaram
“Definitely there is an opportunity for India as everyone will look for an alternative source. Hence, if we are able to exploit this chance, then definitely there is a possibility for India to be the next sourcing hub. China on the other hand has the advantage of bulk production and to get that kind of advantage and to come to their cost structure will take time though our labour costs are comparatively the same and the advantage they have is of mass scale production. I feel India should take this challenge and fill the gap.”
What is the current status of garment and textile industry in India due to the lockdown?
The operations in garment and textiles industry are at standstill due to lockdown. There is very little scope of work from home in our kind of industry. We feel India is attempting a better control of situation due to delayed entry of Coronavirous in India and thoughtful leadershi... Read more
R K Agarwal, Chairman, Telangana Spinners Association
“Not only India and but the entire world is realizing, we need to have alternate supply sources. Indeed, this is a big eye opener for everyone more so for us since we are in competition with China. There is nothing that stops us from creating large capacities where we will be able to cater to the world’s requirement in various segments, and fulfill the entire value chain in apparel and the downstream industry. I am sure, many entrepreneurs will come forward to assess the pitfalls we are going through and the lessons learnt from them. In future, some investments will go through in fabric and other raw materials that we are sourcing from China. We need to learn from this and push ourselves to be self-dependent.”
What challenges are being faced by the industry today and how to overcome them?
The Prime Minister’s decision to lockdown the country was very timely... Read more
R K Rewari, Managing Director, Morarjee Textiles
“It is wait and watch strategy as we have been informed by customers due to the pandemic all orders are on hold. We can prepare ourselves for future challenges of low demand. Low demand means markings are also low and competitiveness is higher in the market this puts pressure on us to go back to basics to see our cost structure, ways of doing business etc. Many things might change. One is low demand, and the other is new rules of conducting business, most of which will be through video conferencing etc. It looks like there could be a systematic change in overall structure. We are preparing ourselves by keeping our morale high, think positive and identifying the gaps that need to be filled to enable us to meet the challenge of demand whether it is low or high.”
With a lockdown, what is the current status of India’s garment and textile industry?
C... Read more
Thomas Verghese, Former-Chairman, CII Marketing, Retail and Textile Councils
“Lack of credibility and trust will lead to many large brands looking for alternative sourcing to China but I do not think any country is equipped to replace China including India. India does not have that kind of capacity to feed global demand and are not in a position for bulk manufacturing of normal commodity items. We do more of customized exports. We don’t do manufacturing of bulk items. We don’t have that capacity and infrastructure at the moment. It will take two to four years minimum even if everyone is aligned and the government gives supporting fiscal and tariff benefits. Given the reality of Indian industry and government’s policy support measures, it seems an unrealistic expectation.”
What is your observation and understanding of the current turmoil facing the textile industry?
The textile industry has com... Read more
R D Udeshi, President, Polyester Chain, Reliance Industries
“Once the country opens up after the lockdown, at the onset, we will face severe worker issues. Textile industry is a labour-intensive industry and with large number of workers having returned to their native bases before and during the lockdown, availability of labour would be scarce. This is generally noticed after festivals and we are likely to face a greater challenge in bringing them back to work. However, we expect things to normalize by May, assuming that the lockdown is partially and reasonably eased by April. Some units will restart aiding workers to return back to their manufacturing hub and situation would gradually stabilise”
India is going through very challenging times What do you think will happen to the garment and textile industry post lockdown?
Let me begin with Reliance Industries, the Leadership strongly believes that the organizational ... Read more
Debabrata Gosh, Oerlikon, General Manager India
“Once everything normalizes there will be a big momentum. The advantage is that we have a huge potential and such big domestic market hence we are not dependent on exports alone. I don’t see any threat for the textile industry. As for opportunities, we are expecting more export orders in future because the same has happened in the yarn segment and it will happen in the fabric segment also and the world will take India more seriously as a manufacturer. So far everybody was dependent on China. Since they offered cheaper rates, people switched to China but now the world will think in a different way to keep the supply chain active from India.”
How do you foresee your business prospects in India?
Most customers have closed their plants except bottle grade polyester units, which is an essential item. So they are still operative and a lot of PTA and MHE raw m... Read more
Dilip Gyanchandani, Country Manager, India, Wool Mark Company
From the textile and garment industry prospective there would be short- to mid- term business impact on volumes as due to the lockdown working factories have come down to minimum production levels. From September onwards, normalcy should be restored but it will take about three to four months for the industry to bounce back. Things are looking good now but it is an uncertain period and is difficult to say something at this stage because it looks like we are containing the pandemic.
We at Wool Mark in India are working from home. As usual, we are connected with partners and providing online and digital information. At this point, they have enough time to go through the digital courses to study fiber, our product and development and wool as and when they are free. We are also ensuring all our staff globally are safe at home and are inter connected to create a posit... Read more