Did anyone ever think even in the wildest of dreams that one-day coronavirus will arrive in India that too all the way from China, and change the existing things to such a great extent that it will impact our daily life as well? Everything has changed in the post-Covid-19 era - our work from the office is now work from home, our travel and tourism are reducing to new lows, our meetings are now mostly virtual, events too have gone online. But, despite all these negative aspects, there is a silver lining as well - many people, sectors, and industries have turned the coronavirus crisis into an opportunity. One such sector is the Textile Industry.
Indian textiles and apparel industry contributed 2.3 percent to the GDP of India, 13 percent to industrial production, and 12 percent to export earnings (as of March 22, 2021). Moreover, exports of readymade garments (of all textiles) were worth US$ 1.04 billion (as of November 2020).
Online Textile Industry: Turning Crisis into Opportunities
The post-Covid era has provided a big opportunity for the online textile industry. The sales in the online textile industry witnessed a jump in various cities and states of India due to the lockdown that was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus-caused Covid-19 pandemic.
It goes without saying that cloth is one of the basic needs and requirements after food. It is nothing less than any essential commodity, and that's why even during lockdown online textile industry witnessed a boom in sales. Lockdown failed to leave any negative impact on the online textile industry because of its operations in the virtual space leaving no room for human or physical contact to further spread coronavirus in the country. The online textile industry even registered an increasing trend in sales due to no dependency on the offline industry for example wholesalers, semi-wholesalers, retailers, middle persons, etc.
Online Retailers to be Next Unicorns in New Age India
With such an increasing and upward trend being witnessed in the online textile industry, retailers with a presence on the Internet have a big possibility to become the Unicorns (a company with a value of over $1 billion) of new-age India. When the lockdown was imposed amid the Covid-19 pandemic and it was a summer season, people were doing their summer-related purchase online as retail shops were not allowed to open to curtailing the spread of coronavirus. With all these developments in place, businesses of the online retail industry also witnessed a spike in revenue sheets. The online textile industry has all the valid reasons to give birth to new Unicorns in India.
During the lockdown, shopping was taking place through the online route and most of the customers were happy with the online experience. Right from choosing items to trying them, even the return policies created a win-win situation for shoppers on the Internet as customers felt very comfortable purchasing their stuff online. It has been predicted by many textile industry experts that the trend of increased sales in the online textile industry will continue to persist in the future as well. And, hence, the birth of online retailers Unicorns is imminent.
Textile E-retailers: Gamechangers for the Indian Economy in the Year 2021
In the year 2021, e-retailers will prove to be a big game-changer by playing a pivotal role recovery of the Indian economy in the post-Covid era. Indian textiles and apparel industry have contributed 2.3 percent to the GDP of India, 13 percent to industrial production and 12 percent to export earnings. Post Covid-19 pandemic, when the Indian economy is showing green shoots of recovery, the future of the online textile industry looks promising in the wake of increased domestic consumption after a lockdown in addition to export demand playing an important role.
Even the government has made it clear that the textile sector is one of the key focuses of new policies being framed to achieve the target of a $5 trillion economy. The government in its Budget 2021-22 proposed a scheme for setting up mega textile parks in the country to enable India's textile industry to become globally competitive, attract large investments and boost employment generation through the creation of world-class infrastructure. It has been announced in the Budget 2021 that 7 seven mega textile parks will be established over three years as part of the scheme. The mega textile parks will have integrated facilities and quick turnaround times for minimizing transportation losses, eyeing big-ticket investments in the sector. Now, with such a massive level of production in the textile sector due to the unprecedented boost by the government, e-retailers are going to be the biggest beneficiary of these developments. Online shoppers have already tasted the convenience, trust, and comfort of shopping on the Internet and will continue to enjoy and avail benefits in the future as well. And, e-retailers will emerge as the biggest winners in this entire success journey of the online textile industry.
Role of Technology and Trends
Moreover, technology can play the role of big brother in reviving, rejuvenating, and reinvigorating the Indian textile industry. Undoubtedly, tech support is vital to any sector but when it comes to textile, it becomes even more important due to the integral role of machines right from sourcing raw material to giving final shape to the products that eventually consumers are going to get. Further, the Indian textile industry is expected to witness some new trends in the future - increased demand for natural fibers, shifting focus towards non-woven fabrics to name a few.
Indian Textiles Industry's Potential
The Indian textiles industry has immense potential to register an indelible mark while contributing to the growth and success story of the nation but the sector needs more support from the government like policy initiatives, crackdown on red-tapism involved in availing schemes meant for the textile industry.
Moreover, the Centre also took the decision to rationalize the duties on raw material inputs. But, more export promotion policies are required for the textiles sector, like in the past, the Central government allowed 100 percent FDI in the sector under the automatic route.
Indian textile industry is entering into a no holds barred kind of phase where the sky is the limit, provided the sector gets robust support from the government in terms of policies, promotions, and incentives so that the domain can move up the ladder and chart its own course in the right direction.