How COVID-19 has shaped the Indian textile industry for the better
Did anyone ever think that one day, a situation like the coronavirus pandemic will arrive in India and change things to such a great extent that it will impact our daily life as well? Everything has changed in the post-COVID-19 era – the way we work, staying at home, and attending virtual meetings and events.
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.
Online textile industry: Turning crisis into opportunities
The post-COVID-19 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 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clothes are one of the basic needs of existence, which is why even during lockdown, the online textile industry witnessed a boom in sales. The 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. The online textile industry even registered an increase in sales due to no dependency on the offline industry comprising, for example, the wholesaler, semi wholesaler, retailers, middle persons etc.
Online retailers to be the next unicorns
Due to such an upward trend being witnessed in the online textile industry, retailers with a presence on the internet have a big possibility to become unicorns (a company with a value of over $1 billion) of the New Age India. When the lockdown was imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the summer season and people were doing their summer-related purchases.
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 retailer unicorns is imminent.
Textile e-retailers: Gamechangers for India
In 2021, e-retailers will prove to be a big game-changer by playing a pivotal role in the recovery of the Indian economy in the post-COVID-19 era. The 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, as the Indian economy shows 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 aims for the textile sector to be the key focus of new policies being framed to achieving the target of a $5 trillion economy.
In Budget 2021-22, the government 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 also announced 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 time for minimising transportation losses, eyeing big-ticket investments in the sector.
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 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 a 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 materials to giving the final shape to the products that eventually consumers are going to purchase. Further, the Indian textile industry is expected to witness some new trends in the future such as increased demand for natural fibers, shifting focus towards non-woven fabrics, etc.
Indian textiles industry's potential
The Indian textiles industry has immense potential to register an indelible mark while contributing to the growth and success of the nation, but the sector needs more support from the government like policy initiatives and the crackdown on the red tape.
Moreover, the Centre also took the decision to rationalise the duties on raw material inputs. But, more export promotion policies are required for the textiles sector, like how in the past, the government allowed 100 percent FDI in the sector under the automatic route.
The 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.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)