Indian textile exporters are now looking at diversifying their portfolio. Exporters are finding it difficult to export due to demand slowdown in major destination markets like the Europe and the US. So, now they are emphasising on producing variety of products like trousers, kids wear, pullovers and jackets.
Currently, India contributes only one per cent of the total global production in these categories. They plan to increase the share four-fold. Out of India’s total garments exports, these categories’ share is 10-15 per cent and focusing on these items will also help arrest slowdown and gain some lost ground in international market.
New portfolio is expected to help them lure back customers and help venturing into newer markets like China, which have shifted to producing more value-added items.
“Garment units are implementing plans for entering these categories in a big way and also offer blended fabric garments. Many of these units are also producing technical textiles to increase exports,” said A Sakthivel, chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).
Earlier, Indian exporters only exported items like knitwear and woollens, which narrowed their opportunities. Exports have been falling since the past few months. In April last year, readymade garment exports stood at $1,096 million, which gradually fell to $899 million in November, according to the AEPC estimates.
“Indian exporters have not diversified their portfolio and have restricted themselves to a narrow range of products. This has restricted their reach. If they offer varied products, exports will improve considerably,” said D K Nair, secretary-general of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (Citi).
Exporters are also targeting new destinations like China, Latin America, Norway, South Korea and Russia.
China, being a big textile exporter in itself, has now turned its focus on high-value textile items, thus making space for Indian exporters to capture the Chinese market as well. Also, India is now a preferred option for textile importers compared to China, as India’s labour costs are lower.
Export promotion programmes are being held to encourage 15,000 exporters to participate in the twelfth five-year plan with over Rs 200 crore to be spent on these.