The three day mega trade fair by the Ministry of Textiles – ‘Textiles India 2017’ – concluded recently in Ahmedabad. The mega trade fair received an overwhelming response with exhibitors from more than 105 countries participating. Leading fashion designers also came together to showcase collections in two fashion shows which focussed on traditional textile and domestic handloom.

The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who lauded the efforts of the Ministry of Textiles in organising the largest trade fair in the country for stakeholders of the textile sector to come together and promote skill that is close to Indian culture and heritage. Speaking at the occasion, PM said, “India has the most liberal investment policy for investment in the textile sector. It has abundant supply of raw material like cotton, jute, silk and man-made fibre, which provides the country a distinct advantage over other countries. The resulting higher demand of products offers a huge domestic market for textile products.”

Modi said that the government is focussed on the growth of the textile industry and has, in the past few years, seen healthy competition among States in attracting investment in the sector. He added that the time has come to focus on textile exports and urged States to take necessary steps to channelise resources. He further added that innovation and research are the new mantra for the much needed growth of the sector.

Highlighting the growing demand for products with zero carbon footprints, Modi said that efforts should be made to promote organic products and further explore the niche markets that demand such products. He stressed that further research should be made to develop fabric from other natural sources too, as this will establish India as valued partner for countries seeking growth and investment opportunities in the textile sector.

The Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani, who was present at the inaugural function said, “Textile India seeks to bring together global leaders in value chain of Indian Textile industry. We seek to understand best global practices in the textile sector. During the three years of our government, we have launched the India Handloom brand. Textile India 2017 brings together textile, tradition, and technology. It is a mega conclave that has been organised with the objective of promoting the textile sector; connecting and collaborating with all stakeholders and helping in the realisation of the Prime Minister’s dream of giving the sector a push for further growth and aligning it with the Make in India campaign.”

In the presence of OP Kohli, Governor of Gujarat; Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat said that Gujarat is the textile capital of India and the Summit has received more strength through the support received from States such as Andhra Pradesh and Assam. Modi had launched the textile policy in Gujarat in 2012 to provide financial and physical support to the sector, as a result of which more than 28 textile parks have been established in the State. In last four years, 29,500 cr has been invested in the sector in the State.

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu was also present at the inauguration. Among others Richard Heald, CEO, UKIBC and David Cummings, President and CEO of US Polo Assn. participated in the inaugural programme, where they expressed their interest in collaborating with India and sharing technologies to help India create new avenues for further growth of the textile sector on a global scale.

India & South Korea: Building Better Ties In The Textile Industry

The first-day saw the country session between India and South Korea. Anant Kumar Singh, Secretary MoT, Government of India, was the Chief Guest for this and session and he spoke about how both countries could build better ties. He also and talked about how the Textile Ministry and the Government of India will provide the and best infrastructure facilities to all MNCs interested in investing in India.

Bue-Heung Kim, the Director of the Korea Federation of Textile Industries (KOFOTI), and thanked the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and for organising this unique event. He expressed hope for better trade relations and between India and South Korea. Mamta Verma, Industries Commissioner, Government of Gujarat was also present for the event and she talked about how Gujarat today has become a leader in the textile industry.

Assam And Andhra Partner With Ministry Of Textiles

Andhra Pradesh in partnership with the Ministry of Textiles for the mega trade fair held a conference to share perspective on its potential in promoting the textile sector. Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu spoke about the importance of Jute and how the industry has helped in rural employment at Textiles India 2017. During the session, he said about how the Andhra Government held a number of seminars on the various measures to develop the textile industry in Andhra Pradesh and invested over ₹ 5,000 cr into the industry. Naidu stated that this has led to employment figures of over 16,000 for AP, especially as it currently has some of the best mills in the country.

Naidu further added that with the success of countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand have had in recent years in the textile industry and how the industry is the 2nd largest employer in many States after agriculture, developing it will be important for the future of our country. The speakers for this session included Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani and Kollu Ravindra, Minister of Textiles, Andhra Pradesh. The North Eastern State of Assam is also a leading partner in this one-of-its-kind fair and is known for their traditional handloom and textile industry.

Roundtable Discussions

Many technical sessions round tables were held at the Helipad Groundsvenue alongside the Textiles India Exhibition. These round table discussions were held to understand the challenges and opportunities in diverse segments of the textile sector.

Trends In Indian Cotton

Round table discussions were held to comprehend the prevailing and expected trends in the cotton sector. The panelist discussed ways to popularise the aspects of environmental friendly cotton based textiles. The key agenda that were discussed included the threats that cotton sector faces from other fibres, improving the per hectare yields of cotton and reducing contamination. Cotton sector scenario in the country was also discussed where it was pointed out that India produces very good quality of cotton, but is sold in discounted price because of certain contaminations therefore there is a need to reduce the level of contaminations. Only about 2.5 per cent of cotton is tested as compared to the other countries. It was also noted that cotton industries should understand the requirements and pay attention in the downstream process, towards the finishing levels. It was also noted that cotton is the most widespread profitable nonfood crop in the world. India’s export of raw cotton has increased in significant years, while the import has decreased. There are about 10 mn farmers who produce cotton in India.

There are 18 types of soil where cotton can be cultivated. In the last 16 years the area of cotton production doubled. Gujarat has the highest production in India, following Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.

The panelist for the roundtable were Andrew Macdonald, Consultant, AMCON Consulting, Sao Paulo, Brazil and representing Brazilian Cotton Growers Association; Dr. MV Venugopalan, Principal Scientist, Central Institute for Cotton Research; Christian Schindler, Director General, International Textile Manufacturers Federation; PR Roy, Chairman – Diagonal Consulting (India). Siddhartha Rajagopal, ED, from TEXPROCIL moderated the roundtable session.

King Cotton – Regaining The Edge In Global Market

A round table discussion was held on how cotton can regain edge in the global market, where it noted that Cotton consumption in India has increased from 26- 41 per cent and total world consumption is 24.57 per cent. India is the largest cotton producing country and second largest consuming country. Cotton and cotton textile account for one third foreign exchange revenue for India. Already there is a robust cotton value chain providing employment to many. It was also noted that by adopting the Bt. Cotton in 2002 the yield level has significantly improved but has stagnated in the last five years. This stagnation in yield level can be broken by using biotech, better irrigationand mechanization. For regain the edge in cotton sector it was noted that grouping of cotton cultivars based on quality is required which would then permit the cultivars to grown cotton based on economic regions. It was also expressed that group farming concept for uniform collection of cotton would also be helpful to regain the edge via reducing the strain on the logistics side of the cotton value chain.

Dr. CD Mayee, Founder President, South-Asia Biotechnology Centre; Rajeev Baruah, Country Director, Better Cotton Initiative; IJ Dhuria, Director (Materials), Vardhaman Textiles Ltd.; Rebecca Pandolph, Statistician, International Cotton Advisory Committee took part in the panel discussion. The session was moderated by Suresh Kotak, Chairman Indian Society for Cotton Development.

Made Up Success Story

Globally the US and the EU are the leading importers of bed linen. World Trade in Made Ups is stagnant and has marginally decline from $64 bn in 2014 to $59 bn in 2016. India’s export share of made-ups is also flat at $4.6 bn. India’s share in global trade in made ups is also stagnant at 7.8 per cent. India and China are the key players as far as home textiles are concerned. India has tremendous potential to grow made up business both domestically and internationally. Domestic markets offer greater opportunities for growth in view of increasing in purchasing power,change in lifestyle, increase in nuclear families, aspiration young population. In export market focus is mainly on Europe, USA, and to some extent of Canada and Australia. China occupies 43 per cent of the world share and they are slowing down offering greater opportunity to India. India will have to increase the basket of products in the Made Up segment. India can take full advantage of its strength in raw materials, skilled manpower, design and innovations.

The roundtable discussion included KV Srinivasan, MD Sree Narasimha Textiles Pvt. Ltd.; Pradeep Mukherjee, Senior Consultant with Gherzi Consulting Engineers Pvt. Ltd.; Rajesh Mahajan, Founder of Maspar Brand in India. Prem Malik, Vice- Chairman NSL Textiles Ltd. moderated the session.

Productivity And Marketing Constrains In Wool Sector

A discussion was held with the agenda to understand the productivity and marketing constraints in wool sector. India is the 7th largest producer of wool and contributes 1.8 per cent to the total world production. The Indian wool industry is primarily dependent on imported raw material. The State of Rajasthan is the biggest producer of wool contributing 44 per cent of the total wool produced in the country. It was noted that one the primary constraints of the wool sector is the pre loom and post loom facilities available to this sector which are inadequate and outdated. It was also noted that there is a lack of opportunity for development of skill in the woolen sector, there is a major shortage of trained workforce to undertake efficient production. About 12 lakh people in India are involved in sheep breading and rearing for the wool sector. Wool production in India is primarily a rural unorganised sector where the producers are unaware of modern techniques of wool extraction. There is also an urgent need to make the wool producers aware of the qualitative as well as monetary aspect so that the producers can get better returns for their produce.

The panelist for the session were Peta Slack-Smith, AWI, Sydney; Dr AM Mir, MD, Cashmere Marketing Agencies; Mridula Jain, Chairperson, Shawl Club of India and MD Shingora Textiles Ltd.; Vikas Mohatta, MD, Felt & Technical Textiles, Jaipur. The roundtable was moderated by Ravikant Kapur, Chairman, Grentex & Co. Pvt. Ltd.

Waterless Textile Processing And 3D Printing

Round table discussion was conducted to understand the utility if the innovation of waterless textile processing and 3D printing to reduce the water consumption in the textile industry. Water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource across the world. Today most industrial sectors including textile are facing crisis due to decreasing availability of water for processing and production. Textile sector consumes a huge amount of water starting from the production of raw material phase to the finished product and packaging phase. There is an urgent need to reduce this dependence and shifting to better and efficient of manner of production. 3D printing technology has the potential to revolutionise the textile industry.

The speakers of the session included Rene Van Berkel, Representative – Regional Office India (UNIDO); Dr. Manisha Mathur, Deputy Director (SASMIRA); Dr. JLV Prasad, Sanganer Enviro Project Development. Prof. Asim Tiwari, IIT Bombay Dept. of Mechanical Engg. was the moderator of the round table.

Zero Liquid Discharge System (ZLD)

Effluent discharge from textile sector is one of the biggest environmental polluters in the world. There is an urgent need to drastically cut down this source of pollution. To discuss ways of developing a system of zero liquid discharge from textile sector a round table discussion was organised. It was noted that the treatment of waste water is an expensive technology and cost of setting up of water treatment plant must be reduced. Stricter policy norms and monitoring of polluting units will help in tackling the issue of pollution to a great extent. Textile sector is mostly dominated by MSME sector, these would require Government subsidy or interventions to set up zero liquid discharge systems. Government is formulating a policy especially for textile industry to help and guide the MSMEs to implement zero discharge system. Today, Zero Liquid discharge is an expensive technology there is an urgent need in countries like India to develop/invent cheaper technology. For India developing a Zero Liquid Discharge System is a huge techno-economic challenge. Zero Liquid Discharge System will ensure that waste water complete utilisation of water. About 80 per cent to 85 per cent water can be reutilised for processing.

The panelist for the round table included Judith Buchmaier, Dy Head, AEE; Dr. Madhusudanan, Central Pollution Control Board; Dr Rajah Vijaykumar, Scientist; Dr Anil Misra, National Project Manager, UNIDO. Sajid Hussain, Chief Operating Officer, TWIC moderated the round table.

Jharkhand Capable Of Leading The Textile Sector In India

In the 2nd day’s Jharkhand State sessions of Textile India 2017, the Chairman of Jharkhand Khadi Board, Sanjay Seth said that Textile India 2017 will prove to be helpful in the advancement in country’s textile sector. He said that these events will not only help in the advancement of the country but will also help the country to develop rapidly. On the usage of towels in sports like Wimbledon he said that it is a proud moment for us that products that are manufactured in India are being given importance in international sports events. He further said that the Indian textile industry represents the whole of India’s culture. Apart from this, he also mentioned the importance of fashion and design in the textile sector.

In his address, Sanjay Seth informed that a Khadi Park will be constructed in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. The labour force of Jharkhand is very capable and textile industry has a lot of scope in the State. He further described GST as a very important step for India’s rapid development. He said that due to the implementation of GST, there would be a transparent system in the country which would make merchants of all trades happy.In this programme, K Ravi Kumar, Director, Industry Department, Jharkhand, welcomed all the dignitaries. Apart from this Gautam Nair, Chairman of Metric Clothing and Chandrakantav Rajput, Chairman of Rameshwar Group of Ranchi also presented their views.

Quality Assurance And Building Market Linkages Are Keys To Promoting Textile Industry

On the side-lines of mega trade fair, several discussion panels were held to deliberate on opportunities that could be explored to create market linkages with retail chains, ensuring branding and quality assurance and building the textile value chain to further promote the textile industry in the country.

Session 1: Market Linkages With Retail Chains

Creating market linkages with domestic and international retail chain is essential for further providing momentum to the growth of the textile industry in the country. India is emerging as a favourable destination for Latin American countries as they want to reduce their dependence on Chinese markets for imports and are looking towards diversifying their markets, said R Vishwanathan, Marketing Consultant, Former Indian Ambassador, LAC Consultant, Former Indian Ambassador, LAC.

Statistics indicate that the Indian textile export to Latin American countries in the last financial year were higher than India’s exports to a lot of other countries such as Canada, Russia and Central Asian countries. Indian exports to Mexico were $3.5 bn last year, more than to Thailand ($3.1 bn), Russia ($1.9 bn) and Egypt ($2 bn).

Vishwanathan also said that with increasing opportunities Indian producers have also started exported handcrafts garments etc. to the European Union, USA and many more nations through Amazon. Amazon has eliminated middlemen, which has led to the growth of Indian producers to a large extent. India is third largest supplier of textiles of Latin American nations and fourth largest for readymade garments. In the past year, there was an import of textile worth $30 bn of imported textile from India, he further added.Mark Jarvis, MD – WtiN; Toshinorie Haruna, AGM, Textile Division; Sumitomo Corporation, Japan and Rahul Mehta, President CMAI were also present at the discussion.

Session 2: Branding And Quality Assurance

The government of India has already taken initiatives to improve branding efforts within the textile industry. India is the second largest employer of workers in the textile industry in the world. Representatives from various sectors of the industry met together to discuss way forward in branding and quality assurance and hence improve its growth curve.

Gaurav Mahajan, President (Apparel), Raymond Group said that the brand holds the Guinness book of world records to create the finest fabric in the world (11.4 micron wool). Branding is nothing but quality assurance and that a brand is all about functionality. Hence it is important that availability, accessibility and assurance of quality are made priorities and worked up, he said.

Madhura Dutta, Executive Director, All India Artisan and Crafts Workers Welfare Association (AIACA) said that the there is a mismatch of expectations between buyers and retailers regarding products and hence it is essential to educate buyers. Manish Kumar, Global Executive Vice President, Geo Chem Laboratories Group was also present at the panel discussion.

Optimal Usage Of Fibre Needed For Improving Textile Market Demand

Indian and international delegates met on the sidelines of the mega trade fair to discuss and deliberate on ways of optimal utilisation of Indian grown fibre and promotion of domestically produced textile, particularly silk and jute.

Potential Of Silk By Product For Commercial Use And R&D

Silk is one of the most elegant fibres and is produced in various varieties in the country. Panellists Prof. Deepti Guha, Department of Textile Technology IIT, New Delhi; Dr Li Long Phd., Standing Vice President Chinese Society of Sericulture Science; SK Som, Director, Quality Assurance & Technical Services, Raymong Ltd.; Dr Subhas V Naik, Director, Central Silk Technology Research Institute and Dr RK Mishra, Director, CSB, Moderator discussed the possibilities that could be explored to increase optimal utilisation of silk; reduce production wastage and incorporate technology and research insights to develop new strains of fabric wherein silk can be infused with other fabrics such as wool.

Sustainability Of Jute And Allied Natural Fibres

Speaking at a conference on Sustainability of Jute and Allied Natural Fibres, AK Lohia, Managing Director, Alliance Mills said that India and Bangladesh together produce about 3 mn tonnes and hence there is huge market potential. There is need for technical development in the sector which can promote the primary agenda of promoting farm to factory and factory to fashion agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Research In Innovative Use Of Jute Including Non-Wovens And Composites

Foreign delegates participated in a conference to deliberate avenues that can be explored to include research and development to ensure optimal usage of jute and also develop new varieties of fabric using jute along with other fibres. Dr. Rajesh Anandjiwala, Chief Researcher, CSIR, Port Elizabeth, South Africa said that there are various technologies that can be used for improving the quality of fabric created from jute. Among others Dr. M Zimniewska, Institute of Natural Fibres, Poland; DC Baheti, Managing Director, Gloster Ltd; Fort Gloster, Bauria and Dr.Sabu Thomas, Professor, Mahatma Gandhi University Kerala, Moderator were also present at the conference.

Karnataka A New Emerging Hub For Textile Investments In India

Karnataka was one of the many States in focus during the State sessions on Day 2. Today, Karnantaka is one of India’s most successful States in the field of textiles a fact which was reiterated by the Chief Guest for this session, Karnataka’s Minister for Textiles Rudrappa Manappa Lamani. During the event he talked about how the industry employed over 6 Lakh people in his State and his State hosted some of the very biggest textile majors in the country, such as Raymond, ETCO, Arvind etc.

He stated that Karnataka’s success was based on having skilled manpower, a proactive government, good infrastructure and a sound industrial policy for the textile industry in place. Gopal Krishna Hegde, CFO, Shahi Exports, touched upon another reason for Karnataka’s success which is its Single window clearance system. Hegde spoke about how the system had helped many companies, including his own obtain clearances for their projects in record time and helped expand their operations rapidly throughout the State.

Also present at the session was A Madhukumar Reddy, Joint Secretary, from the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. During the session he stated that the aim of the Government of India, through this event was to connect all of India’s states to the global market. He talked about how there are over 106 countries that participating in this event and that the possibilities for cooperation between States and other countries in the field of textiles are limitless.

Top Brands Meet To Discuss Way Forward Of Apparel Industry

Several deliberations were held in order to discuss the necessity of standardising apparel size, potential of the apparel growth story in India and the way forward for the Indian handlooms to create a sustainable economy in fashion industry.

TSize India

Industry leaders discussed the necessity of standardising sizes of apparel throughout the global market in order to build trust in consumers. Rakesh Biyani, Joint MD, Future Retail Limited said standardising size will make it easier for industries to adopt pattern. Size should be standardized so that customers have the trust about a particular size, he added. Dr Michael T Fralix, President and CEO, Textile Clothing Technology Corporation; Narendra Kumar, Designer & Creative Director, Amazon; Nidhi Raj, Product Head, Peter England, Madura Garments and Edward A Grabbing, President, Alvanon, Inc. were also present at the conference.

Apparel Growth Story In India

Speaking at a conference, Rakesh Biyani, Joint MD, Future Retail Limited said that the domestic industry is growing. The country’s per capita income is growing and hence there is an expected growth of four fold growth in the apparel sector. Gautam Nayar, readymade garment exporter and manufacturer, said that apparel manufacturing is an export oriented industry. India holds a bright future with respect to the apparel industry as other markets are declining, he said. China’s apparel export has gone down by $20 bn in the past two years. We have to leverage the textile infrastructure, he said. Siddharth Bindra, M Dr. BIBA and Rahul Mehta, President CMAI, Moderator were also present at the discussion.

India & Russia A Brighter More Profitable Partnership

During the show, country sessions began with a session dedicated to Russia. During the session, speakers discussed how both countries could utilise their strong ties, to boost their trade in the textile industry. They talked about how very high import duties in Russia are impeding exports from India and the problems are further compounded by language issues and procedural delays at customs.

One of the speakers at the session JK Dadu, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Textiles talked about how the current trade in textiles between India and Russia stands at $161 mn, but has the potential to rise to over $1 bn. He also talked about how Russia has over 10 months of extreme cold and India has the potential to cater to this weather through items such as leather jackets, caps, boots, pashmina shawls and various other woollens, which it can export. Also with Russia’s push to become environment friendly, India can provide it with jute bags. Dr. Andrey V Elizariev, The Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India was the other speaker at the event.

Indian Handloom Brand Fashion Show

Gujarat CM, Vijay Rupani, Anjali Rupani, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani and Anant Kumar Singh, Secretary Textile attended the India Handloom Brand fashion show. The vision of the show was to present the story of India Handloom Brand initiative launched by PM Narendra Modi on National Handloom Day in 2015. This initiative by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, focuses on branding of high quality and defect-free niche handloom products with minimal impact on environment, increasing the earnings of the weavers and other stakeholders of the handloom industry and generating a special market space for handloom products.

The show featured designs from a combination of designers and labels from across India. The designers showcased designs of various kinds of handloom fabrics in organic dyes. In one of the segment of the fashion show the designers showcased their work which was created in collaboration with handloom clusters from various regions of India and presented the looks created by the handloom weavers. Designers like Hemang Agrawal and Rajesh Pratap Singh collaborated with handloom clusters from Varanasi and Anavila Misra collaborated with handloom clusters from Gadwal. The show also included a segment that showcased handloom collections by some modern retail brands from India.

Symphony Of Weaves – India’s Largest Curated Fashion Show

A spectacular textile fashion show ‘Symphony of Weaves’ was organized during the event. It was a unique fashion presentation celebrating the story of Indian textiles showcasing exquisite innovations in craft and design. The fashion show was attended by Union Minister of Textile Smriti Irani, Ajay Tamta, Minister of State for Textiles and Industry Commissioner of Gujarat Mamta Verma. The fashion show was fully supported by the stalwarts from the fashion industry including designers. The show presented a compelling story of the textiles of India, focusing on innovations in craft and design. It was the largest curated presentation of Indian textiles on the runway that unfolded the story of growth and development of the Indian textiles sector and its transformation to become a global power.

Inspired by the 7 key notes of music that form the Sargam, a fundamental base for any tradition of music, the show celebrated textiles of our country and showcased the entire spectrum through seven key segments covering cottons, silks, wools, embroidery, hand-dyed and handprinted, modern/industrial and futuristic sustainable textiles of India. The textile panaroma spans across regions and States of the Gujarat, North-East of India, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam and many more.

The fashion show featured the designs from a combination of 31 established and emerging designers and master craftsmen/weavers from across different textile traditions, languages and States of India. The story of the evolution of cottons in India was showcased by designers such as Anavila Misra, master craftsmen Chaman Siju from Kutch and Richana Khumanthem from Manipur as well as Wendell Rodricks for Goa Kunbi Cotton Handlooms. The rich legacy of Indian silk included Banarasi Silks by Sanjay Garg, Meghalaya Ryndia Silk by Daniel Syiem and Tussar handlooms from Jharkhand by Shruti Sancheti. Rahul Misra and Rajesh Pratap Singh among others showcased the story of evolution of Wool.

The embroidery category was presented by eminent designers such as Anamika Khanna, Anita Dongre, Manish Malhotra, Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani among others. Young gen next label Poochki collaborated with Master craftsman Berulal Chippa from Rajasthan to showcase Bagru handicraft and Vineet Rahul collaborated with Mohammed Yusuf Khatri from Bagh, Madhya Pradesh to showcase Bagh handicrafts in high end fashion. Gaurav Gupta and Pankaj & Nidhi presented modern textiles and in the final segment Abraham & Thakore, Amit Aggarwal, Hemang Agrawal and Manish Arora presented modern and futuristic textiles that included man-made fibres, metal yarns and sustainable recycled fabrics.

The lavish set had a circular ramp and a huge spindle as the centre piece. The backdrop installation for the show is inspired by the handloom jacquard attachments for punching pattern cards that is considered as an initial version of the modern computer. The production set-up and stage design elements were planned as per international standards for an audience of over 1,000+ guests that attended from across the industry, from India as well as abroad.