The Indian apparel industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.7 per cent till FY16. The growth has driven due to the increase in demand for readymade apparels in rural areas, rise in income levels and more preference for branded apparels.
The domestic apparel industry constitutes of five segments – menswear, womenswear, Kids wear, unisex and uniforms. Menswear is the largest segment whereas uniforms and womenswear are the fastest growing segments.
Apparel manufacturing is highly labour intensive section of the textile value chain and is therefore characterized by low entry barriers. Therefore, it requires skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled labourers.
Challenges in Garment Industry
Apparel industry is facing many challenges like labour, safety and health compliances in the global market. To increase competitiveness in the global market, it is very necessary to focus on these issues.
The current export of Indian garment industry is $14 billion. Due to increase in demand in the new markets like Latin America and Africa, it is expected to touch $16 bn in 2012-13.
Apparel exporters in India have requested the Government to extend the Focus Market Scheme (FMS) for at least six months for exports to the US and Europe.
A meeting held to discuss India’s Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) for 2012-13, to be announced on June 5, several issues were discussed that can help the country to achieve US$ 350 billion export target by the end of next fiscal year.
Growth in Garment Industry
Venky Rajgopal, Chairman and MD of Indian Terrain Fashions said that the apparel industry will become a dominant part of the retail scenario. The favorable factors are increase in the number of young adults, more disposable income and high consumption patterns.
To get maximum market share in American and European countries, the Government has granted incentives under various provisions of the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14. This includes incentives for exports of focus products, interest subvention on pre-shipment credit, duty free import of trimmings, etc.
Legal issues in Garment Industry
In India, children were involved in the production of garments for export to the United States. Many of the major apparel manufacturers and retailers have developed various codes or business policies that address child labor and other working conditions.
India’s apparel export sector and the textiles ministry have taken an initiative to help manufacturers to focus on good work practices and prevention of child/forced labour. This would help to improve country’s image as an ‘ethical sourcing destination’.
Increase in pressure from developed countries, to meet global standards on labour has pushed Indian apparel manufacturers to take legal compliance matters in their own hands to change the negative image of the country.
The apparel export promotion council of India (AEPC) helps the garment industry to follow various global norms, which help the factories to improve their universal standards through development and implementation of tools.