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9th ATEXCON emphasised on growing importance of domestic markets


Asian Textile Conference (ATEXCON), the flagship event of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), was held in Mumbai. The theme of the was: ‘Textile industry: moving beyond the conventional paradigms’. The event brought together leading players of Asian textile industry, global input suppliers and service providers to deliberate upon key areas of business, including regional as well as global issues concerning this sector. The conference also focussed on emerging opportunities through cross-country co-operation. Participants benefitted through direct interactions with government officials, industry, mill owners, potential customers of machinery, etc.


The event started with a welcome address by Sanjay Kumar Jain, Chairman, CITI and a special address by Sanjay Jayavarthanavelu, MD, LMW. The inaugural session also saw the release of 9th ATEXCON Knowledge Paper. The theme presentation was given by Prashant Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Wazir Advisors who in his speech stressed on the points which India can follow not only to be competitive and remain relevant but to be a leader in the global textile space. He said India holds an edge over other markets owing to its domestic market and all we need to do is to focus on technology and automation and having a large scale and quality-oriented production to capture the international market.

“Consumption trends are something, which are driving the domestic market. Now when we talk about 2025 target, we are 122-billion-dollar industry, $37 billon is our export, $85 billion is our domestic market. And if our export grows by nice per cent CAGR, achieving the target is not a herculean task. As far as domestic market is concerned, if it grows by 11 per cent CAGR, the target of 220 billion dollar is not difficult to achieve by 2025. So, when we talk about $300 billion target, we really have to focus on our industry,” he said.

The presentation was followed by inaugural address by textile commissioner Kavita Gupta. She talked about policy initiatives taken by the government for the welfare of the industry. “We are doing everything what it takes to strengthen the textile sector. Keeping power issues in mind, we have introduced solar driven powerlooms, which are available on highly subsidised rates. Upgradation is happening in the industry on every level. Technical textile is another where we are focussing diligently. Clusterwise development has been planned for this segment. It’s highly profitable area of textile and we are promoting it on a pan-India basis,” she said. Vote of Thanks was given by T RajKumar, deputy chairman, CITI.

Pathbreaking sessions

The first session was based on the theme ‘Policy support to achieve $300 billion market’, attended by textile commissioner Kavita Gupta, Sanjay K Jain, Chairman, CITI, DR P Alli Rani, Chairman and MD, CCI, Ujjawal Lahoti, Chairman, TEXPROCIL, Narain Aggarwal, Chairman, SRTEPC among otheres. The panellists deliberated on current policy support available to the industry, issues being faced by the industry, post-GST trade scenario and strategies for inclusive growth, policy perspectives for an integrated textiles industry and policy support required to achieve the target exports. The session was moderated by Jain.

The following session, ‘Innovations and technological developments shaping the future of textile manufacturing’ was about new product developments, technologies and India’s competitiveness in the global market. The third session ‘Global value chain – trade and investment perspectives’, saw the discussion on topics such as importance of regional economic integration in textile industry, leveraging the benefits of trade agreements, trade & investment perspectives and key challenges faced by the textile industry on the international front. The lead presentation was by Christian Schindler, Director General, ITMF-Zurich. Opening remarks were by Prem Malik, past chairman, CITI.

Focus on domestic markets

The fourth and the last session saw the presence of DL Sharma, Prashant Agarwal, Rahul Mehta, President (CMAI), Mohit Dhanjal, Director-Retail, Raymond; Anindya Ray, EVP & CSO, Arvind Lifestyle; Alok Banerjee, CEO, Retail, Bombay Dyeing. The panellists discussed present structure of retail sector in Asia, emerging trends and opportunities in retailing sector and strategies being adopted to collaborate textile manufacturing with the changing retail scenario. Mehta made some valid points when he said not much has changed since last years in the relationship that a manufacturer and retailer share with each other. The industry is still going by the rules, which hold limitations, especially when it comes to the domestic market. “Domestic market is something, which saved the day during the times of global recession and the need of the hour is to really focus on this particular space. There is a limitless growth in the domestic market if it is exploited well with innovative strategies in manufacturing and retailing areas,” he emphasised.

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