The readymade garment industry in India has historically been one of the most important segments of the textile industry in India. The Indian readymade apparel market is one of the largest contributors to India’s economy, providing millions with employment while making significant contributions to India’s annual GDP and export earnings. Today, India is the world’s 6th largest exporter of readymade garment products, registering over US$17 billion in readymade garment export value annually. Combining global demand that is at an all-time high, with much stronger support and preferential policies from the government, India’s readymade garment (RMG) industry is set to achieve rapid growth in the future.
According to recent statistics from IBEF, India’s textile and apparel industry contributes over 14% to industrial production, 4% to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and constitutes 15% of the country’s export earnings, employment in the industry topped 51 million people directly and 68 million people indirectly, in 2015-16.
The readymade garment sector is currently the largest contributor to India’s total textile and apparel exports, accounting for roughly 41%. Employment in India’s readymade garment industry now has around 12 million people, making it the largest employment provider for all sectors. This year, this number will increase to 12.9 million. Most of the workers employed in the readymade garment industry in India are women and mainly contributes about 4% of the Gross Domestic Product or GDP of India.
Currently, India has around ten major manufacturing hubs for readymade garment products. These key segments specialize in producing a wide variety of garments. Tirupur, also known as India’s “T-shirt Town”, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, operates with 1500 units, producing the finest knitwear garments. On the northern part, Noida, Gurgaon and Delhi have also evolved to become some of the largest readymade garment industry hubs for massive production, as well as exports of garments for children and women. Indore and Ludhiana are another two renowned hubs for manufacturing high-quality readymade garments; while Bareily is also well acknowledged around the world around readymade garment manufacturing base.
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Over the decades, the readymade garment industry in India has been recognized around the world for its low labor cost, availability of skilled workers, and the ability to process orders in bulk; this level of volume production has created intrinsic value for the wholesale market of readymade garments. Therefore, an increasing number of famous international fashion brands, such as Zara, H&M, and Gap, are all manufacturing or importing readymade garments from India. The demand for garment products made by India’s leading readymade garment manufacturers is also rapidly growing in the global market.
So far, some 0f the major markets where India’s readymade garments are in high demand are UK, Germany, Italy, Bangladesh, France, Turkey, and Spain. Aside from demand from the international market, India’s exclusive fashion has certainly undergone quick changes over the years. This has also essentially boosted the industry’s expansion at an even faster pace.
In order to further boost India’s readymade garment industry, the Indian government has also issued many proactive policies to support its future. Apart from the major Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and other favorable plans for readymade garment exports, the Indian government has also allocated a sum of over Rs. 2,200 crore incentives and subsidies to its readymade garment sector since 2016. Many industry experts believe that with the strong support from the government, the readymade garment industry in India is expected to have a more promising future.
As we move towards a future of new garment technology, it’s imperative that India’s best textile companies continue to find innovative new ways to drive value to the market. Based on how trends are shaping up and India’s already proven track record in the global textiles sector, where do you see the readymade garment industry in India heading by the end of 2017? Or, even a few years down the road? Can it move up the ladder from its 6th place position as a global garment exporter and manufacturer?
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