We never had any issue in the past when the market was bubbling up or lucrative and even after GST implementation we are equally happy. Export is a different scenario as you can’t move without proper documentations and it has always been that. What I can see is that the business globally is going through a slow pace including Europe or America. But now it has started gaining momentum. We are getting better orders in comparison to the past and we are hoping that things are going to go up only. Indian products and quality is gaining better reputation than the Chinese goods. In terms of profit percentage, yes there is a shrinkage as every year the cost of raw materials are getting higher and we need to pay good sustainable salaries to the workers as well which affects the profits. The end product prices have only increased and buyers are ready to pay the cost proposed if they get good quality products.
Sakshat Seth, Seth Sons (India), Amritsar, Punjab
I don’t think that India can get back in the global competition as the market has already moved forward and countries like Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Indonesia have taken the lead on a huge scale. The market structure and the infrastructure of these countries are favourable for the export market. We need to enforce labour laws. The companies should dare to invest more into labour in order to grow. Only way it can grow is to go through contractors and if we go through contractors we lose the competitive edge. If the labour fails to produce the quality and quantity required there will be no sale whereas, you cannot fire him/her if there is no misconduct on his behalf according to the union laws. If this scenario can be changed then we might have an advantage in competing with other countries.”
Fahad Ikhlas, Sky Techno Craft, Okhla, New Delhi
Yes there is no denial of the fact that apparel industry is facing a downward spiral since many years but I am optimistic that it will get better with time. Organic garments’ demand is growing and in next 5 years I think the market will be in a better place with growing awareness of sustainable products and lifestyle. With more globalisation and the improvement of lifestyle the market will definitely bloom. It is important to increase positive interference from Government and improve techniques of manufacturing as with such developments we can achieve the confidence to compete globally. I think India is already on a better side in exports as compared globally but it needs a re-structurisation and proper strategisation.
Jainam K. Shah, Rising Tradelink Limited, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
I think it will be difficult to compete with international markets like China because we are not competitive anymore. Basic factors such as raw materials have become so expensive and the labour cost that earlier used to be our USP has become higher as well. So it will not be realistically possible to compete with the globe in the long- term according to me. As per the improvement is concerned, that is not happening anytime soon in India as changing the current situation will require political consents and if they give that consent they will lose their vote bank so there is no point discussing things that are never going to happen.
Rajesh Seth, Stylish Shawls, Amritsar, Punjab
I doubt if Indian exports can gain the momentum as it used to have. Our competition now is not only with China but Bangladesh, Vietnam and others as well. Our govt. policies do not support any sector of the entire export industry like the other countries. GST is just another cause for the recent downfall. If the infrastructure does not change and Govt. stays like this, the industry might go down even further than now.
Anil Kumar, Ruben Overseas, Delhi
Yes India can gain its lucrative exports back but for that we need to change our style of work. We need to be more up-to-date in terms of technology and knowledge. People and especially workers need to be trained properly like that of Vietnam and China in order to compete with the global market. The market is still not improving but I believe it will if it gets proper help and infrastructure from Govt. We need to work and improve the quality and finishing of the product to compete globally. We need to understand why China can give that quality with cheaper price range and work towards that.
Chetan M Satra, Viraj Paper Converter, Mumbai