Af­ter an ex­tended slow­down, the tex­tile sec­tor in In­dia is boom­ing again, with ex­ports ris­ing. This has boosted the de­mand for IT so­lu­tions and ser­vices around ERP, PLM, PDM and de­sign soft­ware


Ac­cord­ing to In­dia Brand Eq­uity Foun­da­tion (IBEF), the size of In­dia’s tex­tile in­dus­try is around ` 5,40,000 crore. Buoyed by strong do­mes­tic con­sump­tion as well as ex­port de­mand, this fig­ure is ex­pected to reach ` 8,58,000 crore by 2016.

Ex­perts say the de­mand for IT from the tex­tile ver­ti­cal will be driven by the or­ga­nized ap­parel seg­ment which is ex­pected to grow at a CAGR of more than 13 per­cent over 10 years. The ap­parel ac­counted for 69 per­cent of the to­tal mar­ket size, and tex­tiles con­trib­uted 31 per­cent in 2012.

Boom­ing ex­ports

The to­tal ex­ports of tex­tiles and ap­par­els from In­dia grew to $34 bil­lion in FY2012-13 from $17.6 bil­lion in FY2006-07. Ac­cord­ing to Prem Ma­lik, Chair­man, Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Tex­tile In­dus­try, In­dia’s tex­tile ex­ports will cross $40 bil­lion in the cur­rent fis­cal.

Says A Sak­thivel, Pres­i­dent, Tirupur Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion, “Some time back units in Tirupur were un­der­uti­lized due to the slow­down that had gripped the US and Europe. But now the units are flooded with or­ders, so many of the ex­porters and man­u­fac­tur­ers are scal­ing up op­er­a­tions and look­ing for IT so­lu­tions.”

Govern­ment ini­tia­tives

The cen­tral govern­ment has taken a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ments in the tex­tile ver­ti­cal. It has al­lowed 100 per­cent FDI through the au­to­matic route. In the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) the govern­ment in­tends to spend $9.1 bil­lion on tex­tiles as against $4 bil­lion in the 11th plan.

Un­der the Tech­nol­ogy Upgra­da­tion Fund Scheme, the cot­ton tex­tile in­dus­try in In­dia will re­ceive mar­gin money from the min­istry of fi­nance. The in­dus­try is also ex­pected to at­tract ` 4,000 crore in the form of in­vest­ments over the next six months. Ma­lik says that these steps will re­flect in in­creased tech­nol­ogy spend­ing. The restora­tion of the ben­e­fits of the In­cre­men­tal Ex­port In­cen­tiviza­tion Scheme will re­flect in the ex­port per­for­mance dur­ing the re­main­ing part of the year.

ERP in­te­gra­tion

The largest op­por­tu­nity in the tex­tile ver­ti­cal lies in ERP in­te­gra­tion. While many of the small scale com­pa­nies use home grown or legacy ERP so­lu­tions with non-in­te­grated mod­ules, they are now re­al­iz­ing ben­e­fits of an in­te­grated ERP.

“In­ac­cu­ra­cies creep in with non-in­te­grated man­ual records and reporting pro­cesses, man­ual in­ven­tory and man­ual store man­age­ment. This ad­versely af­fects the pro­duc­tion cy­cle while in­creas­ing work­ing time and ef­fort,” points out Moin Shaikh, Di­rec­tor, In­no­va­tive Tele­com & Soft­wares, Su­rat.

The tex­tile ver­ti­cal faces the pres­sure of adapt­ing to chang­ing mar­kets and con­sumer trends from time to time. Man­u­fac­tur­ing in time to meet fluc­tu­at­ing and speedy de­mands re­quires a ro­bust sup­ply chain.

“This is why many tex­tile com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially ex­port-ori­ented ones, are opt­ing for in­te­grat­ing mod­ules such as fi­nance, pro­duc­tion, sales, exim and ware­house with pro­cesses like knit­ting, weav­ing and warp­ing. Be­sides, the in­te­gra­tion of the at­ten­dance and leave track­ing sys­tem with pay­roll, and the in­te­gra­tion of pay­roll with fi­nance elim­i­nates man­ual data en­try,” ex­plains CA Ku­nal Sing­hal, MD, Easy Busi­ness So­lu­tions. The com­pany has de­ployed its EasyERP so­lu­tion in or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Oys­ter Group and Amar­tex In­dus­tries.

Adds Bhavesh Rathore, Di­rec­tor, Mi­croHard IT So­lu­tions, Su­rat, “Many tex­tile cus­tomers are opt­ing for in­te­grated ERP so­lu­tions un­der pres­sure from their cus­tomers who de­mand bar­cod­ing of prod­ucts, end-to-end track­ing of batches, and au­to­mated billing. Add to this, the short time­lines and you see the need for an in­te­grated ERP so­lu­tion.”

Mi­croHard has im­ple­mented ERP

“The tex­tile units in Tirupur are now flooded with or­ders, so many of them are scal­ing up op­er­a­tions and look­ing for IT so­lu­tions” A SHAK­THIVEL Pres­i­dent, Tirupur Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion

so­lu­tions worth ` 50 lakh-`1.5 crore for or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Mafat­lal Group, Ke­jri­wal In­dus­tries, Sahiba Group, Aaiswarya Dye­ing & Print­ing Mills, Durga Tex­tile, Luthra Dye­ing & Print­ing Mills and Nakoda Tex­tile In­dus­tries.

Prod­uct man­age­ment (PLM)

PLM soft­ware is gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity be­cause it helps to or­ga­nize data and re­spond to new fash­ion trends quickly. Ex­plains Girish Mad­ha­van, MD, Quad­sel Sys­tems, Chen­nai, “Since fash­ion trends and de­signs change swiftly it is es­sen­tial that ev­ery­one works on the same page. PLM soft­ware en­sures that ev­ery­one is us­ing the same data and work­ing on the same plat­form, thus im­prov­ing in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions.”

Many of the small tex­tile com­pa­nies with smaller bud­gets opt for prod­uct data man­age­ment (PDM) soft­ware which is a sub­set of PLM. While PLM finds a place in large tex­tile com­pa­nies, PDM is meant for smaller en­ti­ties. It or­ga­nizes and records de­tails such as gar­ment spec­i­fi­ca­tions and bill of ma­te­ri­als. It also aids in the op­ti­mum use of pro­duc­tion re­sources and lim­its the wastage of raw ma­te­ri­als.

Ac­cord­ing to Nilesh Kuvadia, MD, ITCG So­lu­tions, Vado­dara, “PDM brings au­to­ma­tion at the batch process level of man­u­fac­tur­ing, and it can be in­te­grated with ERP to au­to­mate the sup­ply chain. A typ­i­cal PDM so­lu­tion re­quires an in­vest­ment of ` 25 lakh-`30 lakh.”

E-com­merce so­lu­tions

With on­line buy­ing grow­ing, many gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers are opt­ing for the e-com­merce plat­form. “These cus­tomers want to lever­age the ben­e­fits of an on­line pres­ence, es­pe­cially cost sav­ings,” says Mad­ha­van. “More than as a sales plat­form, they uti­lize it to gen­er­ate aware­ness about their prod­ucts. They also run loy­alty pro­grams through e-com­merce sites.”

He adds that most ex­porters and man­u­fac­tur­ers also opt for e-com­merce plat­forms to buy and sell raw

“PDM brings au­to­ma­tion at the batch process level of man­u­fac­tur­ing. A typ­i­cal PDM so­lu­tion re­quires an in­vest­ment of ` 25 lakh-`30 lakh” NILESH KUVADIA Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, ITCG So­lu­tions

ma­te­rial. Be­sides, most gar­ment ex­porters opt for video con­fer­enc­ing so­lu­tions with HD cam­eras to dis­play the qual­ity and de­signs to their cus­tomers abroad.

De­sign so­lu­tions

Fash­ion de­sign­ing soft­ware is an as­set which ev­ery ap­parel and tex­tile com­pany needs for de­sign­ing tex­tiles and gar­ments. These soft­ware pack­ages help de­sign­ers to ex­per­i­ment with a num­ber of tex­tures, col­ors and pat­terns.

Shaikh ex­plains that com­pa­nies spend at least ` 5 lakh-`10 lakh on graph­ics work­sta­tions and ` 15 lakh-`20 lakh on de­sign­ing soft­ware such as Adobe Pho­to­shop and CAD. “In ad­di­tion, we are see­ing grow­ing de­mand for vir­tual gar­ment de­sign and sim­u­la­tion soft­ware which of­fers me­chan­i­cal sim­u­la­tion, col­li­sion de­tec­tion and user in­ter­face tech­niques for cre­at­ing gar­ments.”


Part­ners agree that the tex­tile sec­tor will of­fer huge op­por­tu­ni­ties over the next 2-3 years. “The fact that only 20 per­cent of the tex­tile and ap­parel com­pa­nies in and around Su­rat have in­te­grated ERP shows the ex­tent of the un­tapped op­por­tu­nity since there are still a large num­ber of cus­tomers to ad­dress,” says Rathore.

Con­cludes Shaikh, “The need is to ed­u­cate cus­tomers about the ben­e­fits of and sav­ings with IT so­lu­tions, and to cre­ate af­ford­able so­lu­tions such as cloud-based ERP to ad­dress their needs.”

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