Rather than reminiscing about 2017, I would like to highlight some of the noteworthy figures revealed after a recent survey conducted for the apparel and textile industry by the well-known consultancy, Wazir Advisors. I do so primarily because initial indications seem somewhat paradoxical, in that there is a spark of light at the other end of this dark tunnel most of us are unhappy about.
73 per cent of the respondents to the survey said that demand as well as profit in the textile and apparel industry had decreased during the initial months of of GST implementation, while almost two-thirds reported an increase in unemployment. Manufacturers reporting lower demand thus indicate a depletion of stocks in the supply chain. The impact of GST on input cost did not have a clear-cut trend as 33 per cent said the input costs had decreased while 47 per cent said that they had increased. The findings of the survey point out that Indian textile and apparel industry is at an inflection point today. While on the one hand the firms are feeling a lot of pain because of recent policy changes, on the other they are extremely hopeful of a turnaround. There is a ray of hope also as the next six months seem to be positive for the entire textile and apparel industry’s performance. Industry’s response to impact of GST was negative in terms of demand, profits and employment and the current performance was reported majorly neutral to negative but a majority of respondents indicated higher order book volumes.
What does this indicate? I believe that it shows that the year which was full of turmoil, challenges and new changes that kept everyone on their toes is about to end and we, as an industry, can now look forward to something positive in the coming years.
In this issue, we have highlighted some of the top trends in various areas like retail, international markets, the top exporters of the country and their strengths, the Indian market and new policies that were the biggest newsmakers of 2017. It is a flashback of what happened over the last one year, the lessons we can extract and the opportunities we can look forward to.
I would like to mention here that every tough phase teaches us something new. In a swings and roundabouts scenario, we will lose some but we will also gain a lot. Though we’ve traversed a year where there were some barriers, some new beginnings were also seen as most States in India revived the textile policy and have identified areas where they will provide support to garment exporters in improving, updating and expanding their business.
Our next issue will tell you about the journey of the top exporters of India and will bring you up to date on the latest technologies that will be on display at the upcoming GTE exhibition in Delhi.
I shall sign off on this note and hope that you will enjoy reading this issue of Perfect Sourcing and will share your feedback as well.
Wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year with a lot of good business and cheer.