As the deadly Coronavirus pandemic has taken the centre stage while threatening the textile industries across the world, the Indian textile industry, which is in turmoil, has a ray of hope as the companies across the world, having operations in China are mulling an exit from China, giving an opportunity to Indian industry.
Speaking of the prospects to Indian textile industry, Nikhil Thukral, Director, Maharana of India, told ANI that the anti-China wave due to the pandemic has seen companies contemplating the move of exiting China, which is a good opportunity for the Indian market.
"The Indian market is in bad condition but I think we have hope because a lot of people have faced problems due to China. An anti-China wave is also going on across the world. Some governments like Japan and the US in order to push their industry out of China, are making arrangements. I think India will be a good option. If that wave comes to India in the coming years, India will stand in a much better position," said Nikhil, who is engaged in manufacturing the personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for the frontline warriors fighting COVID-19 crisis.
"The scenario has changed a lot. We have started developing these kits. My other friends in this industry are also doing the same in Noida. It's not about profit at this moment. It is about running our factory and more than that in the fight against COVID-19, we have now become a medium. We are also in this battle now, which is in itself a good thing," said Nikhil.
While speaking over the current situation in Noida's Textile Industry, Lalit Thukral, president, Noida Apparel Exports Cluster (NAEC), said "We have over 3,000 units in Gautam Buddh Nagar, creating garments and exporting them. There are over 1000 garments exporters here. Due to COVID-19 crisis, the garment business has been hit adversely. It was our peak season for exporting garments. Our deliveries take place only for four months."
"When China was hit by COVID-19, a lot of businesses diverted and came to India from there. So here everyone's capacity was full. They received double orders. We were working day and night. When the lockdown was imposed here, our work was also shut. So many buyers cancelled their orders due to which exporters have suffered a lot," he added.
He said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath permitted them to work on the garments on which they were already working and start shipping them.
"Only 1.5 month is left for shipping and Noida is in the red zone. So, we did approach Chief Minister Yogi regarding this issue and told him that we will suffer a loss of around Rs 6-7 thousand crore if we do not export the garments in this period. We suggested him to allow work on the half-prepared garments and ship them, and he permitted us for the same. Garments worth Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore will be shipped this month" said Lalit.
He said some of the brands had cancelled the orders adding that Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani has sent videos to the buyers stating that they can defer the payments and orders but not to cancel the orders as it is about 22 million people, who will be adversely affected.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said to go global from local and we will do it. We are developing PPE kits. Around 22,000 to 24,000 kits are being made every day in Noida. 25,000 kits will be made daily in the next 10 days. We will make one lakh piece kits every day in Noida in next one month. This is the city of apparel and we are with PM Modi. I am sure that the government will be asking us to export PPE kits within the next three to four months," said Lalit.
The Indian Textiles might witness an upswing with the industry adapting to the changing requirements and undertaking the manufacturing of PPEs amid the crisis under the leadership of Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. Asia's leading pharmaceuticals manufacturer Biocon Limited's Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw praised Smriti Irani for her stellar leadership in the time of COVID crisis.
India has now achieved an almost unrealistic goal of producing nearly three lakh PPE kits daily within three months after the coronavirus outbreak even as there was no domestic manufacturing of PPEs and almost all of them were imported until three months back. A PPE kit consists of a mask, eye shield, shoe cover, gown and gloves, which doctors and healthcare workers wear during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Even Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal while addressing the G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting, highlighted India's achievement in large scale manufacturing of PPEs. He said, "When the pandemic broke out, India barely produced a few thousand pieces of Personal Protective Equipment. We had never needed PPEs in large numbers ever before. When we realised that countries were not able to supply enough for our needs, our domestic manufacturers created and ramped up capacities. So much so, that we now produce nearly 300,000 PPEs every day."
(With ANI inputs)