Global demand is booming. Importers are eager to reduce reliance on China, and India is the next best option for many. GoI, sensing a change in the winds, is suddenly saying it is open to expediting free trade agreements (FTAs) to help the sector get a leg up over competitors in Bangladesh and Vietnam. The registration process for the PLI scheme for textiles began on January 1st.

Indeed, in H12021, textile exports touched ₹1.77Lcr ($23.82bn), or 52.6% higher YoY and 13.7% above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Evidently, a lot of commotion – and a lot of promise. No wonder, then, that many textile shares have rallied over the past year.

The Indian Textile Industry – An Overview

India’s textile industry is big. In fact, after agriculture, it is the biggest employer, with over 45 million people. It contributes c. 2-3% to India’s GDP, 7% to industrial output, and 12% to export earnings.

India has been renowned for its textile talent for millennia. Archaeological evidence suggests that cotton spinning and weaving were known even during the days of the Harappan civilization. And up until the twilight days of the Mughal Empire, the domestic textile industry was world-renowned, especially in the hubs of Dhaka, Varanasi, and Malwa.