As cost increases in China and concerns over labor conditions in Bangladesh push manufacturing firms away, India is gearing up its own garment industry to try to capitalize on the opportunity and boost its faltering economy. India has so far failed to fully take advantage of its huge potential labor force living out in the countryside. This may soon change, with companies like Aravind Mills planning to open dormitories for workers. Additionally, the Indian government, taking a page from China’s development model, has plans to create textile parks, with space designated for worker housing. Indian businesses are bullish:
‘India and China are the two countries that have the potential to clothe the world,’ said Gautam Nair, managing director of Matrix Clothing, which supplies western retailers such as Macy’s and Debenhams. ‘India has screwed up, but this is its time.” […]“Workers are not interested in leaving hearth, home and family unless there is an economic incentive,” said Mr Nair. “If you provide subsidised housing, you may pay the same salaries but you will increase their savings potential.”This could be very big.
This could be huge. For 200 plus years, textiles have been the gateway industry for rapid, mass industrialization. If India can put the pieces together to assemble a world class textile industry, it will be on a course to become a great manufacturing power.[A garment factory outside New Delhi, courtesy Getty Images.]