Way forward for the Global Textiles Sector

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

Innovation and training of skilled labor force are necessary attributes for the global textiles sector to move forward. Some 600 delegates representing the entire supply chain of the textile industry participated this past weekend in a major event in Coimbatore, India. The Textile Association of India’s South India Unit organized a mega textile event on December 15th and 16th in the textile city, Coimbatore. Textile Association of India has about 23,000 members, who are technocrats and engineers representing various segments of the textile industry.

Facing threat from the IT sector in attracting highly qualified engineers, a message of optimism was provided to the attendees and the next generation workforce. Textile industry is in need of qualified and skilled workforce. This will help to innovate new technologies and products, stated industry leaders who participated in the event. In addition to competing sectors, competition from low wage countries was also felt by the delegates who attended the event.

Dissemination of timely and relevant information including the growth prospects is much needed stated Mr. R. Seenivasahan, Vice President (Technical) of Sri Kannapiran Mills Ltd., Coimbatore, India. Stating how the Indian textile sector lags behind some developing nations in terms of productivity, quality and productivity have to be improved to make the industry competitive stated Mr. S. Sivakumar, Executive Director of Coimbatore-based Sabari Textiles, Pvt. Ltd. These facts were agreed by Mr. E. Mounagurusamy, Coimbatore based industry veteran who has been in the textile industry for 50 years.

Improving training, maintaining standard procedures substantiated by documentation and diversification of the textiles sector were key points discussed in the two-day event. The event was attended by large audience who were technicians and engineers from the textile industry, who exhibited keen interest to learn new developments in the industry. An interesting aspect of the conference was a debate on the usage of the term, “technical textiles.” This scribe proposed a simple and new classification of the non-commodity industrial textiles which can be grouped as: 1) consumer products; 2) institutional products and 3) government regulated products such as defense textiles. The conference was organized in Coimbatore after 25 years and was meant to boost confidence among the textile industry stakeholders stated Mr. K. Gandhiraj, Honorary Secretary of the South India Unit of Textile Association, India.