With an estimated production of 6.35 million metric tons of cotton in the 2020-2021 season, India is one of the biggest cotton textile producers in the world, with an export capacity to match.
However, supply chain disruption holdovers from the pandemic, changing consumer preferences and rapidly evolving sustainability regulations can make it difficult for India’s producers to enter the Australian and New Zealand markets. Dismantling these barriers to entry is the purpose of Texprocil, the Indian Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, whose members are gearing up to participate in the upcoming Global Sourcing Expo at the International Convention Centre, Sydney from 11-13 July.
“With a focus on promoting sustainability and fostering global trade opportunities, Texprocil aims to showcase the strengths of India’s cotton textile industry and its commitment to eco-friendly practices at the Global Sourcing Expo,” explains Rakesh Chaudhary, Regional Director of Texprocil. “By providing awareness, education, and market access support, we facilitate sustainable growth for our members and contribute to the success of the Indian textile export sector,” he adds.
Rakesh breaks down the top five challenges Texprocil members face when exporting their goods globally and how the council addresses them:
- Trade restrictions when accessing foreign markets. “We work to facilitate market access by advocating for favourable trade policies, engaging in trade negotiations, and providing information on trade regulations and requirements in different countries.”
- Meeting international quality standards and compliance requirements. “Texprocil assists exporters by disseminating information on quality standards, holding training programs on quality management systems, and facilitating compliance with environmental and social regulations.”
- Supply chain and logistics challenges. “We provide guidance on efficient supply chain practices, assist in resolving logistics issues, and collaborate with stakeholders to streamline export processes.”
- Understanding global market trends. “Texprocil gathers and disseminates market intelligence, trade statistics, and information on global textile trends to help exporters make informed decisions and identify potential markets.”
- Building a strong brand presence and effective promotion. The council organises promotional activities, participates in trade shows and exhibitions, and assists exporters in brand-building and marketing initiatives.
India’s cotton textile industry unpacked
India’s cotton textile industry boasts a well-developed manufacturing infrastructure, including spinning mills, weaving units, processing plants, and garment manufacturing units.
To ensure global competitiveness, the industry focuses on cost-effective production, technological advancements, a skilled workforce, diversification of product range, and adherence to international quality standards.
“Our relatively lower labour costs give manufacturers a competitive edge, while investments in advanced machinery and automation enhance productivity and quality,” says Rakesh. “Diversifying the product range allows the cotton producers to capture different market opportunities and meet the evolving demands of global customers.”
Fostering sustainable practices
Following the growing call to prioritise sustainable practices in production and along the supply chain, Texprocil has a number of measures in place to help its members meet internationally recognised sustainability standards such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
“These standards provide guidelines and criteria for sustainable production and responsible sourcing of cotton,” Rakesh explains. “We also regularly organise workshops, seminars, and training programs to educate members about resource efficiency, waste management, energy conservation, and the use of eco-friendly materials and processes.”
By funding research projects and assisting members in obtaining sustainability certifications, Texprocil empowers its members to enhance their market access and competitiveness as customers can be assured that the textiles they purchase have valid sustainability credentials.
Exporting to India – untapped opportunities for local businesses
While many Australian and New Zealand businesses think of India primarily in terms of its import capabilities, due to the high abundance of raw materials in the country, Rakesh highlights the untapped potential of those who wish to explore exporting to India.
“With a large consumer market of over 1.3 billion people, India presents significant potential for companies to tap into a vast customer base. This, coupled with rapid economic growth has resulted in the emergence of a sizable middle class with increasing purchasing power,” he shares.
This expanding middle class seeks high-quality products, creating a ready market for Australian and New Zealand companies to explore. Furthermore, bilateral trade agreements between India, Australia, and New Zealand provide a favourable trade environment by reducing tariffs and trade barriers, making it cost-effective for local businesses to export to India.
Global Sourcing Expo as the most direct entry to local markets for overseas suppliers
Looking ahead to the Global Sourcing Expo, Rakesh believes that events like this provide suppliers with maximum market exposure, allowing them to showcase their products and services to a targeted audience interested in sourcing global products.
“However, the benefits don’t just lie in the new business opportunities on offer, but also the information shared via the Expo. Our members gain valuable market insights into the Australian and New Zealand markets, understanding trends, preferences and regulatory requirements.”
“The Global Sourcing Expo is a great networking event and offers exhibitors a chance to highlight competitive advantages, launch new products, test market receptiveness, and explore potential distribution channels in these countries,” he concludes.
The Global Sourcing Expo will take place in Sydney for the first time, at the International Convention Centre from 11-13 July 2023, and again in Melbourne from 21-23 November.