Kolkata will always hold a special place in my heart for many reasons, both personal and professional.
Speaking on the professional front, Kolkata happens to be one of the most fertile breeding grounds for the textile/apparel industry in India.
I recently got an invite to the 2nd edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit, which was held at the Textile Park, Kolkata on January 9, 2016.
West Bengal happens to be one of the prominent textile hubs of India with the presence of several knitwear/readymade as well as handloom/khadi businesses. The Summit offers an excellent platform to both retailers and the government to come together and showcase their strengths and discuss and promote textile business in the State.
This summit proved to be very motivating. I attended the panel discussion with some of the prominent leaders of the textile industry and the Principal Secretary of the Govt. of West Bengal, Mr. Rajiva Sinha.
Several topics were discussed, particularly for the benefit of textile & apparel manufacturers; what planning and working practices should best be adopted keeping the demographic and political environment in Bengal; how they can improve their productivity & sales while keeping costs low.
Core areas of opportunities were analyzed with respect to govt. policies and support required therein. What all areas do the textile makers desire the intervention of the govt. especially with respect to the perennial labour concerns in the State were also discussed.
Investment prioritization was one of the areas which was brought up by many participants. Those companies looking to foray into the lucrative textile industry in West Bengal generally have an apprehension concerning the frequent labour union problems, and this is something in which they would require the support and encouragement from the State.
I spoke and offered guidance on factors such as technology, machinery, handling manpower etc.
To further boost the dominant position of the State, the government has recently launched TexPro – a Project which would see 13 Textile Parks being set up at crucial locations across the State under 4 different categories – Apparel & Garment; Dyeing, Printing & Processing; Powerloom; and Hosiery & Readymade Garment.
Simply put, there lies a tremendous potential to further boost the textile industry as the factors of production are highly optimal in terms of the superb labour skills, low costs, materials’ availability and other capital costs. With a little govt. support West Bengal could soon replicate Bangladesh in terms of becoming a world class hub of textile & apparel manufacturing.