In India, the garment and hosiery industry has played an important role in the development of economy. Almost every industrialist in Ludhiana and other areas has entered into the race starting from the reliance group to the self-employed freelance designer or the small-scale industrialists and top-notch designers like Manish Malhotra , Masaba Gupta and many more. Fabric industry is support system of garment industry in Ludhiana. Throughout India, we have many other centers for the sourcing of woven and knitted fabrics as well – like Delhi, Surat, Bangalore, Mumbai etc. But the main focus of many of these cities is woven fabric and in case of knitted fabric, whole industry is depending upon Ludhiana as the main sourcing center.
What role does Ludhiana Play in hosiery?
Over the past few years Ludhiana hosiery or knitted industry has grown up in enormously and made its position. This industry contributes 40% in the growth of garment industry and overall countries development. Just like Tata group has turned the Jharkhand into the steel city in the same way knitting industry has entirely changed the Ludhiana as the center of the yarn and the hosiery fabric and hosiery garments. The few kings in hosiery industry are the Vardhaman group, the bigger supplier of yarn to the whole country and Oswal group, biggest dyeing group to support the industry by providing raw material and final fabric according to the market demand. Last few to give a new face to the material provided by the above mention are the Monte Carlo, Duke, octave and many few small-scale industries to convert the fabric into a useful final product for the market. So, all of these together make Ludhiana a hub of hosiery provide employment to almost hundreds of thousands of people from different regions and of different religions.
Let’s have a look at the technical problems
Yes, changes are always good for the growth of any industry in the world. A survey done in 2011, conclude that knitting is very long process. Its starts from the collection of fiber from different areas of country then passing that fiber through many process to convert it into yarn and followed by a long process including dyeing of yarn to knitted a fabric through a flat knitting machine or a big roller knitting machine. After all the process of knitting is done this ready fabric is supplied to the garment industry, to make a valuable garment for the market. In the whole process, more labourers are involved as helper or the machine operators with a very less educational background and technical knowledge. They are trained for many years to work in the industry. Employees at the senior level, of course they have good knowledge of the subject and technology but ultimately they are people who are just going to make a decision or train the labour for work. They are only going to supervise them. These laymen can work according to their training but they cannot do new inventions or just cannot experiment according to changing market demand.
Let’s take a look at the level of the garment industry in Ludhiana that’s the final designing, cutting, sewing and final package of the garment there was a survey done by the students of PAU, engineering departments that show that the hosiery industry in Ludhiana is using very absolute technology in the process of making garments. There are almost 100 garment industries in Ludhiana including small and large-scale industries but all of them using old techniques of cutting. If we see there are a number of advance technologies available, for example machines supporting CAD or “computer aided design” or automatic pattern making machines, and very few medium-scale industries in Ludhiana have access to this. A very old method of cutting is being used, which consume more time and raise the cost of the garment. In earlier days, a huge amount of fabric was imported from Indian hosiery industry to the rest of the world but, nowadays, the scenario has changed.
Now, let’s dive down to the REAL PROBLEMS
There are many reasons responsible for Ludhiana still living in the industrial era and not complying with the latest technological age:
- Not training and developing the skills of the labour class employees -There is already very less professionalism amongst them because of low-level of education and training provided by the employers as compared to the metro cities.
- Wrong Spending– Our economy is growing, the demands and the competition is also growing, everyone wants to earn more not only to fulfill their personal requirements but also invest in their business to grow – which surely does not fit in Ludhiana’s old industrial culture & lifestyle. Here, the employers want to get their work done in paying less to employees and raising their own percentage of profit and spending a lot on luxury and lifestyle ; especially on cars.
- China – Employers are losing their good employees and the foreign investors as well. Today we all are aware that China is the world’s fastest growing market in every aspect. Not only the foreign investors are sourcing their trims and fabric from china, almost 80 % of Indian industrialists are also sourcing from them because of the goods being much cheaper, and are available on time, and meet the current fashion trends.
How can this problem be solved?
Not only the hosiery industry but any industry in Ludhiana present here can become much better by inculcating these small improvements such as :
- To be successful in the fashion industry, the businessmen need to stay updated with the latest trends forecast and meet the requirement and an efficient team of employees to reach on the top of the competition..
- The best way of cost cutting is not to reduce quality but to adopt and invest in new technology which can help in reducing cost and maintain the quality of the product. Business always demands investment it could be on employees or in improving the techniques and policies that include change management.
- Appoint right employees for the right job with the sufficient knowledge and experience as well. Every single effort made is a step closer to success especially hiring the right people.
- Invest in PEOPLE and their training – this will add to the profit of the organization in turn . Sales training & Motivational Workshops should be regularly conducted to improve the skills of workers.. A world wide access to knowledge has taken us to a different level. When we have a lot many opportunities to train and engage our employees.
- The organization’s employers must make sure the managerial staff members speak regularly in English language which not only helps to boost the sales but help improve company’s culture and productivity as well.
- Also , employers can take care of writing better business emails and better negotiation skills
These small changes will empower Ludhiana’s industry to grow and outperform in the current economy and who knows it might soar ahead of the other states of hosiery in India ! Small efforts and the right investment can make a huge difference in the lives of the industrialists having their business in Ludhiana.