2020 has inarguably been one of the most testing years for all of us both personally and professionally. More specifically its impact on industries and businesses has been massive. It questioned the financial and managerial abilities of several industries as well as the country’s capability to handle crisis management effectively. 

India is one of the largest textile exporting countries in the world.  Our textile industry contributes to 7% of the industry output, 2% to our country’s GDP and has provided employment to over 45 million people. The sector contributed 15% to India’s export earnings. The city of Tiruppur, commonly known as the Banian City is a major textile and knitwear hub contributing to 90% of the total cotton knitwear production in India. Professional trained labour, well – equipped facilities and the timeless efforts of the people involved are probably what makes the massive scale of this city’s textile business.

Tiruppur was(it’s a seperate district now) a relatively small town in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu with almost half the size of its population having come from neighbouring towns to work in it’s booming textile industry. Predominantly an agricultural town, in the 1970’s Tiruppur began to exploit opportunities in the export market as the result of a collaboration with an Italian cluster. The boom in the textile industry, led to an interwoven network of the small scale units. As a result, over the last two decades, the city’s textile industry started earning recognition in the international market. Europe, USA and countries in the Pacific started importing their fabrics from our industry, thus placing India on the spotlight in the international market. 

Tiruppur’s textile industry is largely export oriented as it usually exports 60% of its merchandise and the rest is dispatched to the domestic markets.Today there are over 10,000 garment manufacturing industries in Tiruppur, employing over 600,000 people. It has an incredible capacity of manufacturing units with the number being double the number of units in the entire country of Bangladesh that has only about  4 thousand garment factories.

Tiruppur’s textile industry saw its worst hit during the pandemic with an approximate loss of about Rs 2,400 crore during the first few months of the lockdown itself. Several international brands like MotherCare and Forever 21 who were the city’s major exporters, declared bankruptcy during COVID thus massively affecting the business. Although the industry saw a lot of challenges in terms of lack of orders, cost cutting, lack of availability of raw materials, unemployment, taxation and so on, the clothing manufacturers firmly believed that this would be a temporary phase and the city would rise up again, true to its name of being the Dollar City. Tiruppur was given this name for its thousands of export oriented garment hosiery units and millions of migrant workers

Post Lockdown, about 1000 manufacturing units were reopened with just 20 – 25% workforce. They were initially sending samples for the upcoming season to get their business going again. The immediate target was not to worry about losses but to survive as an industry. The district administration formed a team of officials to keep watch on the industrial units to ensure that they follow Covid precautions. Eventually as business started picking up, the workforce and the production increased in the units. The units quickly adapted to the situation by manufacturing face masks as they were the most demanded essentials world-wide. This helped boost the sales and bring the city back on the international map. 

Now, clothing manufacturers are predicting a 15% increase in exports for the October-December quarter, making it one of the best quarters ever. The main reasons for this surge includes pent up demand, boycotting of services and products made in China (which is the largest textile manufacturing and exporting country in the world),  favourable Euro and the obvious capability of the industry to recover and adjust to change. Not just exports but domestic demands are also seeing a massive increase, so much so that it is being predicted that they might equal exports soon. As per the Oct- Dec quarter, there might be a 10% increase in Tiruppur’s Textile Industry’s Value.

Tiruppur is the seventh largest city in Tamil Nadu and is one of the fastest developing cities in the state. Cotton Monk is proud to be a part of this Knitwear Capital City that is home to over 10,000 garment manufacturing industries. The city worked a lot to earn itself a place in the international textile market and we are only proud to be one of the contributing members to this industry. Tiruppur’s textile industry is a living breathing example of how nothing can break the spirit of true passion and hardwork. Not even a pandemic!