Textiles and apparel exports from India are estimated to increase to US$ 65 billion by 2016-17 from US$ 40 billion in 2013-14.


Latest update: August, 2015

Readymade garments and cotton textiles dominate textile exports

•Readymade garments was the largest contributor to total textile and apparel exports from India in FY15 

•The segment had a share of 40 per cent in overall textile exports 

•Cotton and man-made textiles were also major contributors with shares of 31 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively 


Textile plays a major role in the Indian economy

•Textile sector contributes 14 per cent to industrial production and 4 per cent to GDP

•With over 45 million people, the industry is one of the largest source of employment generation in the country

•The industry accounts for nearly 13 per cent of total exports

•The size of India’s textile market in 2014 was US$ 99 billion; the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.6 per cent over 2014–23


Last Updated: August, 2015

SECTORAL REPORT | August, 2015


India’s textiles sector is one of the mainstays of the national economy. It is also one of the largest contributing sectors of India’s exports contributing 11 per cent to the country’s total exports basket. The textiles industry is labour intensive and is one of the largest employers. The industry realised export earnings worth US$ 41.57 billion in 2013-14.

The textile industry has two broad segments, namely handloom, handicrafts, sericulture, power looms in the unorganised sector and spinning, apparel, garmenting, made ups in the organised sector.

The Indian textiles industry is extremely varied, with a hand-spun and handwoven sector at one end of the spectrum, and the capital intensive sophisticated mill sector at the other. The decentralised power looms/ hosiery and knitting sector form the largest and knitting sector form the largest section of the Textiles Sector. The close linkage of the Industry to agriculture and the ancient culture, the traditions of the country make the Indian textiles sector unique in comparison to the textiles industry of other countries. This also provides the industry with the capacity to produce a variety of products suitable to the different market segments, both within and outside the country.

Market Size

The Indian textiles industry, currently estimated at around US $108 billion, is expected to reach US $ 141 billion by 2021. The industry is the second largest employer after agriculture, providing direct employment to over 45 million and 60 million people indirectly. The Indian Textile Industry contributes approximately 5 per cent to GDP, and 14 per cent to overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

The Indian textile industry has the potential to grow five-fold over the next ten years to touch US$ 500 billion mark on the back of growing demand for polyester fabric, according to a study by Wazir Advisors and PCI Xylenes and Polyester. The US$ 500 billion market figure consists of domestic sales of US$ 315 billion and exports of US$ 185 billion. The current industry size comprises domestic market of US$ 68 billion and exports of US$ 40 billion, according to Mr Prashat Agarwal, Managing Director, Wazir Advisors.

Apparel exports from India have registered a growth of 17.6 per cent in the period April—September 2014 over the same period in the previous financial year.


The textiles sector has witnessed a spurt in investment during the last five years. The industry (including dyed and printed) attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 1,522.51 million during April 2000 to December 2014.

Some of the major investments in the Indian textiles industry are as follows:

  • Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) plans to enter into a joint venture (JV) with China-based Shandong Ruyi Science and Technology Group Co. The JV will leverage RIL's existing textile business and distribution network in India and Ruyi's state-of-the-art technology and its global reach.
  • Giving Indian sarees a ‘green’ touch, Dupont has joined hands with RIL and Vipul Sarees for use of its renewable fibre product Sorona to make an ‘environment-friendly’ version of this ethnic ladieswear.
  • Raymond has launched ‘Regio Italia’, a luxurious, elite and finest Italian fabric for its customers. Regio Italia is a fine collection of fabrics from Italy with the latest designs that is carefully woven and specially handpicked assortment of the best designs in formal and occasion menswear suiting fabrics.
  • Snapdeal has partnered with India Post to jointly work on bringing thousands of weavers and artisans from Varanasi through its website. “This is an endeavour by Snapdeal and India Post to empower local artisans, small and medium entrepreneurs to sustain their livelihood by providing a platform to popularise their indigenous products,” said Mr Kunal Bahl, CEO and Co-Founder, Snapdeal.
  • Welspun India Ltd (WIL), part of the Welspun Group has unveiled its new spinning facility at Anjar, Gujarat - the largest under one roof in India. The expansion project reflects the ethos of the Government of Gujarat’s recent ‘Farm-Factory-Fabric-Fashion-Foreign’ Textile Policy, which is aimed at strengthening the entire textile value-chain.

Government Initiatives

The Indian government has come up with a number of export promotion policies for the textiles sector. It has also allowed 100 per cent FDI in the Indian textiles sector under the automatic route.

Some of initiatives taken by the government to further promote the industry are as under:

  • Duty free entitlement to garment exporters for import of trimmings, embellishments and other specified items increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent. This initiative is expected to generate an additional RMG exports estimated at Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1.61 billion).
  • The government has also proposed to extend 24/7 customs clearance facility at 13 airports and 14 sea ports resulting in faster clearance of import and export cargo.
  • The proposal for imposing duty on branded items was dropped providing relief to the entire value chain.
  • The Ministry of Textiles has approved a 'Scheme for promoting usage of geotechnical textiles in North East Region (NER)' in order to capitalise on the benefits of geotechnical textiles. The scheme has been approved with a financial outlay of Rs 427 crore (US$ 69.12 million) for five years from 2014-15.
  • The Ministry of Textiles, Government of India plans to enter into an agreement with Flipkart to provide an online platform to handloom weavers to sell their products.
  • The foundation stone of the Trade Facilitation Centre and Craft Museum was laid by Mr Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India at Varanasi.
  • Detailed arrangement for purchase of cotton from the farmers by the Cotton Corporation of India Ltd (CCI) under the Minimum Support Price Operation was monitored. 343 purchase centers were finalised in consultation with the State Governments after meetings with officers of CCI and the cotton producing states, resulting in streamlining of operations.

Road Ahead

The future for the Indian textile industry looks promising, buoyed by both strong domestic consumption as well as export demand. With consumerism and disposable income on the rise, the retail sector has experienced a rapid growth in the past decade with the entry of several international players like Marks & Spencer, Guess and Next into the Indian market. The organised apparel segment is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 13 per cent over a 10-year period.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.016 as on February 26, 2015

References: Ministry of Textiles, Indian Textile Journal, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Press Information Bureau

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

Textiles India

Textiles and Apparel Zones
Textiles and Apparel Zones in India


Brand India Pharma


The technical textile industry in india worth US$ 17 billion is expected to grow at a rate of 20 per cent annually to reach US$ 36 billion by 2016-17.

+ More >

Brand India Pharma

IBEF Publications

IBEF Publication

India Now Magazine

India Now Business and Economy


+ More Publications >

IBEF Publication

Perspectives More

Loading blogs ...

ideas More


eToilets, the self-flushing, self-monitoring technology-based sanitation solution, is no longer a dream, but has been brought into reality by Eram Scientific Solutions (ESS).


Join IBEF.org now. Enjoy FREE subscriptions downloads, updates and more.


Already a member?
Login / Retrieve Password

Copyright © 2010-2015 India Brand Equity Foundation

All material, information, data, images or content on this website is subject to copyright or other applicable intellectual property laws and no part of it can be reproduced in any form (including paper or electronic form) without prior written consent and approval from IBEF. Infringements are subject to prosecution under the applicable laws. For consent related queries and conditions,
please write to info.brandindia@ibef.org

IndiaAn initiative of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India