Dr Naushad Forbes, who has been recently appointed as the new president of CII (Confederation of Indian Industries), believes there is a lot of potential among number of home-grown multinationals, doing business in the textile and garment industry, and that a lot needs to be done for them to grow.
While speaking to the media, Dr Forbes, who is the Co-Chairman of Forbes Marshall and an ex-lecturer and Consulting Professor at the Stanford University, has enlisted six key enablers for building national competitiveness and announced new CII action initiatives for each, for the year, which includes Human Development, with CII setting up three Model Career Centers in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Chennai. A hundred district-level corporate training centers will also be established in 2016-17. It will set up the CII University in Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh). The Confederation’s key focus this year will be Ease of Doing Business, Corporate Integrity and Good Citizenship, Innovation and Technical Capability, Sustainability and Integrating with the World.
Regarding the textile and clothing industry, he is of the opinion that there are many home-grown multinationals that have proprietary technology and excellent management that needs the right kind of environment to grow. He feels that the sector itself must grow faster in the economy than they have so far.
“(It’s a) Major opportunity for Make in India, as (the focus of) textile moves out of China,” he says. But he also points out that for the industry to grow, there needs to be changes in policies, like labour reforms, changes in logistics and infrastructure.
“We are very good in IT, quite good in automotive components, we are somewhat active in pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. But, we are much less active in textiles and garments, and we are almost missing in electronic hardware,” he adds, while speaking to a national business daily.
Labour reforms mean greater flexibility of hiring and reducing, not exits and reductions. It is as much about hiring and flexibility. Such structural reforms like on the labour front would help the Indian textile industry get back into the competition.
“Textiles and garments is a sector that will benefit most directly from labour reforms…reforms that would enable much greater flexibility of hiring and reducing. So, if you need seasonal employment and you have laws that you can only hire people, then, you simply won’t hire people,” he adds.
Founded in 1895, CII, an industry-led and industry-managed organisation, has played a proactive role in India’s development process.