Gaurav Davda, Head- Corporate Finance and Strategic Initiative, Jindal Worldwide Ltd.

Gaurav Davda is in charge of the Corporate Finance and Strategic Initiative at Jindal Worldwide Ltd. He is a seasoned Corporate Finance, Fund Raising, M&A and Strategy professional with more than 15 years of experience across multiple sectors. He is an MBA (Finance) from SP Jain Institute of Mgmt. & Research. (SPJIMR). Throughout his career, Gaurav has been involved in the capital raising of more than USD 500 MM and M&A transactions worth over USD 750 MM. Gaurav has worked across IPOs, QIPs, Private Equity, Mezzanine Finance, among other products. Gaurav holds Board level and advisory positions across various organizations, both listed and unlisted. Gaurav is an early-stage investor and mentors young startups and founders in strategy, fundraising, go to market plans and other organizational matters.

 

When it comes to Textile Industry, consumption of power, natural resources, water and the waste product generated have always been a hot topic of discussion among environmentalists and critics. Waterbody pollution is the primary environmental problem associated with the textile industry, mainly caused by the untreated waste discharge. As per the latest data from World Resources Institute, 5.9 trillion litres of water are used each year for fabric dyeing alone, and around 20% of industrial water pollution in the world comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. While one cannot dismiss the concerns raised by environmentalists, there is no denying that the Textile Industry, in its way, is trying to come up with new techniques and solutions to maintain productivity without harming the environment.

What has ailed the Indian textile sector in terms of green practices so far is the fragmented nature of the sector and lack of awareness/incentives. However, that is changing now with regulatory policies in place that have acted as a growth driver for sustainability. Mega-investment textile parks over the next three years will be instituted to boost textile manufacturing and investment in the sector. This will be enhanced by bringing in environment-friendly plug and play infrastructure as it is key to attracting global textile buyers and making the sector competitive. Additionally, there has been a massive push for Indian industries to upgrade their technology to minimize carbon footprints. Hence, post COVID19 pandemic, the anticipated boom in textile manufacturing and realignment of the global supply chain is expected to create new opportunities for India.

Given the size of domestic as well as domestic demand, India has to make a quantum leap in terms of mainstreaming environmental and social governance in textile manufacturing. As per data from Invest India, India is among the world’s largest producers of Textiles and Apparel. The domestic textiles and apparel industry contributes 2% to India’s GDP, 7% of industry output in value terms and 12% of its export earnings. This is an excellent opportunity for textile garment manufacturers to scale up operations.  Also, this will encourage more and more players to look for sustainable manufacturing solutions.

The entire process of fibre to finished garment involves consumption of energy, water and resources. This, in turn, has negatively impacted the environment. New-age textile manufacturers need to be actively involved in relentless R&D and innovation to procure and implement the best possible sustainable manufacturing techniques. For example, installing an efficient Effluent Treatment Plant that enables maximum recycling of wastewater is one step towards; making manufacturing units rainwater harvesting friendly, using solar panels; and recycling waste textiles as a part of waste management compliance few concrete steps towards achieving environmental sustainability.

Textile recycling at the manufacturing unit level has to be the norm, making sure that every undesired product is repurposed effectively. In fact, globally, circularity — the process where materials are being used again and again within the industry — is an emerging trend. More and more companies are likely to scale-up and adopt newer recycling technologies. This will be a potential gamechanger by making the fashion industry truly circular.

The new decade and the lingering effects of the COVID 19 pandemic is opening up new avenues for Fiber, Fabric and Fashion market. Also, the rise in awareness about global warming, climate change and the concern for carbon footprints have now made an average consumer conscious of their choices. People have jumped on to the ‘Sustainable’ bandwagon and are now electing for environment-friendly products. This has created a ripple effect, resulting in the manufacturers seeking and engaging in new sustainable options.

Some positive developments have taken place in this regards in the past few years in India. For example, as per available data, India has 1,254 Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified facilities, the largest number in any single country. Besides, 40% of Fairtrade cotton certified producers or traders are in India. This has helped to position Indian suppliers as preferable players among global brands and fashion chains focused on achieving sustainability.

The demand of the consumer plays a key role in any service and manufacturing sector. The past few years have witnessed a dynamic change in consumer behaviour, keeping the manufacturing industry on its toes. The consumer is now aware, conscious and careful about the choices they make. This has provided a big boost to the manufacturing sector to look for new alternative ways to comply with consumer demand.

Ecological and economical solutions are the need of the hour. The year 2021 is full of promises and dynamic changes in the textile industry. With many textile industries’ Going Green’ while maintaining and achieving their targets, it is safe to say that textile manufacturers will define this decade’s industrial output.

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