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In-Depth Jobs


Issue no 42, 14- 20 January 2023

Prepare Yourself for Top Jobs in India's Booming Textile Sector

Ranjana Singh

The textiles industry has been a key driving force in India's manufacturing sector. Even before India’s independence in 1947, the country's textile industry was flourishing, with over 400 textile mills and more than 500,000 workers. Despite the loss of a quarter of cotton production to Pakistan, the material remained readily available for use in the country's thriving textile industry. The major centers for this industry included Ahmedabad, Bombay, Indore, Kanpur, and Calcutta. Over the years, the sector experienced a few hiccups, barring it from capturing a large share of the global trade. Nevertheless, in recent years, the Government of India has launched a number of initiatives and incentives for this sector that are geared towards helping the textile industry realise its full potential. The Indian textile and apparel market reached a value of US$ 151.2 billion in 2021. Looking forward, the market is projected to reach US$ 344.1 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 14.8% during 2022-2027. According to Union Minister of Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal, roughly 3.5-4 crore people are engaged in the total value chain of India's textile sector which makes it the second largest provider of employment after agriculture.

TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN

The textile value chain refers to the various stages involved in the production and distribution of textiles, from the sourcing of raw materials to the final sale of finished products to consumers. The main stages of the textile value chain are as follows:

·         Raw materials: This includes the sourcing and procurement of raw materials such as cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers.

·         Spinning: The raw materials are then spun into yarn, which is the basic unit of textile production.  

·         Weaving or knitting: The yarn is then used to create fabrics through processes such as weaving or knitting.  

·         Finishing: The fabrics are then subjected to various finishing processes such as bleaching, dyeing, printing, and so on.

·         Cutting and sewing: The fabrics are then cut and sewn into garments or other finished products.  

·         Distribution and retail: The finished products are then distributed to retailers and other outlets for sale to consumers.

Throughout the value chain, various players such as manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers are involved in the production, distribution, and sale of textiles. Each player requires employing a number of staff to get the business rolling. The staff requirements range from entry[1]level positions, such as interns or assistants, mid-level staff such as managers, supervisors, or team leaders, and senior-level staff who may hold positions such as directors, vice presidents, or executives. The highest level of C-suite executives includes Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. They are responsible for making strategic decisions and leading the overall direction of the company. In the textile industry, professionals who have the academic background, experience and expertise in the field of specific technologies involved in the concept and manufacturing of textiles are also given top level positions in companies.

TOP JOBS IN TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN

There are a wide range of jobs involved in the textile value chain, ranging from production and manufacturing to design and sales. Some of the top jobs in the textile value chain include:  

·         Textile designer: A textile designer is responsible for creating and developing new textile designs and patterns. They may work in a variety of settings, including fashion design studios, manufacturing companies, and retail outlets.

·         Textile technologist: A textile technologist is responsible for testing and evaluating textiles for various properties such as strength, durability, and colorfastness. They may work in research and development, quality control, or product development roles.

·         Textile engineer: A textile engineer is responsible for designing and developing new textile production processes and machinery. They may work in manufacturing or research and development settings.

·         Textile quality control inspector: A textile quality control inspector is responsible for ensuring that textiles meet the required standards for quality and performance. They may work in manufacturing or testing environments.  

·         Textile merchandiser: A textile merchandiser is responsible for sourcing and purchasing textiles for a company or retail outlet. They may also be involved in sales and marketing activities.

·         Textile production manager: Textile production managers are responsible for overseeing the production of textiles in a factory setting. They may be involved in planning and organising production schedules, overseeing production processes, and managing budgets and resources.

·         Textile supply chain manager: A textile supply chain manager is responsible for managing the flow of materials and goods throughout the textile value chain, from raw materials procurement to finished product distribution.

·         Textile sales manager: Textile sales representatives are responsible for promoting and selling textiles to customers, such as clothing and home furnishings manufacturers. They may work for a textile manufacturer or distributor, or they may be self-employed.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES THAT MAKE YOU TEXTILE INDUSTRY[1]READY

For the position of textile designer, textile engineer, textile technologist, textile merchandiser, or textile quality control inspector, employers look for candidates having at least a bachelor's degree in textile design/engineering or a related field such as fashion design or art. Many colleges and universities in India offer textile design programs, so you can choose a program that fits your interests and career goals. While earning your degree, you can gain practical experience by participating in internships or co-op programs at textile design firms or fashion houses. This will give you a chance to apply what you have learned in class to real-world situations and build a portfolio of work. A strong portfolio of work is essential for a textile designer, as it showcases your skills and abilities to potential employers. As you gain experience, be sure to document your work and save it for your portfolio. Building relationships with people in the textile design industry can be a great way to learn about job openings and get your foot in the door. Attend industry events, join professional organisations, and make connections with professionals in your field. If you want to advance your career, you may consider earning a Master's Degree in textile design or a related field. This can help you develop specialised skills and knowledge that may be beneficial in your career.

TOP INSTITUTES

The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)

NIFT is a premier institute for fashion and textile design education in India. It offers a four-year undergraduate program in textile design, which covers a wide range of topics related to the design and production of textiles. Some of the subjects covered in the NIFT textile design program include:  

·         Textile science and technology: This includes courses on the properties and characteristics of different types of fibers and fabrics, as well as the principles of textile production and processing.

·         Textile design: Students learn about different textile design techniques, such as dyeing, printing, and weaving, as well as computer-aided design software.

·         Textile engineering: Students learn about the principles of textile engineering, including the design and operation of textile machinery and production systems.

·         Fashion and textile design history: Students learn about the history of fashion and textile design, as well as the cultural and social context of textiles.  

·         Studio practice: Students have the opportunity to work on real-world design projects and build a portfolio of work.

·         The NIFT textile design program also includes internships and other experiential learning opportunities, which give students the chance to apply their knowledge in real-world settings and gain practical experience. Upon completing the program, graduates are well-prepared to enter the textile design industry or pursue further education in the field.

National Institute of Design (NID)

The National Institute of Design is internationally acclaimed as one of the finest educational and research institutions for Industrial, Communication, Textile and IT Integrated (Experiential) Design. It is an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. NID has been declared 'Institution of National Importance' by the Act of Parliament, by virtue of the National Institute of Design Act 2014. It offers a four-year undergraduate program in textile design, as well as a postgraduate program and Ph.D in the same field.

·         The Textile Design discipline encourages students to engage with a wide spectrum of materials and technology, from the perspectives of industry, sustainability, social responsibility and inclusive design.

·         The curriculum emphasises on building a variety of skills through increasingly complex design projects related to the apparel, furnishing and allied industries, with inputs in social sciences, craft economics, trends, brand identity, technology and computer-aided design.

·         The programme includes several interdisciplinary projects for enhancing livelihoods/public spaces/exhibition/interiors.

·         Exposure across all levels of industrial and craft production is given through field visits and a short training with industry, while fieldwork and research enable students to develop a deeper understanding of the cultural issues that impact design.  

·         Most graduates of the discipline find successful employment with the textile manufacturing industry or start their own companies, while others join social-developmental projects, pursue higher studies or seek careers in academics.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)

IITs, or the Indian Institutes of Technology, are a group of premier engineering institutes in India. The courses offered at the IITs, including the course in textile engineering, are highly competitive and rigorous, and are designed to produce world-class engineers and scientists. Textile engineering courses in IITs cover the designing, production, and processing of textiles and fabrics. It involves a wide range of activities, including the development of new fibers, yarns, and fabrics; the design and production of textiles for various applications; and the management and optimisation of textile manufacturing processes.

·         Students pursuing a degree in textile engineering can expect to take courses in a variety of subjects, including materials science, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. They may also take courses in business and management, as well as courses specific to the textile industry, such as textile chemistry, textile physics, and textile engineering design.

·         In addition to classroom instruction, students in textile engineering programs at the IITs may also have the opportunity to participate in hands[1]on lab work and internships, which can provide valuable real-world experience and help them, develop practical skills.

·         Overall, a degree in textile engineering from an IIT can provide students with a strong foundation in the principles and practices of textile engineering, as well as the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the industry.

·         The IIT campuses in Delhi, Kanpur, Mumbai, Guwahati, and Hyderabad, offer a four-year undergraduate program in textile engineering, which includes courses in textile design, production, and testing.

Other popular institutes offering courses in textile designing/ engineering are:  

·         Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD)  

·         Pearl Academy

·         Symbiosis Institute of Design (SID)

·         Kamala Nehru Polytechnic

·         Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI)  

·         Sri Krishna College of Arts and Science  

·         J D Institute of Fashion Technology

·         SNDT Women's University

·         Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts  

·         Indian Institute of Crafts and Design (IICD)  

·         National Institute of Fashion and Textile Technology (NIFTT)  

·         Symbiosis School of Textile and Fashion (SSTFI)

·         Academy of Fashion Studies (AFS)

·         Arch Academy of Design

·         National Institute of Textile Engineering and Research (NITER)

·         National Institute of Textile Technology (NITT)

·         Institute of Apparel Management (IAM)

·         Kalinga Institute of Fashion Technology (KIFT)

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other private institutions in India that offer courses in textile design.

While hiring a production manager, supply chain manager, or sales managers, recruiters in the textile industry look for candidates who have a strong foundation in business and management, as well as relevant experience in the industry. Therefore, the best way to prepare for such jobs is by obtaining a bachelor's degree in business management, marketing, or supply chain management. These programs provide a strong foundation in business principles and operations, as well as specific skills and knowledge relevant to production management and supply chain management. You can also consider interning or working as a trainee at a company in the production or supply chain management field to gain hands-on experience and build your skills and knowledge. For career progression and better prospects, you can pursue a master's degree in the relevant field. Non[1]academic skills and aptitudes also play equally important role in increasing your employability. For managerial roles, hiring agents look for candidates having leadership qualities, good communication skills, organisational abilities, and analytical skills. This is so because managers need to effectively lead a team, while also being able to analyse data and make informed decisions in order to optimise the production process.

The textile industry is constantly evolving. Consider courses that are in sync with current and upcoming trends and technologies and keep track of industry events like trade expositions and symposiums to stay current and increase your chances of getting hired.

(The author is an educationist and entrepreneur. She can be reached at reach.ranjanaS@gmail.com). Views expressed are personal.