State Of The Economy 2014

Preserving the fabric

Bhilwara’s synthetic fabric units are coping with the slowdown by reinventing themselves

Photographs by Bhupinder Singh

It’s not a very generous thought, but Sachin Rathi is openly thankful that 1,500 of the 11,000 weaving units in his textile cluster have either sold out or shut shop in the past two years due to the slowdown. “It means better business for the rest of us. The 15% reduction in weaving capacity meant those remaining have gotten more orders. And that means we’ve been getting good business these past few months,” says the textile processor. At his shopfloor, workers are engaged in a seamless routine of dyeing, finishing and processing hundreds of metre of polyester viscose (PV) suiting on big, loud machines. The dimly-lit plant appears rusty and decades older than its actual 12 years. “Chemicals, heat, and water interact at all times in such factories and lead to this decaying look of the walls and shed,” says Rathi, who started the ₹30-crore Puja Spintex in 2002. Every year, his fabric processing unit turns out 3.6 million metre of synthetic fibre, doing job work for 120 clients from in and around Bhilwara in southern Rajasthan, nearly 600 km from Delhi.