Bhilwara Textile Industry: Weaving a Legacy of Growth and Innovation

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11 Sep 23
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Sikha Agrawal

Bhilwara Textile Industry: Weaving a Legacy of Growth and Innovation

The textile industry in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, stands as a testament to India's industrial heritage and economic prowess. As the oldest textile industry in the country, Bhilwara's textile sector has evolved over the decades to become a vital contributor to the state's economy. With an annual turnover of approximately Rs 40 thousand crores, this industry plays a pivotal role in employment generation in the organized and unorganized sectors, making it the second-largest employer after agriculture.

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**Historical Milestones**
Before India gained independence, Bhilwara was already home to ten operational textile mills. The foundation for this thriving industry was laid in 1935 with the establishment of the Mewar Textile Mill, marking the birth of the textile legacy in the region. Subsequently, the Bhilwara Group, founded by Shri Lakshmi Niwas Jhunjhunwala, furthered this legacy by establishing a spinning mill in 1961. Today, the Bhilwara Group has grown into an empire with a valuation of Rs 4500 crore, celebrating its golden jubilee in 2011.

**Yarn Production and Spinning Sector**
Bhilwara is a major hub for the production of polyester viscose blended yarn. With 18 spinning mills and 5 independent spinning mills in the region, Bhilwara alone contributes significantly to the total yarn production of Rajasthan. The end of the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 2005 prompted rapid expansion in spinning units, with the number of units increasing from 2.68 lakh to 9.65 lakh in just two years. These units operate around 21,172 rotors, 1552 looms, and 58 weaving machines, with an annual export turnover of approximately Rs 2500 crore.

**Weaving Sector**
The weaving sector also boasts a rich history in Bhilwara. Initially, power loom units were established in decentralized areas alongside around 200 hand-weaving looms. Bhilwara was also home to waste cotton yarn industries. Over time, the region took the lead in PV manufacturing, with 24 Simco Looms units established in 1970 and three more in 1978. By 1988, when the requirement for industrial licenses was removed, Bhilwara witnessed a surge in weaving units, with approximately 70-80 units established between 1988 and 1991. As of September 2020, there are 460 weaving units, equipped with modern technology, producing 75-80 crore meters of PV suits annually.

**Processing Sector**
Bhilwara's commitment to innovation extends to the processing sector. Bhilwara Processors Limited, established in 1973-74 by the Bhilwara Group, marked the inception of modern process houses in the region. Presently, 19 process houses with state-of-the-art technology process 90 crore meters of PV fabrics.

**Modernization and Exports**
Bhilwara's growth rate in modernizing looms stands at an impressive 9.57 percent, surpassing the national average of 8 percent. The textile industry in Bhilwara collectively boasts a turnover of Rs 25000 crore, with yarn and fabric exports reaching Rs 3800 crore. This industry provides direct employment to 85,000 individuals and indirect employment to 60,000, cementing its significance in the region's socio-economic landscape.

**Denim and Exports**
Bhilwara has diversified into denim fabric production, with several leading units producing millions of meters annually. Sangam India, WM. Ltd., Kanchan India Ltd., Menomen Tax India, Super Gold, and Banswara Syntex Limited are key players in this segment. Sangam India Limited's Otoon unit is known for producing 40 lakh meters of specialized fabrics annually.

**Exports Excellence**
The relentless efforts of the Mewar Chamber of Commerce and Industry have led to Bhilwara being declared a Town of Export Excellence by Commerce Minister Shri Kamal Nath in 2009. This recognition has opened doors to benefits like the EPCG scheme for the region, further enhancing its prominence in the global textile industry.

Bhilwara's textile industry is a shining example of resilience, innovation, and growth. With a rich history, a commitment to modernization, and a focus on exports, it continues to be a cornerstone of Rajasthan's economic progress.

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