THE TEXTILE industry is one with a strong history and entrepreneurial tradition in Gujarat, and particularly Ahmedabad. The mills of the city are renowned globally for their high-quality finished products. However, the industry is currently facing a slowdown in its usually meteoric growth. While the annual growth rate remains high at 20 percent in 2021, India’s
exports continue to shrink for the second consecutive year. This comes at a time when China has begun to shed its share of the international textile market. Instead of capitalising on the supply vacuum, India has been unable to capitalise on this opportunity, with Bangladesh and Vietnam capturing China’s lost share. This has led many to speculate that India should instead focus on its domestic textile market.
Vikash Rajpurohit, the founder and lead developer of the VastraApp, a mobile-based tool designed for textile traders, is also of the same opinion. He aims to streamline the process of purchasing textiles by the use of technology, and ultimately give India a competitive tool that
levels the global playing field.
Rajpurohit was inspired to develop the VastraApp in 2018 when friends who had newly entered the textile industry began complaining to him about how difficult and tedious it was to manage orders, keep a record of transactions and deal with artisans without the aid of dedicated tech-based tools. The VastraApp was born to alleviate this problem among textile
The VastraApp claims to provide textile artisans and fashion designers with a digital platform to easily connect with each other and improve the efficiency of their businesses. The app has a simple user interface and can be swiftly connected to other apps such as WhatsApp. Rajpurohit states that the reason for developing the app and making it accessible to anyone
with even moderate experience in tech use, is to encourage a greater number of entrepreneurs, particularly young women, to foray into the textile market. Moreover, he hopes that such a tool will enable new businesses to compete with established textile and fashion firms such as
Arvind, Jade Blue and Zenith.
A significant portion of apparel craftsmen in India draws employment and business from being commissioned to manufacture the designer clothes of the aforementioned large businesses. Without these commissions, a majority of artisans begin to face a shortage of work, being swiftly out-competed by better-funded, better-marketed companies.
The VastraApp is intended by its developers to provide small and medium-sized apparel manufacturing agencies with a shot at running their own businesses, by aiding them in reducing administrative costs. Clearly, this appeals to the collective imaginations of Indian craftsmen, since the VastraApp company is currently valued at $9.38 lakh or ₹ 6.96 crore.
However, Rajpurohit and his team have no plans to stop here. Ten years from now, they wish to see all of India’s textile industry digitised via the VastraApp.