Tirupur, in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, is an export hub for textiles. Each year, the town’s medium, small, and micro enterprises (MSMEs) export products worth $3.5 billion, servicing international brands such as Zara, Disney, Nike, and Puma. This year is different. Even as factories continue to churn out clothing, the town is waiting anxiously for demand from exporters to return.
Thirty-two-year-old Gomatha International, which employs nearly 400 people, is among the companies watching the clock tick away. The company, which exports baby and kids wear to countries like Australia, Finland, and Sweden, saw business grind to a halt in March, when India went into lockdown to stave off the threat of Covid-19.