Contributing Writer – Shashank Agrawal
Name – S K Jain
Profession – Head of Textile Plant
Age – 62
Gender – Male
City – Gurgaon
Industry – Textile Manufacturing
Textile engineering is not a recommended career option because of several reasons:
a. Textile is not a viable business in India, because China, Bangladesh etc are producing textiles at cheaper cost.
b. Problem is even worse in North India because electricity is expensive.
c. Most companies in India today hire consultants. To become a consultant, one needs to have several years of industry experience. To get experience has become difficult for a fresh engineer.
d. Most textile machinery now comes with few years of free consultancy and maintenance, which further reduces the need of textile engineers.
- It is recommended that if one wants a career in engineering, then one should do basic engineering (such as electrical, mechanical etc) and not specialised engineering as specialisation careers fluctuate a lot. Basic engineer, with aptitude, will always have multiple options available to him.
- Even if one wants to do specialisation engineering, chose careers in areas where import is difficult such as power generation, power distribution.
Where have you been born and raised? What is your family background?
I was born in Rohtak and raised various towns of Haryana. I have two brothers and two sisters. We are from middle-class family background.
I did my engineering from TITS-Bhiwani (titsbhiwani.ac.in) and then worked with various textile manufacturing companies in Gujrat, MP and finally in Bhiwadi (Rajasthan).
Which institutes are best for the education/training of this profession?
Though I don’t recommend, still best colleges are IITs and TITS-Bhiwani.
What are the typical entry level jobs in this profession?
One can join as textile engineer in a plant. Also, one can join banks and insurance companies as industry expert for financing, insurance policy needs etc. Few opt for higher education (MTech, MBA etc) and then join consultancy companies.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?
Average Income progression in your profession
The highest one can usually reach is head of manufacturing plant. Then, the income becomes fixed plus variable (dependent on company performance) and hence income can vary a lot.
Describe your work? What do you typically do on a normal work day?
Working hours of Textile Engineer are typical of manufacturing jobs. There are usually 3 shifts in a day and one is expected to work in all shifts in rotation basis. Shift changes are generally done on monthly basis.
Main role is to manage labour (which is the toughest task) and make sure that machines are running and getting serviced with the help of electrical and mechanical engineers. One is also expected to take care of quality of textile in collaboration with QA department.
What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?
I don’t think that there are any positives of this profession, other than it providing money for living.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?
There are several challenges with the typical career of a textile engineer.
1. Odd and long working hours — due to the nature of work, one has to work in shifts. Some days, one is working during day shift and some other days during night shift. Also, usually one gets a day off in a week and that too is mutually decided among shift engineers. Sometimes, one has to work double shift to fill in for another engineer who is on leave.
2. Growth prospects are very limited — due to macroeconomic factors, textile industry isn’t doing well in India and this scenario is unlikely to change in future.
3. Non-metro lifestyle — if one prefers metro life (for education, lifestyle etc), then this career isn’t advisable as plants are far from metro. So, either you travel a lot daily or you live close to plant.
What kind of person would be happy in your career?
I know several of my friends in this profession. Very few are happy, and they are those who branched out from core textile engineering work. They setup small manufacturing plant, or setup spare parts business or entered pure consultancy work.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path like yours?
I would advice students to avoid core textile engineering jobs. If one is already in textile engineering studies, I would strongly advice those students to go for masters (MTech, MBA) or for civil services or go for MS to US.