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India to grow faster in Technical Textiles
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India to grow faster in Technical Textiles

Written by: Kunwar Venkteshwar Singh

Technical textile is the emerging area for investment in India. Though India is the 2nd largest textile economy in the world after China, its contribution in the global technical textile industry is insignificant. The market size of technical textiles was estimated to have a volume of 16.71 mn. tonnes with a value of US$ 92.88 bn. and is expected to be 23.77 mn. tonnes with a value of US$ 127 bn. by the year 2010. Technical textiles account for over 25 percent of all fibre consumed and almost 50 percent of the total textile activity in certain industrialized countries. Even in China technical textiles accounted for 20 percent of the total textile consumption in the year 2000. However, in India the consumption of technical textiles is insignificant.


The technical textiles industry has immense potential in the developing countries. Asia is now emerging as a powerhouse of both production as well as end-use consumption of technical textiles. China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, other developing countries, particularly India, have great potential to make an impact in this industry in the coming decade. The demand for technical textiles will be boosted by the changing economic scenario in these countries. Considering its highly skilled and scientific/technical manpower and abundant availability of raw material, India can emerge as a key player in the technical textiles industry.


Domestic scenario of technical textiles in India


India currently consumes the products under all 12 categories of technical textiles, though not all of them are produced domestically. The percentage of indigenous production varies drastically across various products. India is a large producer of products in Packtech, Clothtech, Hometech and Sportech segments of technical textiles. The products with high production levels in India and with substantial exports are typically commodities and are not very R&D intensive such as flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs), tarpaulins, jute carpet backing, hessian, fishnets, surgical dressings, crop covers, etc. Unlike the conventional textile industry in India which is highly export intensive, the technical textile industry is an import intensive industry. Many products like baby diapers, adult diapers, polypropylene spunbond fabric for disposables, wipes, protective clothing, hoses, webbings for seat belts, etc. are imported to a very large extent. Size of the units manufacturing technical textile products also varies to a large extent. There are some large domestic players in this industry like SRF, Entremonde Polycoaters, Kusumgarh Corporates, Supreme Nonwovens Pvt. Ltd., Garware Wall Ropes, Century Enka, Techfab India Ltd., Ahlstrom, Pacific Non Woven, Vardhman, Unimin, etc. In addition, there are a few Multi National large players in technical textiles like Johnson & Johnson, Du Pont, Procter & Gamble, 3M, SKAPs, Kimberly Clark, etc. who have set up their manufacturing facilities in India. Although there are various large players in this industry, production of certain products is still concentrated in the small scale segment like canvas tarpaulin, carpet backing, woven sacks, shoe laces, soft luggage, zip fasteners, stuffed toys, fabrication of awnings, canopies and blinds, etc.


 

Segment-wise market size and consumption of technical textiles in India


The current market size of technical textile in India is estimated at `41,756 crore. The overall technical textile industry in India is expected to grow at the rate of 11% year on year and reach a market size of `70,151 crore by the year 2012-13. The current technical textile consumption in India is estimated at `38,835 crore which is expected to increase to `65,722 crore by the year 2012-13. The segment-wise estimates of market size and consumption of technical textiles in India in the year 2007-08 and projections for the year 2012-13 are given in the table below:

 



Packtech is the largest segment in the Indian technical textile industry, accounting for around 36% share of domestic consumption. The current domestic consumption of Packtech is around `14,067 crore and is expected to grow at the rate of 13% year on year to reach `25,913 crore by 2012-13. Another very significant segment in the Indian technical textile industry is Clothtech, which has over 17% share of the technical textiles consumption. Domestic consumption of this segment is expected to register a growth of around 8% year on year and reach `9,665 crore by 2012-13. Mobiltech and Hometech have a share of 8% and 12% respectively in the total consumption of technical textiles and are expected to grow at 11-12% year on year for the next five years. Sportech which has a share of around 7% in the domestic consumption of technical textiles, is expected to have an above average growth potential of around 11% year on year. It is expected to reach `4,358 crore by 2012-13. Indutech which currently has only around 6% share of the total domestic technical textile consumption is expected to grow at 12% year on year for the next five years to reach `4,255 crore. Amongst the smaller segments, Protech has significant growth potential. The current domestic consumption of Protech is around `1,259 crore and is expected to increase to around `2,021 crore by 2012-13 growing at over 9% year on year.

The current domestic consumption of Oekotech is very small (only around `68 crore), as its application is very low in India. However, over the next five years, this trend is expected to change and domestic consumption of Oekotech is expected to increase to `160 crore by the year 2012-13 growing at around 19% y-o-y. Usage of Geotech in India is also far below its potential as there is lack of awareness about its advantages. The growth of Geotech, which currently has only around 0.5% share of consumption of technical textile in India, is dependent upon the Government regulations for its application and a strict supervision to ensure adequate use. The growth of this segment has been estimated at around 12% y-o-y. Buildtech, Meditech and Agrotech are expected to achieve a moderate growth at around 8%. Hence, we conclude that Protech, Oekotech, Sportech, Geotech and Packtech are the segments with the maximum growth potential. Packtech and Clothtech followed by Mobiltech and Hometech are the largest segments and the main drivers of growth for the technical textile industry (considering present size as well as expected growth rate).


The accelerated growth of the Indian economy would impact favorably on the growth of Technical Textiles. Indian, the fourth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) (after USA, China, and Japan) is a growing market of more than 1 billion people, of which 400 million are middle class consumes. Significantly over 50 percent of the population is below 25 years- the vibrant segment of any market. The fast growing middle class of 400 million with higher discretionary income is expected to increase to 520 million in 2 years. The middle class is well educated and receptive to the many technical textile products particularly the disposable products which have huge market in western countries.


The India Technical Textile Industry is on the threshold of the tidal wave of growth. The India has all ingredients to emerge as a powerhouse of technical textiles (for both commodity as well as high-end products) and the momentum which has been building up for some time is expected to accelerate and would catapult India into the league of major technical textile producers within next 5 years.



The author holds M.Tech degree from IIT Delhi; he is currently working as Product Manager (New Services), Business Development Bureau Veritas Consumer Product Services (I) Pvt. Ltd.



Views presented here are those of the author.


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