Unwillingness of govt to try out new technologies responsible for slow growth of geotextiles
Sanjay Gupta is a Chemical Engineer (IIT Kanpur) and CFA and PGDFA (ICFAI, Hyderabad). He has 19 years of experience in various roles in plastic processing industry. At present he is Business Head – Coated Fabrics and Head – Polymer Procurement with Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd. Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd. is one of the largest producers of synthetics cordages in the world. The company processes more than 25000 tons of polymers every year and exports roughly 45% of its output to 80 countries across the globe. Key segments for the company are ropes and twines, fishing nets, sports nets, geosynthetics, agriculture nets and coated fabrics.
PVC coated polyester fabric finds application in products like tarpaulins, tents, exhibition hangar covers, sports goods, bouncies and inflatables. Our estimate of market size for this segment is Rs. 120 Crore per annum with 15-20% growth. Architectural fabric for tensile structure is another growing opportunity.
Geotextiles / Geo-synthetics are being increasingly used in India for infrastructure projects. However, their penetration and spread lacks behind countries like China which have similar infrastructure needs as India. The main reasons for their slow spread are: Unwillingness of Government Departments to try out new technologies. The tendering system is structured to receive a minimum number of bids irrespective of the technology used. Therefore, it encourages copying of technology and discourages innovation. Lack of Indian codes on installation procedures with these materials, which leads to failures. Slow speed of decision making which impacts project bottom lines.
The Government can boost usage by allowing new innovations and patents to be specified in projects without the cursory requirements of 3 bidders. This will open up the field for manufacturers/ installers to innovate. Set up a system whereby an innovative product can be tested and approved by a COE before being specified in project. Improve speed of decision making, Encourage Government Departments to try out new technologies as solutions for their project problems. Delegate the powers for usage of innovative products to the field personnel who are responsible for implementation.
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