Mr. S V Raut, President – Garware Technical Fibres Ltd.
1) An overview of Indian Technical Textiles Industry -domestic and exports and how these two segments have grown over the years?
Technical Textiles is a growing segment of the global Textile industry. With increasing competition and diminishing margins in the production of conventional textiles, textile manufacturers in industrialized countries are focusing more on production of value-added technical textiles. The Technical Textile industry is estimated to account for over 50% of the total textile activity in certain industrialized countries. Worldwide, the market is approximately USD 160+ billion and growing at a CAGR of 4-5%.
North America is the largest consumer of technical textiles, followed by Western Europe and Japan. However, Technical Textile industry in the developed world is maturing in a significant way, resulting in moderate growth in these economies. In contrast, China, India and other countries in Asia are expected to experience healthy growth in the near future.
While India accounts for approximately 10% of the global technical textiles consumption, there is a prevalence of commoditization and price sensitivity in India. Manufacturers internationally have moved up the value chain and here too, things are changing albeit slowly when it comes to certain domain in Technical Textiles like Geo-textile, Agro-textile, Sports-textile etc.
At Garware, we give a lot of importance on listening to the Voice of customer to innovate value added products from a price led commoditized ones. With innovation as the fulcrum, our focus on application related solutions has made us grow in both domestic and international markets.
2) In the past ten months, what changes have you managed to effect at the company?
We as a company have focused on application based solutions. Our core objective has always been to deliver value to our customers through our innovative products. Be it any segment related to ropes, netting etc, we have always laid emphasis on R&D. This aided by our manufacturing excellence as well as customer focused approach have led us to be leaders in each of the categories that we operate.
In the recent past, we have inculcated some breakthrough processes which have enhanced the speed to market of new solutions. We now have technologies that are used across segments.
3) What is your company’s strategy for growth in the coming five years?
Currently, our existing capacity is capable of taking care of our growth needs for the coming 2-3 years. We do invest in expanding our manufacturing lines on a continuum basis, especially to manufacture new generation products. The technology varies with the kind of products that we manufacture. We do however; look at two critical parameters when looking at new technology: Quality output and Cost optimization.
We have a strong growth appetite and aim to enhance our market leadership status in the various segments that we operate in. Towards this, we invest continuously in our R&D, manufacturing and our people to achieve our goal of being the preferred partner of our customer’s world over
4) Please update us on your activities relating to product development?
Our mission is all about delivering value to customers through differentiated products. As a process, we understand the stated and unstated needs of our customers and work on new age products which are unique in their value delivery. Customer centricity, a strong R&D team and stringent quality focused manufacturing processes have made our products stand out and deliver unique benefits to our customers. Needless to say, this has aided the business of our customers and thereby ours too.
Our products are differentiated and enhance the value to our customers. We do not rest on our laurels and continuously strive to make our own products obsolete with newer and better products. Today, value added products contribute to two thirds of our revenue and in the coming years and this is bound to go higher with our upcoming innovative offerings.
We have recently developed a green polymer, it is produced from sugarcane and not from petrochemicals, however the cost of it is little higher, but we believe it will slowly gain traction in the coming years.
5) What are your marketing and promotion plans?
As a company, we are very brand centric and have strong brands in each of the segments we operate in. Our brands are application and segment specific; and we do a lot of customer contact programs, road shows etc to create awareness and drive preference for our brands. Since most of our customers are B2B, this personal connect is highly beneficial as it results in in-depth solution orientation. For instance, in fisheries, we have a strong distribution network and a dedicated team across the entire coast of India. We conduct lots of awareness workshops for fishermen and also provide them training, social support and education.
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