By,Munish Tyagi, Snr.Techtex consultant,and Ceo Nuovatex Projects Co.
India s technical textile sector, which also encompasses the nonwovens and industrial textiles, persists in its story and yet prefers to remain in the grey area of production and demand really not picking up as per the expectations and `over hype ` created by the Govt departments like the office of Textile Commissioner and Ministry of Textiles promoting and supporting this emerging sector which has been projected as `sunrise ` for Indian textile industry.
The Present scenerio and the Need: The slow lifting of recession in the EC and the USA, leading to much reduced export demand for cummodity Indian textiles and apparels has seen the Indian traditional/core textile industry not making much headway in export or domestic consumption especially since last 2 years. India s total textile exports plateaued at USD 32 billion mark vis a vis the targets ad expectations of $ 50 billion. The import policy and see-saw of Chinas textile imports, especially for cotton and yarns, has also been playing a spoil sport for India which had diverted most of its export focus to China s import demand for cotton and yarns vis a vis the much reduced demand from the EC and the USA importing blocks which earlier consumed 60% of all textile exports. This volatility has been happening over last 2-3 years despite the Govts extra ordinary support by providing TUF subsidy to core textile sector and also creating 3 dozen Apparel Parks across the country.
No wonder that the thinktanks at the Ministry and research institutions have been working furiously to promote the Technical textile sector,and showing with special incentives and subsidies for interest concessions and rebate on import duty etc. This has helped reduce to [ only minor extent] the import of nonwovens and technical textiles; but as not yet succeeded in a growing and stable or recurring domestic consumption of technical textiles in India from much touted industry consumers like Automobile and medical textiles. The huge imports of Disposable nonwovens into India by the major MNC like P&G ,Kimberly Clarke and Johnsons have not faced much competition from Indian nonwoven players like Ginni group having a global size `spun lace `type nonwoven fabric unit in State of Gujarat.The other domestic lead Cos like Supreme in west zone and Uniproducts in the north zone have played safe by feeding domestic demand for Filter and automobile industry users.They have stayed away from the disposable segment controlled by the MNCs.
Over the last 2-3 years, country has also been exposed to a plethora of Seminars, technical textile Expos etc organised at rate of One per quarter by industry supporting bodies like the Ministry, the trade Chambers like FICCI, CII and trade bodies like Messe Frankfurt.This has certainly enhanced awareness and visibility for the product lines of both large and small to medium producers in the technical textiles domain; but the market and the buyers could not flood in. The grey factor and cloudiness in the markets is persistent and not yet allowing the sector to grow at the publicised pace of 12% CAGR to take a share of 13-15% in all textile output of India. One key reasons is the non-clarity on the product end uses and cloudiness in substitution potential of nonwovens over traditional textiles.The Govt figures are promoting the available market size of 12-13 $ billion for the India s technical textile.However, is this the available market size in terms of product demand/consumption or is it the projected demand including import potential ? This remain a major dark area and query from all industry watchers looking out for the real tangible market size specific to each category of technical textile/nonwoven products.
With the above background, an international level expo on technical textiles, titled TECHNOTEX 2014 was organised in Mumbai during March 2014 by FICCI- Federation of Indian Industries Chambers of Commerce in co operation with the Ministry of Textiles, and Govt of Maharasthra. The Expo invited active participation from Indian industry, machine suppliers and international Cos in the technical textiles field, namely Dornier, Oerlikon,Teijin of Japan, Taiwan Textile Federation and host of Chinese co s active in the nonwoven sector. The Indian Cos leading the road for technical textiles,namely Welspun group, Alok Ind group,Ginni Nonwovens,SRF Ltd and Madura Industrial Textiles group were present with showcasing of their products in both semi durable and disposable nonwoven product range. The TECHNOTEX 2014 EXPO also saw the participation of COEs-Centres of Excellence- namely SITRA, BTRA and DKTE which have been set up by the Ministry to provide technical support and product development/testing and certification services to a large range of products and especially Medical textiles, Geo textiles ,others.
The Road map for future: TECHNOTEX 2014 is expected to work as a step ladder for accelerating technical textiles usage and towards strengthening ,both institutional and industry buying. The Expo has providing the Road map and way forward to different end use segments ,as below;
- Defence sector will evolve as largest consumer of protection textiles and will generate a demand of $ 960 million by 2016-17 including considerable imports,
- India s `Meditex` or medical textiles sector is to grow at highest rate of 18-20% to touch a level of $1030 million by 2016-17,as per estimates of Ministry of Textiles.
- Govts favourable policies aimed at increasing access to quality healthcare will have a positive and strong impact on technical textiles used in medical textile end uses.
- Indian Geotextile segment is expected to grow at a high rate of 18-20% p.a to touch a level of $200 million by 2016,as per estimates of Ministry of Textiles.This will be riding on the sustainable GDP growth of 5-5.5% over next 3-4 years; and an increase in the investment for enhancing Infrastructure once the new Govt is in,as the consumption of Geotex products is mainly driven by new capex in infrastructure projects. Another sunrise sector is the increasing use of Technical textiles in Agri-sector where the demand is estimated to grow to $620 million by year 2017-18.
- With revival in demand of domestic passenger cars,and India becoming a hub for car exports by MNC Co s; the demand for Filter and felt products will go up too.
- The participation of some new players also showed the way forward for accelerating the usage of technical textiles in the Agriculture and sports domain.As per the Ministry, the Indian Agrotex and Sportex segments have just started on the growth path and,estimated to touch $340 mln for Sportex.
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