By,Munish Tyagi, Snr.Techtex  consultant,and  Ceo Nuovatex Projects Co.

Backgrounder:

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.