India To Grow Faster In Technical Textiles

Technical textiles are a growing area of investment in India. Despite being the world’s second-largest textile economy after China, India makes a minor contribution to the global technical textile sector. The market size of technical textiles was projected to be 16.71 million tonnes with a value of US$ 92.88 billion, and it is expected to be 23.77 million tonnes with a value of US$ 127 billion by 2010. Technical textiles account for more than 25% of total fibre consumption and nearly 50% of total textile activity in some industrialized countries. Even in China, technological textiles made almost 20% of overall textile consumption in 2000. However, technical textile usage in India remains low.

The emerging countries’ technological textiles industry has enormous potential. Asia is rapidly rising as a hub for both technical textile production and end-use demand. China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other developing countries, particularly India, have a strong chance of making an effect in this market during the next decade. The shifting economic climate in these countries will drive up demand for technical textiles. Given its highly skilled and scientific/technical manpower and sufficient raw material availability, India has the potential to become a prominent player in the technical textiles industry.

Domesticscenario of technical textiles in India

India utilizes all 12 kinds of technological textiles, however not all are manufactured domestically. The amount of indigenous production varies significantly between products. India is a major producer of Packtech, Clothtech, Hometech, and Sportech technical textiles. Flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs), tarpaulins, jute carpet backing, hessian, fishnets, surgical dressings, crop covers, and other commodities are examples of products with large production levels in India and significant exports. The technical textile business in India is import intensive, as opposed to the conventional textile sector, which is heavily reliant on exports. Many products, such as infant diapers, adult diapers, polypropylene spunbonded fabric for disposables, wipes, protective garments, hoses, and seat belt webbings, are heavily imported. The size of the units that manufacture technical textile products varies greatly.

Some major domestic players in this business include SRF, Entre Monde Polycoaters, Kusumgarh Corporates, Supreme Nonwovens Pvt. Ltd., Garware Wall Ropes, Century Enka, Techfab India Ltd., Ahlstrom, Pacific Non Woven, Vardhman, Unimin, and others. Furthermore, several multinational technical textiles companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Du Pont, Procter & Gamble, 3M, SKAPs, Kimberly Clark, and others, have established manufacturing operations in India. Although there are several significant companies in this business, certain products, such as canvas tarpaulins, carpet backing, woven bags, shoe laces, soft luggage, zip fasteners, stuffed toys, awnings, canopies, and blinds, are still produced on a small scale.

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

India’s technical textile market is expected to be worth Rs. 41,756 crore. The technical textile sector in India is projected to increase at an annual pace of 11%, reaching a market size of ‘70,151 crore by 2012-13. India’s technical textile consumption is predicted to reach ‘65,722 crore by 2012-13, up from the current projection of ‘38,835 crore. The table below shows segment-wise estimates of the market size and consumption of technical textiles in India in 2007-08, as well as projections for 2012-13.

Packtech is the largest segment in India’s technical textile industry, accounting for around 36% of domestic consumption. Packtech’s domestic consumption is currently around  14,067 crore and is projected to expand at a 13% annual pace to  25,913 crore by 2012-13. Clothtech is another key segment in India’s technical textile industry, accounting for more than 17% of technical textile consumption. By 2012-13, domestic consumption of this segment is predicted to increase by 8% year on year, reaching  9,665 crore.

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.

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