Industry Perception

“Advantage India” for investors in India's technical textiles sector

Pradeep Deshpande, Head - Textile Machinery Division, Illies Engineering (India) Pvt Ltd

India today is in growth mode with all around growth in Infrastructure. The infrastructure growth like, roads, air ports, has spurred demand for Geotextiles, The continuous growth in Automotive sector has led to increasing demands for Auto carpets, Headliners. The increasing disposable income due to growth of middle class has led to improved life style. Similarly increasing health awareness is contributing to Indians opting for non-woven hygiene products. The growing medical tourism is also contributing to increased demand for health care hospital products. The packaging and soft luggage industry is creating demand for nonwoven and coated materials. Furnishing and hometech industry is growing in all major cities creating demand for Mattress, Pillows, felts, Wipes, Carpets in home and offices. Also the demand is increasing in sports ware with products like shoes, interlinings, tents, Sleeping bags, parachute fabrics.

All the above factors offer an excellent opportunity for Indian investors since the investments in manufacturing of Technical textiles of which Nonwovens are an integral part. Also this area is rather new to India and not much of investment has been done so far.

Vikas Sharan, Vice President, A.T.E. Enterprises Private Limited

In my opinion, India currently is a nascent market for technical textiles, but showing steady signs of growth and sustainability. This pace has to be nurtured in order to make this market sustainable over a period of time when it starts touching the lives of people and industries of this country in more ways than one. The central as well as the state govt. introduced schemes should offer a friendlier environment for the investors to feel secure about their investments and support their endeavours by offering specialized services to their marketing needs.

Shishir Jaipuria, Managing Director, Ginni Filaments Ltd.

India’s technical textile sector is going through very exciting times at present. On the demand side, with 1.2 billion population, expanding middle class and urban population, higher disposable incomes, integration with global markets and infrastructure growth are triggers for growth of the sector. While on the supply side, low manufacturing costs, indigenous availability of raw materials at competitive rates, availability of technology, expansion of modern trade, Public Private partnership in infrastructure, Government support to the sector (TUF, Technology Mission etc), are major enablers. Hence, there are enough reasons for the investors to diversify into technical textile sector.

Segments/products in India offer highest growth and investment potential

V. Kannan, Vice President - Polymer Division, Reliance Industries Ltd

The potential for technical textiles in hygiene and agrotextile applications is significant. India demonstrates potential of 22 billion pieces of sanitary napkins, 28 billion pieces of baby diapers, PP non-woven single-use medical wear and hospital under pads for approximately 1 million beds, 1 billion banana covers per annum, 4 billion grape covers per annum, 3 billion Alphonso Mango covers, and 2.5 billion pomegranate covers. The Indian 60+ demographic is expected to reach a size of 198 million by 2030.

Low penetration, low per-capita consumption, untapped rural markets, increase in senior population demographic, growing interests in India’s medical tourism sector, and increased awareness of health and hygiene are some of the key factors driving the growth of these products. While domestic manufacturers of hygiene products are limited, the country is still predominantly reliant on imports. Nonetheless, with a growing population and diversifying demographic, the potential for investors in these segments of technical textiles is lucrative and significant.

Pradeep Deshpande, Head - Textile Machinery Division, Illies Engineering (India) Pvt Ltd

The segments like Automotive with products like Carpets, Headliners, filters and railways with seating cushions bed roll and pillow covers, Hygiene Segment with products like face masks, surgeon gowns, hospital under pads, baby Diapers, Sanitary Napkins, Adult Diapers, cotton rolls are in increasing demand.

In the Buildtech segment, products like hoardings, Tarpaulins, Awnings and canopies are the potential ones. There is a high growth potential in packaging and soft luggage from synthetic leather.

Vikas Sharan, Vice President, A.T.E. ENTERPRISES PRIVATE LIMITED

Till now, packtech has seen the highest growth in the country, since affordable technology (spun bond) has been made available to the Indian entrepreneurs from the Chinese, thereby shunting the Europeans out from this sector, barring specialised processes. But I see a big growth for the converter segment now, since there is a big chasm between the roll good manufacturers and converters.

Personal hygiene is one area where a lot of emphasis and significance needs to be directed, since this is population dependent and we as a country, have it in all categories, whether it is babies, female population or adults/senior citizens with bladder/bowel dysfunctions. Of course, a culture shift coupled with awareness and disposable income are necessary to make it a success for the years to come.

Another area is for needle punched products for filtration, automotives and artificial leather. However, the cost of bringing in technology in this area is much higher and hence, there still is skepticism in going in for a green field project unless there is a JV or buyback involved. The few domestic manufacturers who have been at it since many years, however continue to keep working in this sector.

Coating and lamination also becomes a very important aspect of technical textiles.

Shishir Jaipuria, Managing Director, Ginni Filaments Ltd.

We have seen significant growth in Meditech, Packtech, Geotech and Mobiltech in last few years. Obviously the growth was seen in regions where these segments were more evolved. However the past trends may not actually reflect the future course of the growth as the technical textiles sector is yet to show its full potential in the overall development scenario. I would say that with the success stories reaching fast to other regions/sectors, they would be replicated there too. I personally feel that Indutech and Protech will have a brighter future. Looking to investment trends, western region namely, States of Gujarat and Maharashtra and Southern Region, namely, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka seem to have better investment potential.