The Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) is the only association of the technical textile industry in India with about 250 members. ITTA membership represents the entire technical textile value chain from raw materials to finished goods producers, machinery manufacturers, consultants, centre of excellence and R&D Institutes.
Shashi Singh, Executive Director of ITTA, spoke with Samuel Joseph, Editor of The Indian Textile Journal, in an exclusive interview at her office in the BTRA premises.
Samuel Joseph: What is the current status of the Indian technical textiles industry globally and also vis-a-vis Asia, how can it be compared statistically?
Shashi Singh: The technical textile industry is a nascent industry in the country, though registering impressive growth due to the entrepreneurial ingenuity of the Indian industry supplemented by the incentive schemes of the Government.
Despite high growth rates, the Indian technical textile industry is not a significant player in the global arena. The current market size of Indian technical textile industry is USD 14 bn vis-a-vis USD 132 bn of global market. Globally technical textile contributes 27 per cent to the textile industry, in some of the European countries share is about 50 per cent, while in India technical textile contributes about 11 per cent. Further, Indian technical textile is predominantly in commodity segments, Hometech, Clothtech and Packtech contribute about 64 per cent of the total technical textiles while globally hi-tech segments like Mobiltech, Indutech and Sportech are the predominant segments contributing about 55 per cent of the world market.
The Per Capital Consumption of technical textiles in India is also minuscule at 1.7 kg while in USA it is 16.5 kg followed by 12.1 kg in Germany and 3.4 kg in China.
Samuel Joseph: Which are the areas that hold scope in the medium term?
Substantiate with some performance indicators.
Shashi Singh: I would like to talk about three technologies which offer immense growth opportunities, these include coating and lamination, nonwovens and composites. These technologies have end-use applications in almost all the segment of technical textiles thus providing flexibility in terms of production of diversified product range in a single unit.
Coated and laminated textiles are substrate fabrics (which can be woven, knitted or nonwoven)coated with polymeric or elastomeric coating or instead of our films to provide functional properties for specific end-use applications. Global demand for coated and laminated textiles was estimated at 14 bn USD in 2012. US, China & Europe account for about 70-80 per cent of the global demand whereas IndiaÆs share is insignificant but the latent demand in India remains quite high.
Nonwovens are engineered fabrics with diverse application across segments. Globally, the new applications of nonwovens are emerging almost everyday, while in India the consumption of nowoven is restricted to few application areas. The global production of nonwoven is in the range of 7.63 mn tonnes as against Indian production of about 2.50 lakh tonnes. The Indian production is insignificant as compared to 1.6 mn tonnes in America and 1.4 mn tonnes in China. Likewise, the per capita consumption in India is 145 gms vis-a-vis 5-6 kg in USA, Taiwan and Korea. The low production/consumption indicates huge untapped potential in India.
Composite is another technology which has immense potential for growth. Composite marketof India is US $1.1 bn vis-a-vis US $22 bn globally. The per capita usage of Composites in India is 1.5$ vis-a vis<