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Report | February 2019

Geotextiles scope makes Autefa strengthen base in India

Autefa has partnered with Kneo Automation for sales and service in India.

Autefa Solutions Germany GmbH is extremely upbeat about the Indian market for nonwovens especially for geotextiles and automotive textiles. “This is the first customer meet-cum-symposium in India,” said Alexander Stampfer, Regional Sales Director (Nonwovens), Autefa Solutions Germany, who was in Mumbai recently. “Autefa has been in India for quite some time, but to be more professional, we have started working for more than one and a half years. In March 2017, we took up a serious task of building the Indian market. So, we have tied up with Kneo Automation Pvt Ltd, so that we can come closer to the customer base,” said Stampfer.

“Geotextiles and healthcare are the two important areas along with automotive for nonwovens that we are serious about. From wipes to diapers are a fast growing area in India. I must say these avenues are growing at say 6 to 7 per cent in this country, which has made us think of it as an attractive destination for our nonwoven technologies,” said Stampfer.

He felt that India has a “buoyant”economy now and that the demand for disposables are rising rapidly. “Reusable wipes and also disposables tend to grow tremendously in such healthy economies like India. No company can ignore two big markets in the world – China and India.”

There is a big gulf between India and China in the consumption of nonwovens. “China is producing 3.6 million tonnes of nonwovens per year, but India turns out about 1,00,000 tonne. That is roughly 10 per cent of the population. India has tremendous potential for growth in nonwovens. With the Government focusing on a lot of infrastructure projects, with roads expanding at a faster speed every month, the scope for nonwovens is stupendous,” said Stampfer.

Said Stampfer: “Kneo Automation is responsible for our service and sales in India, and we are happy with the facilities the company has with its head, Amar Surve. The Indian market is small but we have experienced service engineers from here, who have been trained at Autefa headquarters. Some of the Indian engineers have been working with Autefa technologies for over 20 years. This ties for expertise began when we were installing machinery for the Reliance two decades back. Maharashtra and Gujarat will be getting priorities now and this will be extended to all other States slowly and steadily.”

“With the National Highway Authority of India ambitiously building 25 km of roads every day, this will be a good boost to geotextiles, if these are used to strengthen the roads. If you want to increase the lifetime of the roads and keep maintenance very low, geotextiles is the only way. The Government should make it mandatory the use of geotextiles, which is good for the country,” said Stampfer.

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