Reliance Industries (RIL) is to increase its presence in the polyester space after the launch of its new brand, RElan, through which it will get into co-branding of apparel. The largest manufacturer of polyester in the country, it has an annual capacity of 2 MT, almost half the country’s 4.5 MT. The firm expects 5 per cent yearly growth in this segment. China, with 45 MT manufacturing capacity out of 70 MT globally, is much ahead of India.
For RElan, the new portfolio of speciality fabric, RIL has tied up with VF Corporation of America, owner of the world’s largest denim brand, Wrangler, to launch by the coming February the Inficool denim range. “We are in talks with at least five leading domestic and international apparel brands to co-brand with the RElan brand. The co-branding will give RIL a foothold in the Rs 2,50,000-crore Indian apparel industry, almost a 50-50 share of menswear and womenswear,” said a senior firm official. The move might help to reduce India’s fabric import, averaging 500 mn sq m, valued at $1.2 billion, in each of the past three years. The industry estimates a little more than 90 per cent of the fabric is from China, with the rest from Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea. “The move will help India to reduce dependence on import of speciality fabrics, especially from China,” said the official.
Global per capita consumption of polyester is 6 kg per person, compared to 3 kg per person in India and 11 kg in China. It is the other way round in cotton, with India’s per capita consumption at 54 kg per person versus 18 kg in China and a global average of 28 kg. India’s textile industry contributes 14 per cent of industrial production, 6 per cent of GDP and 17 per cent of export earnings. “We are expecting (yearly) growth of around 5 per cent for India in the polyester industry, much higher than the global average of 3 per cent. We are planning to tie up with 200 textile manufacturers, giving focus to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, which account for 20 per cent of India’s fabric production capacity and manufacturing textiles worth Rs 50,000 crore annually,” said the official.