A double-digit growth in consumption is making Aditya Birla Group’s fibre division, Birla Cellulose to focus on the domestic market. One of the largest global producers of viscose fibre, is co-branding with leading fabric and garment brands to increase the visibility of the fibre.
“Viscose fibre consumption is growing at around 14 per cent annually and is one the fastest growing segment when compared to fibres like cotton which is stagnant and polyester which is seeing a negative growth. In India 480 tonnes of cellulose fibres are consumed per day and this is set to grow to 750 tonnes by 2018,” said Manohar Samuel, president (marketing and business development), pulp and fibre business, Aditya Birla Group.
The country consumes 11,700 tonnes of fibre per day at the garment level. This includes synthetic, cotton and other natural fibres. Birla Cellulose supplies almost 90 per cent of the regenerated cellulose fibre consumed in the country. However, major portion of the company’s produce goes to 63 countries.
“There is an immense potential in the Indian market as it is very suitable for the tropical climate. While the cotton prices and polyester prices keep fluctuating, cellulose fibre prices are stable. The consumer demand for natural and comfortable fabrics is growing in India. We see this as an opportunity and are trying to reach out to the consumer with the Liva brand. Till now we have been supplying the fibre to major fashion and home textile brands like Raymonds, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, AND, Siyaram, and Chemistry,” said Samuel.
The company will come up with seasonal collection under Liva for which it will produce both fabric and garment to showcase the fibre. The company has also entered into co-branding partnerships with six brands including Pantaloons, Global Desi, Van Hesusen and Allen Solly. It is also introducing unique blends of viscose and other fibres.
On the supply side, the company has commissioned its new plant at Vilayat in Gujarat which has a capacity to produce 360 tonne of fibre per day. The company had invested Rs 2000 crore on the project.
With the seventh plant, the company will have a total capacity of 2,420 tonnes per day. Of this 1,400 tonnes of fibre are being produced in the four plants in India. The company is also setting up a 250 tonnes per day capacity plant in Turkey for $350 million. This will start production in three years.