Interview with Dr Anup Rakshit
Urgent need to form Export Promotion Council
The Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) is the only association of the technical textile industry in the country. ITTA membership represents the entire technical textile value chain from raw material to finished goods producers, machinery manufacturers, converters, centers of excellence and R&D institutes. Paulami Chatterjee spoke to Dr. Anup Rakshit, Executive Director, ITTA, to get an idea about India's share in the technical textile (TT) industry globally, key requirements to further boost India's progress in the global market and segments of TT which saw a growth in the backdrop of the pandemic.
TT: How big is the technical textile industry globally? What is India's share in that?
Global market size of technical textiles was around US $256 billion in 2019 and average growth rate is 4 per cent (CAGR). The Indian market of technical textiles is over US $19 billion (Rs1.45 lakh crores) with an average growth rate of 12 per cent (CAGR).
TT: Which segments are seeing a higher growth rate globally?
As per the International Trade Centre (ITC) at 6-digit HS Code level data for the financial year 2019-20, the top globally traded technical textile products are in the categories of medical-hygiene, industrial, protective, automotive textiles and various types of nonwoven fabrics. The traded value in each product category ranges from US $14 to 22 billion.
TT: At what rate is it growing - globally, Asia, China, Europe, India and how India can progress further?
Top four global exporters of technical textiles are US-23 per cent, Western Europe-22 per cent, China-13 per cent, Japan-7 per cent. India's current global share is around 6 per cent with 12 per cent CAGR. Indian technical textile industry can grow exponentially if the appropriate strategy and eco-systems are in place. To accelerate the export growth rate, there is an urgent need to form an Export Promotion Council (EPC) exclusively for technical textiles. However, the National Technical Textile Mission (NTTM) scheme on technical textiles and Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme on technical textiles and MMF announced by the government - both put together can give boost to the technical textile industry in coming years.
TT: Which segments are witnessing a higher growth rate in India and future potential segments?
Medical, hygiene and packaging are some of the largest markets in India. Indian defence is one of the largest consumers of a variety of technical textiles. Agriculture and horticulture, construction sector- building, highways/roads, railways and dams (geosynthetics), fire fighters, leisure sports, etc are the other major growing markets in India.
TT: How is the export market of Indian technical textile like?
The Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Commerce & Industries notified 207 technical textile items/products in early 2019, though many products are yet to be added in the list because our industry is booking them under "Others" category in absence of specific HSN codes for these products.
India's export in FY 2019-20 is about USD 2.04 billion for 207 technical textile items. The growth rate is approximately 12-13 per cent over last year and import is also almost similar to export. Though there is a dip in the export/import value in the FY 2020-21 because of the Covid pandemic situation in the country as well as in the world.
TT: Which are the key technical textiles products exported and imported?
As per the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS) data, the trend in export and import of technical textile products varies from year-to-year depending on the domestic and global market situations. In the year 2019-20, the list of top few products are given below-
a) Top few exported technical textile products:
- Nonwoven: Nonwovens of man-made filaments (weighing 25 g/sqm to70 g/sqm), wadding of man-made fibres, nonwovens made of jute and other textile materials.
- Geotech: Geogrids and Geo-composites.
- Hometech: Pile & Chenille fabrics, carpets and other textile floor coverings
- Packtech: Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (FIBC) and jute hessian & sacks.
b) Top few imported technical textile products-
- Meditech: adhesive gauze bandage, tampons and adult diaper.
- Protech: industrial gloves, extreme weather garments and bullet proof jackets.
- Mobiltech: nylon tyre yarn and nylon & polyamide tyre cord fabrics.
- Geotech: geo-composites and non-metallic gabions
TT: What are the raw materials imported? And what raw materials are available and that can be exported?
Almost all the key raw materials used to manufacture high value technical textile products are imported to India. The key raw materials are- high performance fibres, namely aramid, carbon, nylon 66, ultra-high modulus polyethylene fibres, Flame Retardant (FR) viscose, FR acrylic, antistatic, ceramic fibres, some grades of glass fibres/rovings and yarns.
India is lacking in production of the above raw materials because of various reasons such as non-availability of appropriate technology, lack of research and development efforts and paucity of funds, current demand of these products in India are limited to make any such project viable unless rest of the quantity is exported.