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Back to Growth: Technical textile sector profile and interview with Dr. Sundararaman, Chairman, Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA)

ITTA
Dr. Sundararaman, Chairman, Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA)

 

India's technical textile industry


Technical Textiles is a sunrise segment in textiles, having a wide rage of applications from agriculture to aerospace, auto industry to construction and infrastructure. Technical textile products are divided into 12 broad categories (Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech) depending upon their application areas.


Market Size

  • Technical textile accounts for approximately 13 per cent of India’s total textile and apparel market and contributes to India’s GDP at 0.7 per cent
  • The current domestic technical textiles market is estimated at $ 19 Bn, growing at a CAGR of 12 per cent since 2013-14 as compared to 4 per cent world average since 2013-14.
  • Exports of technical textiles in 2018-19 stood at $ 1.97 Bn growing at a CAGR of five per cent since 2013-14.
  • There is a huge potential to fulfil a large demand gap as the consumption of technical textiles in India is still only at 5-10 per cent against 30-70 per cent in some of the advanced countries.


Growth Drivers

  • Increasing awareness in use of nonwovens and technical textiles, 
  • Changing consumer trends including increasing emphasis on fitness and hygiene,
  • Rising brand consciousness, 
  • Fast changing fashion trends, 
  • Extensive usage of technical textiles in various flagship missions, programmes of the country including Jal Jivan Mission; Swachch Bharat Mission; Ayushman Bharat
  • Increasing use of technical textiles in agriculture, aquaculture, dairy, poultry, etc.  with an aim to bring an overall improvement in cost economy, water and soil conservation, better agricultural productivity and higher income to farmers per acre of land holding 
  • Major push to usage of geo-textiles in highways, railways and ports, resulting in robust infrastructure, reduced maintenance cost and higher life cycle of the infrastructure assets.


Key Trends

  • Boom in medical textiles during the pandemic
  • Increasing demand for home textiles and made-ups textile
  • Push towards e-commerce
  • Increasing foreign investments
  • Increasing manufacturing capacity
  • Creation of National Infrastructure Pipeline propelling upward demand of geotextiles


Policies and Government Initiatives

  • 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in the Indian textiles sector
  • Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP): To facilitate textile units to meet international and environmental standards by providing support for common infrastructure and buildings within parks. SITPs dedicated to technical textiles, namely, Pallavada Technical Textiles Park (Tamil Nadu), Vraj Integrated Textile Park Ltd. (Gujarat), Mundra SEZ Integrated Textile and Apparel Park Pvt. Ltd (Gujarat), Gouthambudha Textile Park Pvt. Ltd (Andhra Pradesh) and Great Indian Linen & Textile Infra Structure Co. (P) Ltd (Tamil Nadu) are functional in the country. 
  • Integrated Skill Development Scheme for the Textiles and Apparel Sector (ISDS): This scheme aims to provide specific skills as per the requirement of apparel and other segments of textile industry, as well as employee-trained person in related occupations.
  • Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS): To enable technology upgradation in textile sector by providing capital investment subsidy across different segments of the textile value chain.  
  • Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (Samarth): The aim is to provide a demand-driven, placement-oriented skilling program to incentivise the efforts of the industry in creating jobs with a target to train 10 lakh persons.


Recent Initiatives

  • Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) Codes for Technical Textile: In 2019, the Ministry of Textile, Government of India dedicated 207 HSN Codes to technical textiles to help in monitoring the data of import and export, boost international trade and provide financial support and other incentives to manufacturers. 
  • Creation of Centres of Excellence: Ministry of Textiles had launched Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT) with two mini-missions for a period of five years from 2010-11 to 2014-15 which entailed the creation of 8 Centres of Excellence to provide infrastructure support, leading research and conducting tests of various technical textiles.
  • Launch of National Technical Textile Mission - With a view to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, has given its approval to set up a National Technical Textiles Mission with a total outlay of $ 194 Mn in February 2020.

The Mission shall be set up for a 4-year implementation period from FY 2020-21 to FY 2023-24 and will have the following four components:

  • COMPONENT - I (RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT)
  • COMPONENT – II (PROMOTION AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT)
  • COMPONENT - III (EXPORT PROMOTION)
  • COMPONENT- IV (EDUCATION, TRAINING, SKILL DEVELOPMENT)


Focus Product Incentive Scheme 

This is the product linked incentive scheme for the textiles and apparel sector that will focus specifically on man-made fibre products and technical textile products. There are approximately 50 HS codes that have been identified across technical textiles and MMF sector where this scheme will be applicable. The incentives will be granted basis incremental revenue from year to year. $ 1.5 bn have been announced for this scheme which will be disbursed over a period of 5 years. Further details of the scheme will be furnished on approval of the same.

 

Interview 

1. How do you see the major trends that you witnessed during Covid-19 in your sector pan out in 2021?

The single most important trend during this Covid-19 crisis is a move towards PPE sourcing which greatly benefitted the technical textile industry. India became the 2nd largest manufacturer of PPE in the world, which is a great achievement and continues to grow its manufacturing capacities to cater to the global demand. 


2. Where do you see the sector going ahead in 2021?

We see a quick revival of demand in most sectors and opportunities could exceed pre-covid period. Technical textiles is an emerging, high-growth and a rapidly evolving industry. The range of functionality provided by the various product categories in technical textiles is enormous and offers immense potential for high-value creation. While India’s contribution to the sector on the global canvas is modest at present, enormous opportunities lie in both domestic and international markets for Indian producers. Government policies are very supportive for this segment, and I am positive, we will see encouraging developments across the various functional segments.


3. What potential do you see in the sector for job creation in the coming period?

Textile sector generates 2nd largest employment in the country. There is definitely a need for more manpower in the overall industry and especially in the growing segment of technical textile industry. We are sure to see employment going up. 


4. What could be your strategy to boost aggregate demand in the sector going ahead into 2021?

To boost aggregate demand in the sector going ahead into 2021, the following are some measures which will prove much beneficial:

-    Easing taxation and refunds
-    Facilitation of labor movement
-    Measures to restore pre-covid remuneration to employees 

5. Do you think the sector space in India could be lucrative for foreign investors around the world given the global scenario?

India has broadly fared far better than other countries in tackling the Covid-19 crisis; this coupled with India’s business friendly policy, upcoming infrastructure and a stable political environment, make India a very attractive destination for foreign investments.

* The views and opinions expressed above are solely of the interviewee. The content does not reflect Invest India's position or opinion and Invest India bears no responsibility for the same.