Growing India's Nonwovens And Technical Textile Sectors
With rising income levels, India's demand for nonwoven products will grow over the next four decades.
Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar and Appachi Arunachalam
India’s Consumption Of Nonwovens (2007-2050)
The liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991 coincided with the booming information technology sector. This fortuitous development has led to the growth of a middle-class population with disposable income. In addition, since 2000, India has set up one-stop superstores that are commonly referred to as “big bazaars,” and most recently with organized retail stores and malls. The economy and the growth in the sales outlet will lead to a higher consumption of disposable items such as nonwovens. Furthermore, the Indian government is planning to spend a large sum of money on infrastructure projects such as highways and bridges, which will consume semi-durable and durable nonwovens and technical textiles.
According to estimates by the United States-based Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) and Belgium-based EDANA, the International Association Serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries, the current annual per capita consumption of nonwovens in India is less than 100 grams, whereas the per capita consumption of nonwovens in developed markets such as the United States and Western Europe is between 3 and 3.5 kilograms (kg). As is evident from the growth of the nonwoven industry in developed markets, it has taken nearly four decades for those markets to cross the threshold level of 3 kg per capita consumption. More interestingly, the per capita consumption of nonwovens is directly correlated with the per capita income levels of the population. Nonwoven and technical textiles pundits are in agreement with this theory. However, no one has predicted the growth of the nonwoven industry based on per capita consumption in India in relation to India’s projected per capita income level for the next four decades.
An analysis using per capita income levels from the World Bank has led to some interesting conclusions that will be of enormous interest to the global nonwovens and technical textiles industry. For this analysis, certain baseline figures were drawn from the data published by the World Bank. Estimates presented of India’s per capita nonwoven consumption are based on the World Bank’s income estimates. As per the World Bank data for 2007, per capita GDP of the United States and India are US$45,817 and US$946.10, respectively. At this per capita income level, it is assumed that India’s per capita consumption of nonwovens is 80 grams. The annual growth rates used for the United States’ and India’s economy are 4.6 percent and 13.27 percent, respectively. These figures are the average growth rates of the two countries, respectively, from 2003 to 2007. These growth rates have been used to calculate the per capita nonwoven consumption for India and the United States for the years 2005 to 2050. Tables 1 and 2 provide the per capita income levels and the corresponding nonwoven consumption for that time period. Since the data will be exhaustive, they are presented in five year increments.
As may be noted from the Tables, the growth rate in per capita GDP used for the nonwoven consumption is the same as that of the growth rate assumed for the economy. This is a fairly well-accepted theory in the industry with regard to the relationship between per capita GDP and nonwoven consumption growth. Assuming that the industry is fairly developed when the per capita consumption of nonwovens reaches 3 to 3.5 kg, as is the current state of the US and Western European industries, India will reach this level in 2035. India’s nonwoven and technical textile industry is currently highly fragmented and is in the embryonic stage. The industry is predicted to have double-digit growth between 13 and 15 percent per annum in the next two decades, leading up to a developed stage by 2035. During this period, developed markets such as the United States and Western Europe are set to grow at a much slower rate of close to 5 percent. Therefore, it would be of much value for the global industry to take India seriously and take part in the growth.
The growth in the nonwovens industries in the United States and India is measured by the growth in per capita consumption. In that scenario, the nascent Indian industry will grow steadily over the next two decades, reaching the threshold level of 3 kg by 2035. Interestingly, at this level, the exponential growth of Indian consumption will provide enormous opportunity for the industry, whereas the US industry will grow only slowly, at a rate of around 5 percent beyond the threshold level of per capita consumption of 3 kg.
The Indian growth story will defy the well-established growth theory in the textile industry. China will also behave similarly, but at a different stage in the years to come. Therefore, where is sustained growth? It is definitely in India at a projected annual rate of 13 percent from now until 2050 and beyond.
The Indian industry will show phenomenal growth from the embryonic stage (2007) through its infancy (2010-2035) and then through the developed stage (2035 and beyond). Per capita income levels for 2005-2050 compared to the nonwovens consumption also indicate tremendous growth with a shift in 2035 enabling exponential growth from this stage. These figures will be extremely valuable for the Indian and global industry to plan their activities for next few decades to come. The take home message here is that, during its growth phase, India’s nonwoven and technical textile industry will grow twice as fast as the industry in the current developed markets. Although India’s industry base is extremely small currently, with an annual total production of 60,000 metric tons, the next two decades are set to change the nature of Indian technical textile industry and provide an ample growth opportunity of more than 13 percent per annum.
Indian Technical Textiles: Some Noteworthy Points
Government Support For Technical Textiles Development: The National Technology Mission on Technical Textiles has a budget of US$170 million for five years.
Self-Reliance With Regard To Raw Materials For Nonwovens:
• India is home the world’s largest polyester manufacturer, Reliance Industries Ltd.
• India will become the second-largest producer of cotton in 2008.
• Austria-based Lenzing Group and India-based Modi Group will collaborate to build a viscose plant with a capacity of 80,000 metric tons per annum.
Research And Development Infrastructure: According to sources from the Office of the Textile Commissioner of India, the government over the next five years will invest in 20 centers of excellence in research for nonwoven and technical textiles. Four centers will be approved as Phase I and will focus on Geotech, Medtech, Protech and Agrotech.
Awareness Programs: The government will spend at least 10 million Indian rupees per annum for the next five years to create awareness among entrepreneurs in order to grow the industry.
Technology Information and Forecasting Assessment Council (TIFAC): An autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology, TIFAC will invest around 18 million Indian rupees as part of a private-public partnership worth 36 million Indian rupees to set up a center for excellence in technical textiles at the DKTE Society’s Textile and Engineering Institute in Ichalkaranji in the State of Maharashtra. This program is unique in that it will have contributions from the institute and industrial partners to undertake mission-linked projects to promote the nonwoven and technical textile industry. TIFAC has already established a center at Kumaraguru College of Technology in South India whose focus is to strengthen research and development in the textile machinery and allied sectors. The total budgeted cost is 37.6 million Indian rupees.
By 2012, India’s technical textile industry will be worth US$12 billion to US$15 billion, which will be 10 percent of the global industry value. Apart from the National Technology Mission to promote technical textiles, positive schemes such as the Technology Upgradation Fund and a reduction to 5 percent in the basic customs duties on imported nonwoven and technical textile machinery are worthy of mentioning. The Indian government promotes the growth of the textile sector, as it is the breadwinner for the middle- and lower-middle-income people who constitute the major chunk of the electorate. It is predicted that the period between 2010 and 2035 will be crucial for the technical textiles sector in India and will provide ample opportunities for both international and domestic players, with a growth rate of up to 15 percent per annum.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar is an assistant professor at the Nonwoven and Advanced Materials Laboratory at Texas Tech University (TTU), Lubbock, Texas, USA. Appachi Arunachalam is a visiting scholar at TTU.
随着信息技术的发展，a a a a 印度的经济在1991年获得了解放。这一意外的发展导致可随意支出 的中产阶级人数的快速增长。此外，2000年以来，印 度建立了很多一站式超级市场，在印度
的研发中心，该中心将设立在Maharashtra 邦Ichalkaranji 市的DKTE 社团纺织工程学院
编者注：Seshadri Ramkumar博士是美国德克萨斯州Lubbock市德克萨斯技术大学非织造及先进材料实验室的助理教授。Appachi Arunachalam是该大学的访问学者。