The worldwide nonwoven industry has grown steadily at about 7.5% per annum in tonnage in the last decade. While the nonwoven industries growth in North America, Europe and Japan has slowed with maturity, these countries are still growing at 5% per annum. A significant portion of worldwide nonwoven expansion is due to the rising demand for these materials as emerging economies like Asia expands. India and China are the key players contributing to this growth.
India has a huge opportunity to capitalize on much larger portion of this growth. Government of India emphasized the promotion of all steps of the textile industry, especially by paying attention to the innumerable use of nonwovens in unnoticed applications. Indian industry is starting to expose itself to international trends by inviting foreign players to partner with entrepreneurs in India. As nonwovens and technical textiles have been considered to be the most promising and dynamic segment of the textile industry, the demand and consumption of nonwovens and technical textiles will grow enormously in the near future.
The questions that come an individuals mind is that “Is India the next booming market for nonwovens? Will India be reaching the new horizons in nonwovens and technical textiles?
With a large textile manufacturing base and technical manpower, India has the potential to become the leading exporter of various nonwovens and technical textile products. The promotion of nonwovens in India is promising in healthcare as traditional textiles are replaced with single-use disposables, improving agriculture for better crop protection and in geotextiles to meet increasing needs in infrastructure and the possibility of controlling floods. The major strength for Indian Nonwoven industry is listed below:
* India is one of the largest producers of natural and manmade fibres
* Population growth and increase in middle class disposable income
* Low cost skilled labor
* Ability to cater to the value chain
* Growing domestic retail market
Some of the major weaknesses for Indian nonwovens industry are:
* Textile industry being fragmented to less of organized and more unorganized sector.
* Low productivity and cost competitiveness
* Obsolence in technology
* Lack of product knowledge and expertise.
In an Interview with Mr. G Ravishankar, an expert Nonwoven consultant from India, he tried to portray the current scenario of Nonwovens industry in India with some future forecast statistics to have a guideline for entrepreneurs and new entrants into this emerging field.
Q. How do you see the future of Nonwovens in India for next 10 years? Give us some facts and figures for the same?
A: The current Indian production levels in Nonwovens are minuscule by developed world standards. I expect the production level to touch 1.0 million tons in ten years which would mean a very high growth rate.
The nonwovens consumption is directly related to economic development and per-capita income of the population. As over 60% nonwovens usage is in disposable products, the availability of surplus income and increase in hygiene awareness are important factors for growth. Current nonwoven production level is only about 70,000 tons per annum which was the same level in China, fifteen years ago. China today is producing over 1 million tons of nonwovens.
With more emphasis on renewable raw materials like cotton and viscose for disposable nonwovens, many European and American manufacturers are expected to set base in India due abundance of these two raw materials in India.