Interview with Kunwar Venkteshwar Singh

Kunwar Venkteshwar Singh
Kunwar Venkteshwar Singh
Country Manager

In the area of certification and laboratory, what services are provided by AITEX?

AITEX provides almost all types of testing related to textiles and technical textiles. It has the biggest set up as laboratory in Spain, and provides below certification:
  • Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex 
  • STeP by Oeko-Tex
  • MySTeP by Oeko-Tex
  • Made in Green by Oeko-Tex
  • ECO PASSPORT by Oeko-Tex
  • UV Standard 801
  • Made for Health
  • Certificate of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal capability
  • Kawabata certificate
  • Certificate of Comfort
  • Certificate of individual protection 
  • Certificate of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)

Tell us about the training module designed for companies. Also, enlighten us about the recent modifications in the training module with respect to sustainability.

The new courses are aimed at entrepreneurs, designers, creative directors, product managers, and executives in the textile, clothing and fashion sectors who are interested in knowing the benefits of sustainability management in business and acquire skills and tools for devising action plans to implement sustainability. AITEX began the course for students interested in acquiring a specialised profile in the textile, apparel and fashion industries. Through the content and methodology approach, the course would help entrepreneurs to devise and strategise management knowledge services and action plans in order to implement solutions with maximum efficiency catering to the specific needs of their company. The course includes topics such as: 'Why be sustainable?', 'What is sustainability and eco-design?', 'The textiles and clothing consumer', 'Technology innovation and sustainable Textiles' and 'Sustainability management in textile enterprises'.

What is the scope for technical textiles in India and other South Asian countries?

As you see we have reached a saturation point in traditional textiles, and it is become difficult for manufacturers to survive now, and therefore everybody is looking towards technical textiles, which is the future of textiles. India is expected to play a key role in the technical textile market with consumers spending more on home textiles, sportswear products and medical textiles. 

Technical textiles also provide new opportunities to the Indian textiles industry to have a long-term sustainable future. Globally, technical textile constitutes 29 per cent of overall textiles industry. And in some of the western countries they have a 50 per cent share. In India, the share is a meagre 10 per cent. But India can be positioned as a manufacturing hub for technical textiles. As India is growing faster in manufacturing medical textiles and is going to become a manufacturing hub for textiles used in medicals like surgical dressings, wipes, baby diapers, sanitary napkins, etc.

What are your expectations regarding the growth of the global technical textiles sector?

Development and industrialisation are the main drivers for the demand of technical textile products in any country. In 2015, the global technical textile market was valued at around $153 billion. On the back of strong demand, the market is estimated to reach $194 billion by 2020, with global consumption expected to surpass 40 million tonnes.

How big is your R&D team? What are its objectives?

The main focus of AITEX Spain is on research and development in traditional textiles and technical textiles. There is a team of around 100 people who work on R&D in various dimensions and sectors of textiles. This team deals with various projects from the industry and for associations. The main objective of this team is to find a sustainable solution and develop new technologies for the improvement of the textiles industry. Some of the research group working at AITEX:
  1. Technical finishing, health, comfort, sports and the environment
  2. Biotechnology applied to textile products and processes
  3. Fashion design and clothing
  4. Nanotechnology applied to textiles
  5. New materials and sustainable products
  6. Smart textiles and ICT solutions
  7. Several other research groups.

What has your growth story been in the last five years?

In past few years, AITEX has come up as one-point contact for textile manufacturers for all kind of their needs related to textile testing, mainly technical textiles. And now, AITEX is acting as a leader in the testing and certification services for protective clothing for all manufacturers of India. We work for all big manufacturers of FR fabrics and garments.

What does AITEX India plan to achieve in the next two years?

AITEX India is planning to focus more on the demand of testing and certification of technical textiles, as India is growing faster in technical textiles and the government is also having numerous plans to support the technical textile industry in India. Therefore, the demand is going to increase for R&D, testing and certification in technical textiles. AITEX also looks forward on educating manufacturers about the effect of the textiles industry on environment and guide them, besides providing them various services like Oekotex certification, Detox to Zero, ECO PASSPORT and other services related to sustainability.

What is the kind of private-government-association collaboration required to further textile research in India - a field, I believe, we are lagging behind in?

There are many challenges like lack of raw material, lack of technological support, lack of technical people, and lack of consumer awareness in the use of technical textiles. For the development of the technical textiles industry, we still need support from industry and government. Working on various projects of R&D, it is required to have all facilities and capabilities. Although, the government has made many centres of excellence for R&D in technical textiles, but still we need more capabilities there. Industry support is very much required here for textile research. AITEX is always open for any collaboration and working with associations and government for R&D projects in India.
Published on: 25/05/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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