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Director Textile Engineering Group, ATE Group
Garment sector needs lots of investment to become growth engine
ATE has a formidable presence in textile engineering, both in conventional and technical textiles. The company provides a wide range of textile machinery and accessories across the textile value chain along with a comprehensive range of utilities. Gurudas Aras, director (textile engineering group) at ATE Group provides interesting insights into the Indian textile machinery market and discusses the latest developments in the company.
Where does the Indian textile industry stand in terms of technologies and machines being adopted?
As far as the status of the textile industry is concerned, the spinning is quite up to date in the sense that nearly over 70 per cent capacity is quite modern. However, the situation in weaving and processing is quite opposite. Both these sectors are still weak links in the textile value chain. These sectors, being in the hands of the unorganised sector to a large extent, have not been modernised for long. For the last couple of years, some modernisation efforts have started following government incentives. Due to the weak links in the value chain, India is not able to succeed much in the global market except for the yarn. As far as the garment sector is concerned, it cannot give required volumes to buyers due to smaller capacities. The garment sector needs lots of investment if garments are to become the growth engine of our textile industry much like that of China.
What is the market size of the Indian textile machinery? At what rate is it growing?
The overall market for the textile machinery in India is approximately `1,600 crore in my estimate. Out of this, only 30 per cent of the requirement is met by the domestic textile machinery makers, while nearly 70 per cent of the machinery gets imported mainly from Germany, Japan and China. For spinning, Indian suppliers can more or less meet the requirement. However, in weaving, processing and garmenting, a majority of the equipment is being imported. The growth of the textile machinery market is cyclical in the range of 3-5 per cent in my estimate.
What is the percentage of textile machinery being made in India? Do you see it growing?
As I mentioned earlier, hardly 30 per cent of the requirement is met by the Indian textile machinery sector and that too mainly in spinning and partly in processing and utilities. The capacity utilisation of the Indian textile machinery industry is only around 60 per cent. I do not see it growing unless there is technology transfer to India from Europe and Japan, and machines are made in India. There is especially great scope to make highspeed weaving machines in India in view of sustainable demand and in terms of larger volumes to the tune of 4,000-4,500 machines per year.
What is the demand for technical textile machines in India? Which machines are Indian manufacturers sorting for this purpose?
The demand for technical textile equipment is growing at a very slow pace. Almost all the machinery is imported from Europe and at low-end from China. Due to the high cost of the technology so far, many technical textile players preferred to import second hand machinery or went for low technology Chinese equipment. Since the government is encouraging investments in the technical textiles sector, corporates have started looking at it more seriously and some business houses have already invested in manufacturing of products like fabrics for windmill blades, flex banner fabrics, carbon and glass composites. Most of the machines bought by the manufacturers are from Europe-mainly from Germany-as these are very high end technologies restricted to few players.
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