Interview with Vikram Nair

Vikram Nair
Vikram Nair
Vertical Head - Textile Chemicals
Indofil Industries
Indofil Industries

Improvements are being haunted by concerns on health and environment
Vikram Nair, Vertical Head - Textile Chemicals of Indofil Industries, talks about the vast market for textile chemicals in India and abroad in an interview with

What is the global size of the market for textiles chemicals? What is the size of the Indian market?

The global textile chemicals market was valued at US$ 19.66 billion in 2013, and is expected to reach US$ 25.42 billion by 2020, expanding at a CAGR of 3.7 per cent from 2014 to 2020. The Indian market for textile chemicals is expected to cross US$ 1.7 billion (INR 9,500 crore) by 2018. The Indian market is highly fragmented with majority share being held by unorganised or minor players. But, the share of organised or major players is expected to increase by 2018 as a result of increasing preference for quality products as well as growing market penetration of technical textiles.

What percentage of your revenue comes from this segment?

Indofil has a strong presence in the pigment printing, textile coating and technical textile segments. Technical textiles being a growing segment, about 25 per cent of our revenue comes from this segment, and it is expected to increase every year.

Which are the new, upcoming markets for textile chemicals?

Emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, Bangladesh and Vietnam will continue to play a key role in the textiles market. Increase in trading activities across the globe, coupled with expansion of production capacities in Asia Pacific region, is expected to drive market growth. Rise in disposable incomes and improved lifestyles of consumers in the Asia-Pacific and Middle-East is expected to drive the textiles industry over the next six years. However, markets in Africa, Eastern Europe and smaller countries in Asia like Myanmar and Cambodia will play a key role in market expansion.

What are the issues plaguing this segment?

Chemicals and their legislations with focus on environment, health and safety (EHS) are the subject matters of discussion in any forum. The textile processing industry is facing tremendous pressure from local pollution control boards and NGOs. The past 50 years of synthetic material development has brought significant performance improvements in fabric. These improvements, however, are now beginning to be haunted by growing concerns about the health and environmental impacts of those materials, and the finishes and treatments added to them. Most of the information on textiles focus on environmental impacts related to the production and processing of textiles and possible health impacts related to the use of the products themselves. In many cases, these two impact areas overlap as they are derived from the use of certain chemicals and other substances which may have both environmental and health impacts. A great variety of material types are used in today's textile processing - some naturally grown and some synthetically produced. Both - production or cultivation and then the processing of such materials - are highly varied and consequently have a variety of different potential impacts. Environmental issues during the operational phase of textile processing include the following: 1. Emissions to air, water and soil 2. Waste water treatment 3. Resource and energy efficiency - energy consumption 4. Handling hazardous materials 5. Solid and liquid waste management

What are the latest technological innovations taking place in green chemicals?

Chemicals have been used in the textiles industry for a long time. However, concerns on the harmful impact of certain chemicals have meant that manufacturers and end-use companies have to shift their focus on safe and eco-friendly chemicals. In addition to these trends, development of innovative chemicals that impart strength and flexibility to apparel is also gaining traction in the textile chemicals market. Functional and smart textiles are anticipated to increase in the near future, especially in Europe. Owing to this, it is anticipated that the demand for textile chemicals will witness an increase in the future. Product innovation in textile chemicals is through the preparation of eco-friendly products as well as high-end products, which add functional properties to the end products, i.e. textiles. These companies are extensively using bio-auxiliaries and other environment-friendly chemicals in order to decrease the overall pollution load faced by textile processing plants. Other innovative solutions in textile chemicals include implementation of functional solutions such as novel effect, negative ion therapy, stain releases, anti-microbial effect, etc. The increasing penetration of these products and solutions is expected to improve the overall market for major manufacturers.

What percentage of your revenues is earmarked for R&D in the textiles industry?

Every year, the textiles business allocates more than 10 per cent for R&D, and this is expected to grow in the coming years.

What has been your growth percentage in the last two years? What is the target set for the next two?

Indofil’s textile business has been growing at a CAGR of 22 per cent, and we are looking to target a YOY growth of 30 per cent in the next two years.
Published on: 29/07/2015

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