Neetu Nigam TFT Delhi Correspondent spoke to Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman-FICCI, Trade & Textile committee, about the Technical Textile Products, here are some excerpts from the interview.

“ After using Geo technology in roads, the road’s life increased almost double. Government should apply this technology mandatory in the areas like in wedding tents etc. Few countries have already done mandatory technical textile products in their nation for safety norms”. Shri Shishir Jaipuria,
Chairman, FICCI Technical Textile Committee and Managing Director, Ginni Filaments. , told to TFT’s Neetu Nigam in an interview.

TFT: What is technical textile?
Shishir: Technical Textile, does not come under the garment industry. These are engineers’ products. India is dealing with 12 different segments like home textile, sports (all sports products we are using which is technical textile fabric), Geo (in roads), Industry, Medical, Hygiene, Auto mobile (seat cover, seat belts etc) Industry, Packaging and stuff like that etc.

TFT: Why our Government and Industrialists entered into this sector very late?
Shishir: Actually, This industry had been dominated by Europeans and Americans. Now they have started to make value added products like they are making new machinery and they patent their innovations. Slowly the industry moved towards south eastern countries from America and  Europe. Firstly it is adopted by Germany, Korea and China like developed countries and then India, Bangladesh and other developing countries have entered into this industry.India’s technical textile has been growing since many years. Our market share is about 4%. Export market has about 42 billion
dollars and domestic consumption is about 60- 70 billion dollars. Overall the technical textile industry has 100-110 billions dollars market consumption.This is a growing industry so our government and industrialist have started making these products. Actually textile and all other kinds of industries always move from high cost country to low cost countries. We also realized that we are good in the textile industry and therefore we should try and check what we can make for this (technical textile) industry. Here labour and materials are also cheaper so this industry has a bright future in India. In the beginning, we were (Industrialist) targeting only on making but now our focus shifted towards the value edition products as well.

TFT: What is the government’s stand towards this industry?
Shishir: When the industrialists came forward and created awareness about this industry, the government took it positively and put this industry in the high priority zone. That was really appreciable. Then the government sensitized this industry and passed massage to state governments to promote this industry for their state development (make in India) and then state governments have created vision documents and spread awareness among their people for the growth of this industry. After that, the government started giving extra benefits to Technical Textile industry. There are two types of benefits given by the government. One is capital subsidy and another is tax rebate. For setting up factory and machines, the government gives capital subsidy and tax benefits to promote those products. Most of incentives are given by state government. They are giving Interest suspension and loan benefits too.

TFT: How many states are promoting technical textile industry?
Shishir: All big states are giving priority. Particularly, those are giving priority this industry where raw materials are available. Like Gujarat,  Maharashtra, MP, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Naidu and Karnataka. Now government gives extra support to North East states for their growth.

TFT: What Kind of Raw material, (fabric,) required for this Industry?
Shishir: For normal textile industry every kind of fiber is required whether they are jute and cotton or any other fiber. But, for the technical Textile we need about 70 to 80 percent manufactured fiber. Only 20 to 25 percent of our requirement is for the natural fiber, as per the International Norms. Apart from these specialized fibers are also required like heramite, glass etc.

TFT: How good (price and Quality wise) Indian Technotex products are, as compare to the overseas products?
Shishir: This industry is new for us. Right now we are at the learning stage. So we are focusing on easy area’s like home textile and packaging etc. Most of the products we are making are with the collaboration of foreign industry so our standards are same as theirs.Like if someone is making with Japanese company so their products follow their country norms. Many countries are coming here with the form of FDI, FII, some are setting up their own plants and some are coming with collaborations with the Indian companies.This is the area where India has no more awareness and technology.
So we are working jointly with those who are highly skilled countries. But there are some industrialists who know their comfort areas, and therefore have started making their products independently. Like if an Indian is importing anything from outside the country, the product cost is definitely high. But if somebody starts manufacturing these products here itself then cost will automatically come down and that maker will get the market not only in India but overseas also.Like we are making hygiene products. When we started our plant that time here (in India) the demand was very less. That time our total focus was on export. But when our some doctors came back after completing their practice from abroad they started demanding those products which they had used there for safety purpose. But in the beginning those were not manufactured here hence they started importing. When the manufacturing begins here they don’t need to import. That’s why in today’s time we are exporting only 70
percent articles. Today many product are made only for our domestic consumption.

TFT: Who and how can one become technical textiler? Is the Government doing anything for this industry under the skilled India?
Shishir: Government has made four centers of excellence. Where they give preference for testing. For that they put up equipment. In beginning government had opened 4 centers. These centers have got facilities that I mentioned before. Apart from this their emphasis is in innovation and execution of the novel ideas. The government is also trying to open more sych centers. This (technical textile) is a very small portion of textile industry. About 10-15 percent comes under this. Government is not opening particularly for this industry but yes there are three centers for training under the skilled India program. And the good things is that, due to shortage of skilled people in this industry anyone who gets training gets job immediately. Those who are service providers are service giver also. The deployment rate under the technical textile industry is 100 percent as compare to other training sectors in the textile industry.

TFT: What FICCI is doing for this industry?
Shishir: FICCI’s work is to sensitized the government about this industry. There are few things which we are continuously recommending to the government. We are raising our voice to the favor and improvement of this industry such as,
1. Clarity : For any lay man it is difficult to understand what comes under technical textile industry and what comes in textile industry. So we have recommend to the government to provide codes for clarity. Due to that, if you are (government) giving any advantage to the technical textile that should directly go to the concern team not to anybody else. This code has to be clear.
2. Issue with ministries : There is no BIS mark to assure their standard. Due to that we are facing problems with ministries and there are internal ministerial issue also. Like if you (industrialist) make defence products, you go there for clearance. Same thing happens with other ministry products. Without (BIS) standard, the government can not purchase our products. If government gives any BIS code, it will be easy for manufacturers to sell their products to the ministers.
3. Mandate of certain Items: Government should make it mandatory to build road by Geo textile in certain areas. Because due to this technology road life increases. In General, the road life is 10-15 years and after using Geo technic, the road life will be double. So government should make it mandatory that this technique is used in some such areas.