Tech-Tex (Technical Textiles) Scenario
Technical textile is a growth sector and many states in India want to grow this sector. In the recent, 2ndGlobal Investors Meet convened by Karnataka government, Mr. Varthur Prakash, Minister of Textiles of Karnataka proclaimed that Karnataka will be a global hub for technical textiles. Gujarat has been at the forefront in India to realize the potential of technical textiles. Specific support schemes have been created to grow the technical textiles sector. Karnataka government is interested in creating a special policy for technical textiles. In Gujarat, a nonwovens industry association has been started. Already this state is home to two major nonwovens projects: 1) Medical textiles by Finland based Ahlstrom and 2) Wipes project by Ginni Filaments. Generous support from the government of Gujarat is strengthening the Coating and Laminating Center at MANTRA (Man-Made Textiles Research Association) - Surat with the addition of needle punch and Spunlace lines. With this center, India will have 9 Centers of Excellence in Technical Textiles. To my understanding, these taxpayer supported investments make India Number 1 in R & D investments in technical textiles. Indias national mission on technical textiles has done the right thing in establishing R & D centers and providing market support schemes.
What Needs to be Done?
As pointed out earlier, government has invested in the potential of technical textiles. Major trade bodies such as SIMA have realized the potential of technical textiles. The most important next step is to build confidence among entrepreneurs so that investments can be made. This will lead to the translation of knowledge gained in technical textiles over a decade to projects and employment. Recently, I managed to interact with industrialists and bureaucrats to promote the development of technical textiles base in India. The reality on the ground is that investors have money and are willing to invest. Then what prevents the mushrooming of projects?