Huge investment opportunities in Indian textile industry


By C. Kamatchisundaram, Vice President (TMD), Voltas Ltd.

The Indian textile industry continues attracting both domestic and global players in the textile and textile machinery space with the huge potential for growth.

Mr. C. Kamatchisundaram, Vice President (TMD), Voltas Ltd.

Based on the current investment trend, the textile industry is capable of expanding its share from the current level of 4% in the global apparel / garment market mainly on account of the focus of the major player China on low value products. The “special package” of Rs. 60 billion by the Union Government for the garmenting industry has only added to the opportunities in the segment. The domestic market is mainly driven by the fashion trends, home textile needs and the ever-increasing demand of the middle class.

Despite the short-term impact of the fiscal and structural changes, the Indian textile industry continues to be an attractive area of investment both for the existing players and the new entrants. The States too are vying with one another in attracting investors through State-level policies, which stand testimony to the opportunities in the textile industry. Accordingly, investments on the spinning machinery got accelerated with the subsidies provided under the Textile Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) and the special initiatives provided by States like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, etc.

Over the last couple of decades, the major area for investment focus was spinning, not only due to the opportunities provided under TUFS but also due to the expanding yarn export trade. The need for quality yarn increased manifold driven as it was by the requirement of high quality branded / fashion garments in the domestic sector, garments / apparels needed for the export sector and also due to the surge in direct yarn exports. It is obvious that such needs could be met only by investing on the machinery of the right technology. Thanks to the high technology machines offered by global players like Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd. (LMW) with competitive pricing, the Indian textile industry not only created new capacities but also modernised the existing capacity at a speedier rate.

Today India is in an enviable situation with the spinning capacity created with average age of the machinery much lesser than in other countries.

The spinning industry is also in an advantageous position as the investments were not concentrated in few specific clusters but across the country, barring only North-Eastern States.

The spinning industry also follows the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister by creating capacity not only to meet the entire domestic needs by itself but also garner more than 25% share in the global yarn market. The huge presence of LMW has enabled the industry to create capacity with high technology “Made in India” machinery, as even the global players in the area of spinning machinery have moved their manufacturing facilities to India.

On the current investment scenario, while the focus on investing high technology machines in spinning continues, the industry has realised the importance of investing on technology in downstream sectors like knitting, weaving, processing & finishing, etc. The Government has amended the TUFS to favour investments in these areas.

It is also obvious that Indian textile industry would be able to increase its share in the global garment and apparel market only if it equips itself with high technology machinery to meet the stringent quality needs of the brands that source these products. In line with this trend, the industry attracted investments in these areas, particularly in knits and home textiles.

The investment focus would continue to be in areas like high speed airjet and rapier looms, open-width single jersey circular knitting machines to manufacture leggings, circular knitting machines for rib, computerised flat knitting machinery, soft flow dyeing machinery with low water consumption for knits, continuous processing machinery for wovens, finishing machinery with technology to heat-set the elastane content in knit fabrics, and digital printing machinery.

Such investments can also be categorised further based on the types of fabric as given below:

  1. Investments on knits focussed on production of knitted fabric with elastane content. Major investments have been done by players in Tirupur and Ludhiana, in addition to the corporate players like KPR, Technocraft, etc.
  2. Investments on bed linens mainly by corporate players like Welspun, Indo Count, Himatsingka, Premier, etc.
  3. Investments on home furnishings by players mainly in Surat, Vapi, etc.
  4. Investments in narrow-width fabrics like shirtings and suitings as done mainly by corporate players.
  5. Investments on flat knitting have by players in Delhi and Ludhiana.

Voltas is always proud of its association with the market leader LMW for more than five decades. While playing a key role in rendering the Indian spinning industry capable of producing the best of yarn in the world.

Voltas also meets the operational needs of its spinning customers through its partnership with Lakshmi Ring Travellers, Lakshmi Card Clothing, Klueber Lubrication India, Veejay Lakshmi, Elgi Electric, Elgi Equipments, Lakhsmi Caipo, Lakshmi Electrical Drives, etc.

Realising the needs of high technology machinery in the other parts of the value chain, Voltas has partnered with global leaders – Brueckner for finishing machinery, Benninger for continuous processing machinery, Thies for soft flow dyeing machinery, EFI Reggiani for rotary and digital printing machinery, Rifa for weaving machinery, Terrot for circular knitting machinery, Shima Seiki for flat knitting machinery and whole garment machinery, and Dilo for non-woven and technical textiles.

Voltas has played an equally significant role in the technology upgradation of not only the spinning sector but also in every other sector through its partnership with the aforesaid players. The group continues realising its special technology needs and meet them by supplying high-technology machinery with innovative features.