We are working to create one spectacular textile and engineering show

We are working to create one spectacular textile and engineering show

Indian International Textile Machinery Exhibition Society (India ITME Society) is a non-profit apex industry body established in 1980 with sole motto to support and serve the textile industry through exhibitions & events. The ITME will hold its 11th edition from December 8-13  in Greater Noida, and in this interaction with Divya Shetty, S Hari Shankar, Chairman, India ITME Society, analyses the situation of the current Indian textile machinery market and provides us a glimpse of the upcoming India ITME 2022 exhibition.

India ITME Society celebrates its 43rd anniversary this year. What were the turning points in this protracted journey that helped the textile machinery niche rebound or change its course?

India ITME Society since its inception has always worked to be the driving force behind trade business for the Textile engineering and technology industry. In the past 4 decades, the India ITME Society has channeled its motto of “Promoting Trade through technology, with commitment, integrity & transparency of conduct” into action and thrived to introduce new ventures felicitating the growth of the textile machinery industry.  

From having a waiting list for the next edition within months of opening the bookings, we at society understood the magnitude of opportunities our show bought in for the textile engineering and technology sector and were keen on widening our network across the value chain. This is the reason why the society introduced GTTES in 2015 focusing on post-spinning sectors for aiding the development of the value chain in India and creating opportunities for our exhibitors for accessing new markets. GTTES was also our way for other fellow exhibitors to get a fair space and a chance to showcase their products targeting small, and medium buyers from regional markets.

Society’s most recent exploration of ITME Africa in the new avenue of the African continent- the promising land for the textiles & apparel business was another right stroke that opened new opportunities for trade and business for the textile machinery industry in unexplored regions.  

Moreover, we marked our 40th anniversary by bringing on board a series of new programs through knowledge-packed seminars and conferences, an award contest, and E-library. 

The award contest that started with recognising the associations in the 1st edition to the “Technology Awards- Appreciating the best in the Industry” in the 2nd edition provided the much-needed platform for our engineering industry for brand enhancement. The award contest has also encouraged woman’s leadership & new researchers by awarding some inspirational women even from rural areas and innovative minds.

E-library which is a knowledge tree with research and presentation papers across the entire textile chain for easy availability of everyone was our genuine effort to act as a catalyst in the research and futuristic innovation.

During the journey of lockdown, the society ensured to add value to the business of its fellow exhibitors by quickly adopting the virtual mode of operation and bearing the fruits of a virtual expo for the textile engineering industry. The society ensured value creation through virtual activities like India ITME virtual pre-event buyer-seller meet, Technical Seminar & Business Style, Strategy & Aspirations- An Industry Video Magazine brought by India ITME Society. All these activities in tough times were appreciated by the industry, and the honest interactions in the video interview created a positive way for the entire industry.

The society has also embarked on the journey of building progenitive relationships with Indian textile associations across the value chain and fruitful international partnerships with neighboring textile-forward countries. The society has exchanged MOUs with the Botswana Textile & Clothing Association, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Indo-Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry Poland, TEMSAD & Kenya Manufacturing Association.

And as every show goes we have always ensured to have road shows, and press releases, in the textile clusters and reach more and more textile businesses. Society has always proved to be the platform for encouraging and felicitating several joint ventures and technology transfer. In our years of journey, we have witnessed the transformation of the textile engineering and technology industry. Our platform has aided in the launch of state-of-the-art technology & groundbreaking innovation for India and visiting overseas delegates from 75+ countries.

How is the India ITME 2022 preparation going on? 

The preparations are in full swing. We are working to create one spectacular textile and engineering show. All our efforts are in line to be the 1st mega show post-pandemic in India showcasing hi-tech textile machinery, innovative technologies, and services for the textile industry and are specially designed to be the “gateway event” to the huge market opportunity presented in India and overseas. 

India ITME 2022 kick-starting on December 8 in India Exposition Mart, Noida, will showcase exhibitors in a total area of 2,35,000 sq m, making it the largest in this industry segment. India ITME 2022 is expected to host more than 1100 exhibitors from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Palau, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America & Uzbekistan apart from India in 22 Chapters with over 1,50,000 visitors over the 6 days. This event will be once in a 4-year opportunity to view 1100+ live machinery from across the world on display from 22 chapters & meet Agents, Dealers, and Government Officials on one platform making India ITME 2022 the apex B2B event in the textile & textile Engineering Industry in the whole of South East Asian region.

India ITME Society acting as a catalyst for the growth of the Indian Textile & Engineering Industry during its 11th Edition is also presenting CEO Conclave- Empowering textiles through technology”. It will be a unique platform for the interaction of eminent Industry players and the policy makers. The conclave will have representation from Overseas Delegates, Government Officials, and CEO & Managing Directors of top-notch Indian & International Textile & Textile Machinery companies to discuss short-term & long-term technology strategy for the sustainable growth of the Textile Industry in India.  

The students visiting the event apart from experiencing cutting edge technology will also get a chance for learning latest innovations and earn participation certificate through following sessions

  • Circular economy in the Indian contest
  • Composites for the energy sector in India
  • Smart manufacturing by WTiN, UK
  • Technical symposium on ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle: State of the Art’ in textile sector by VJTI
  • Customised joining technologies for technical textiles

We will be having allied activities that will be of interest to all exhibitors, visitors, and government officials.

How do you comprehend the adoption of modern textile machinery in the Indian textile and apparel (T&A) industry?

Well, this is a good question and needs segment wise response:

The spinning Industry in India has adopted the technology of modern textile machinery as well as accessories very well and I would not hesitate to say that the adoption of technology like high production, automation, Industry 4.0 etc is even better than the competing countries like China – thanks to the availability of such technology in the machines and accessories made by leading players like LMW, LCC and LRT.

The spinning Industry in India has also adopted alternate spinning technology like Air Vortex spinning very well. A small town called Veppadai near Coimbatore alone has more than 350 machines.

The story is quite similar in circular and flat knitting machines and knitting clusters like Tiruppur, Kolkata, Ludhiana and Delhi NCR have adopted the high speed and modern technology for the basic fabrics. However, the level of adoption of technology like jacquard machines and whole garment machines to manufacture high end fabrics is at the early stages.

Whereas the situation is quite different in the weaving sector as more than 85 per cent of the looms working in India are slow speed and old technology machines. While the mill sector has adopted the modern high speed air jet and rapier machines quite well, the weaving clusters in Tamilnadu, Maharashtra etc majorly use the old technology machinery.

The fabric processing industry has also adopted the modern technology on a selective basis. While the fabric processors serving the needs of the exporters and brands have the modern technology like water efficient, high quality and high productive machines, the remaining sector constituting more than 60 per cent are yet to adopt.

The garmenting sector is also yet to adopt the modern technology like auto transportation, automation in fabric cutting, storage and packing of both garments and fabric etc.

What are the major challenges being faced by the Indian T&A manufacturers today?

I would prefer to respond to this question in two parts – Challenge in Demand side and supply side

The current challenge is the demand contraction in the export market both for yarn and garments driven by many factors like slowdown of economy in importing countries in Europe and USA, Ukraine Russia war etc.

The long term challenge is the competitiveness of Indian textile industry in the global market due to the special benefits enjoyed by competing countries in selected markets as well the benefits of scale.

The other challenge is the capability set to meet export demand. While India is competent to meet the export needs of cotton based product categories, the level of competency as well as infrastructure needed to tap the export potential in the synthetic sector as well technical textile sector needs significant enhancement.

The supply side problem is the huge volatility of raw material prices Y-o-Y despite the fact that India is broadly raw material sufficient in basic fibres like Cotton, Polyester, Viscose etc.

What are the emerging trends in the textile machinery and engineering space?

Sustainability and circularity are the current buzz words in the textile Industry. Every manufacturer of machinery in the textile space are focusing a lot on meeting these needs by a) making the machines energy and water efficient b) Designing and developing machines for the circular economy enabling recycling/reuse of the used products which include both pre consumer and post-consumer waste.

In addition, the focus of the machinery manufacturers continues to provide automation solutions, Industry 4.0 to enable customers to embrace analytics, predictive maintenance using big data etc.

The focus is also on increasing the production, quality of the output etc to enable the customer to optimise the cost per unit of the end product.

Which machine products have experienced the greatest growth in terms of their ability to earn revenue from international markets?

Let me answer this question from the perspective of Indian textile industry. Post Pandemic situation, in addition to the significant growth experienced in the investments in spinning machines, the investments have been centred on the following: a) Knitting and knit processing machines b) Weaving machines mainly in the air jet space c) Weaving, woven processing machines and made up making machines needed for home textiles and d) Garmenting machines like high end sewing machines and cutting machines.

I opine that the investments in technical textiles has the ability to offer significant growth in export revenue but the traction is still not to the needed level.

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