Signifying Role of Nanotechnology & Nanofibers in the Textile Industry in India

Leading Pika Exports, an exports-based company mainly exporting textiles, home textiles, and floor coverings to the European and US markets, Prateek has been instrumental in driving the growth and expansion of the company, securing multiple large contracts with major retailers and distributors, increasing the revenue by 50 percent, and enhancing the brand recognition and reputation in the industry. He is also an angel investor, supporting and mentoring promising startups and entrepreneurs in the e-commerce and fashion sectors.

In an expansive CXO discussion with siliconindia, Prateek Manjal, CEO, Pika Exports Pvt Ltd shares his industry knowledge on the significance of Nanotechnology & Nanofibers in the Textile industry in India. Let’s read through!

Can you elaborate on the use of nanotechnology and nanofibers in textile manufacturing?

Nanotechnology, specifically nanofibers, is a relatively new concept in the market and we are quite knowledgeable about it. Its potential applications and functionalities are vast. For one, products created using nanotechnology can offer UV protection. This means they can shield us from harmful UV radiation. Additionally, they can be integrated into military gear. Nanotechnology exhibits a phenomenon known as the lotus effect, making it resistant to dirt. For instance, if used in fabric, it prevents dirt buildup, offering several benefits such as being eco-friendly and antimicrobial. This means it resists the accumulation of microbes and germs, including fungi and other microorganisms that we cannot see with the naked eye. Its potential and practical applications are extensive, and many industries are well-versed in its possibilities. However, we will also discuss some of its drawbacks shortly.

What are the current difficulties faced by the Indian manufacturing sector in implementing nanotechnologies? Also, could you describe any government initiatives to promote nanotechnology in India?

First, let's talk about the drawbacks. Since it is a relatively new technology in the market, it is quite expensive to implement in India. This is because it requires different types of machinery and raw materials that are not easily available in the country. The technology also demands a high level of expertise and significant investment in research and development, which many manufacturers struggle to manage. Another challenge is the lack of expertise in nanotechnology, which is still an evolving field. Additionally, scalability is an issue when it comes to implementing this technology on a larger scale, particularly for companies focused on exports. However, the government is offering various incentives and subsidies to support the adoption of eco-friendly machinery in India. Despite these challenges, the technology is showing growth, and its progression will be worth monitoring.

What are the advantages of nanomaterials in the textile environments?

First of all, one major advantage is that the material is made from recycled plastics and yarns, making it eco-friendly. The process involves converting recycled materials into smaller parts, then into yarn, and finally into fabric. Scaling this process would make it more cost-effective compared to other materials, as it utilizes waste products and nanotechnology. This fabric is also more reliable, durable, and strong.

Regarding the use of nanomaterials in textiles, there is concern that it may not be widely accepted and understood. Scaling up production is a challenge for many companies, and this could lead to the nanotechnology market being separate from the current market. However, it's important to recognize that this new technology could create its own market segment, distinct from the existing one. Consumers would have a choice between conventional and nanotechnology products, potentially leading to the creation of a new market without significantly impacting the existing one.

Today, there is much interest in smart textiles utilizing nanotechnologies. What is meant by smart textiles and what does the future hold for smart textiles in India and abroad?

Well, especially if applicable in India, it can be widely used for military and defense purposes, such as smart technology, clothing, nanotechnology, and more. It can be incorporated into various items like watches, clothing, gear, and shoes. Additionally, it can also benefit medical applications due to its micro-bacterial properties. Another significant use would be for eco-friendly purposes, catering to individuals concerned about environmental health.

I believe that supporting nanotechnology could have a tremendous positive impact on the environment. Despite its current cost, I think it's important to encourage and utilize this technology to see its potential.