Skip to main content

Indian Fiberglass Industry: Trends & Challenges

This blog takes a look into some of the recent trends in the fiberglass sector in India and existing challenges.

The Indian market is right now in a medium phase of growth, with various sectors slowly incorporating FRP composites in their applications. Although looking from a global perspective, its imports account to a mere share of 2% of the world total, India still features amongst the top 15 importing nations, making its presence felt in the global market.

One startling fact is that, with all this growth, India fares low in terms of per capita consumption of fiberglass. With close to a meagre .24 Kg when compared to markets like US (10 Kg) and China (2 Kg), it is evident that there has been limited penetration in most of the sectors. One factor that this can be attributed to is the lack of awareness about the advantages of GFRP composites. Barring a few sectors like wind energy, electrical & electronics (uses fiberglass as a standard material for wind blades & nacelles and PCB boards respectively), most other sectors in India are still heavily relying on conventional materials (e.g. steel and aluminium, plastic) for greater margins in production.

FRP usage registered the highest share in the mass transportation sector in India in the previous year. But its share of 20.2% translating to roughly 24000MT of fiberglass seems insignificant considering the fact that India is the fifth largest producer of motor vehicles in the world. Since one of the key benefits of using FRP products is the ‘lightweight’ factor, Government policies such as the recently introduced Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) can boost the use of FRP products in the near future. The norm mandates car makers and OEMs to make their products 10% or more fuel efficient between 2017 to 2021 and 30% or more from 2022 onwards. Global automotive giants like Toyota, Suzuki and major Indian automotive manufacturers like Mahindra & Mahindra, TATA motors are already aiming towards higher composite material usage in vehicles.

A key challenge is the lack of standardization of products in the domestic market. Indian market is characterized by highly dispersed small scale GF and GFRP composite manufacturers. Lack of industry standard certifications, quality offering & diverse product portfolio makes the market heavily dependent on foreign counterparts. China caters to nearly 20 percent of the annual fiberglass demand in Indian market. Government intervention through introduction of Anti-Dumping duties has to an extent, put a check on this and in protecting the domestic producers. However, proliferation of the FRP usage in other potential sectors will happen only by establishing a supply side structured on the basis of global standards and manufacturing practices.

This would also help in creating economies of scale to the raw material producers and intermediaries by ensuring that continuous demand will emerge from new sectors and applications.

This blog has been written by Rajat Sadanand O.M., a second year student from IIM Ahmedabad during his internship with SKAPS Industries


Popular posts from this blog

TPM at SKAPS - Introduction

TPM which stands for Total productive Maintenance is a management concept that focuses on Bottoms-up approach and increased participation of people at all levels in decision making. SKAPS embarked on the journey of TPM in 2015 with primarily two goals in mind: Stabilization and Involvement of Everyone. Being the TPM Manager at SKAPS I can tell you this that the journey has been a challenging one but at the same time the results have been rewarding. TPM, unlike other management concepts like TQM, Six-Sigma, lean etc. gives utmost importance to empowering the floor workers and urges management to spend more time on the floor than on the computer and this is what creates the difference. I am not saying that other management concepts are inferior to TPM just because I am implementing it in SKAPS but according to me it has an edge over other concepts if implemented judiciously. TPM says that machines are the heart of any manufacturing firm and if you take care of the machines you take car…

TPM Chapter 3 - 5S

In my previous blog I talked about the history of TPM and its essence in brief. In this blog I would be talking about 5S and its importance being the foundational step of TPM.
5S also known as Housekeeping or workplace organization is the pre-requisite for implementing TPM in any organization. There are numerous articles and books written on the concept of 5S and rightly so because 5S is such a powerful yet simple thing that lays the foundation for carrying out TPM related activities. In this blog I won’t just explain you what 5S is but rather how it can be used as a powerful management tool to drive a cultural change.

The first S stands for Sort which says you identify all the unwanted items in your work place and remove them. It’s also called red-tagging activity because you attach a red-tag to those unwanted items and then take decisions on them. Similarly when you are in a management position there will be multiple things that will come to you but you need to identify the unwanted t…

TPM Chapter 2 - TPM in Theory

In my previous blog I talked about TPM being a culture and it is rightly so but unless you start practicing you won’t realize it. But it has a definition and there is a systematic step by step procedure to implement it in an organization. In this blog I’ll be giving you a brief about TPM and how did it start.

TPM, Total Productive Maintenance, is primarily a maintenance program where operators and maintenance people work together as a team to solve machine related problems. TPM says that operators look after routine activities like Cleaning, Lubricating, Inspection & Tightening (CLIT) and the maintenance people look after upgrading the machine to improve its life.

Before I explain the meaning in detail, let’s look at the history of TPM. TPM was started in the factories of Japan in 1970s. Some say it was Toyota some say it was developed from the Productive Maintenance concept of USA which was adopted by Japanese factories. Whatever the truth may be the full-fledged concept of TPM wa…