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‘India’s share is hardly 10-12 per cent of the total (cleanroom consumables) market’

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Cleanroom consumable products play a key role in pharma companies and the industry is growing rapidly. Sanjiv Marathe, Proprietor and CEO, Singapore India Trade Resources Company talks about the global trends in cleanroom consumable products, with Usha Sharma

How big is the global cleanroom consumables market? What percentage of the market share has been captured by the Indian suppliers? What is the growth percentage?

Sanjiv Marathe

The global cleanroom consumables market is around $4 billion per annum, mainly being serviced by China, Malaysia, Korea and Singapore. India’s share is hardly 10-12 per cent of the total market.

What are the product segments under the consumables for cleanroom category? Which are the fastest growing segments?

Under the consumable cleanroom products category, the majority is non – woven products like face masks, bouffant caps and shoe covers which are low end items. They are the fastest growing segment worldwide in this category. Gloves, one of the other fastest growing segments, is being catered by China and Malaysia. India is a net importer. Today, we do not manufacture hi-tech consumables like washable sticky mats, disposable sticky mats and sticky rollers in India.

What are the regulatory guidelines for manufacture and use of consumables for cleanrooms, globally and in India?

Regulatory guidelines involve conforming to the US FDA standards and CE certification for goods to be accepted in the US and Europe respectively. Even small countries like Reunion island, which is a French territory, insist on CE certification. Certification is key to the growth of the industry. Indian manufacturers are nowhere near this mark yet, but are waking up to export possibilities and shall soon have these in place.

In the recent past, global regulators have been more stringent and concerned about quality. Do you feel that this has led to increased demand for cleanroom consumables in India?

Indian manufacturers can supply to African countries like Nigeria and Togo where certification is not as stringent as in the West. However, Indian manufacturers will have to quickly adopt global standards if they are to find a place in the sun.

Beside the pharma industry, which are the other industries where you foresee immense business opportunities for cleanroom consumables?

Besides pharma we see growth for cleanroom consumable products in electronics, food, paint shops and aerospace.

What are the latest trends/ demands in the cleanroom industry? Is there a demand for modular cleanroom systems and has that augmented sales and consumption of consumables products?

US continues to be the biggest market for consumables. It is being serviced by China mainly.  The demand for gloves is being catered to by Malaysia. India can become a major player in modular cleanroom panels because of low cost of manufacturing and experience in meeting the US FDA regulations for the pharma industry locally. These can lead to export to the Middle East, Africa and also the US. Some Indian players like I Clean are already doing projects in the US with representatives and offices there. The demand trend will be mainly for garments, both disposable and washable/ sterilisable. Gloves, non-wovens and tailored garments from India shall see significant growth.

Globally, which country is a major market for cleanroom consumables, why? Which companies do you consider as competitors and why?

I feel that China will continue to lead in products like sticky mats, sticky rollers and fabric because of the high capacity which has been already created.

What is the long term global outlook for the cleanroom consumables market?

As indicated, consumables will be one of the fastest growing segments, not only in the pharma industry but also in the others listed earlier. Growth at 15-20 per cent in Asia is expected, in matured markets it would be at least 10 percent year on year.

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