The plastic Industry has emerged as a leading industrial sector in India. In the history of India’s industrial revolution, no industry has taken such great strides as the plastics industry.
The plastic sector in India has expanded at 9% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the last five years and is the biggest contributor to India’s GDP growth. It is estimated that the sector will grow at a rate of 15% per annum in next few years.
Small Scale Units – The Biggest Contributors
The major developments in the plastic industry took place in the last 20 years. 1980’s was the time when small-scale industries saw a major boom. Today the industry comprises of over 30,000 processing units, out of which 85-90% are small to medium-sized enterprises.
These units are involved in manufacturing products using processes such as injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion and calendaring. The major items produced by these enterprises include household goods, kitchen wares, toys etc, (M.S.Suresh Kumar, 2003).
The top players just add to 20% of industry growth whereas the rest of the turnover is contributed by small-scale units. Though the degree of fragmentation is wide, it is evident that the major contributors are small players. A majority of these industries are based in Gujarat and they add 65-70% to India’s plastic industry.
Associated Industries That Benefit from Plastic Industry
The exponential growth in the plastic sector has motivated development of other industries such as technical, petrochemical, machinery, automobile and rubber. This, in turn, has also facilitated the growth and capacities of the plastic industry.
Currently, automobile equipment manufacturers require 155 pounds of plastic per car. This sector makes 2.2 million passenger cars, which is expected to reach 10 million cars by 2020. Manufacturers are now focusing on using inline painting technique instead of metals to match international standards.
The Indian industry has the potential to increase considerably. The industry currently provides employment to 3 million people. However, with per capita consumption increasing rapidly, which is likely to reach 12.3 million tons, the sector has potential to generate more employment. High growth in retail packaging, pipes, bulk packaging and agricultural use has triggered the polymer demand.
Also, with the huge investments in infrastructure development happening in the recent times, the plastic industry will emerge as a giant in the industrial scenario of India.