Proposes setting up of International Furniture Park in the state
Exhorting the Andhra Pradesh Government to extend all measures of support to the plywood industry in the state, industry players have vociferously appealed for definitive measures of help from the state government.
While urging the government to set up an international furniture park like the one in the port city of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu and the augmentation of agro- forestry measures, they say that the “sunrise sector” is poised for phenomenal growth in the years to come, if the government comes forward to address some of its outstanding issues.
“The plywood industry is reeling under the effects of power rationing as per which we are supplied only 2.5 days of power in a week, which, inturn, leads to high running costsas we resort to buying diesel” said Mr. Ravi Singhal, Proprietor of Royal Plywood Industries speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan.
Automation next chapter
Citing that India has vast “untapped potential” in the sector Mr. Singhal said “While China the world leader in plywood has scaled new heights, India still has a long way to go.Our per capita consumption of plywood is abysmally low hovering around 10% of what China is consuming”
He further added that technological advancement is waiting to happen in the plywood sector and would be the next logical chapter in the industry. This he said will also help the sector to come into the “organized fold”as it is still largely an unorganized sector.
“With the advent of automation branding would also get aboost with big players entering the market, thus leading the industry to the next level of growth” he opined.
Citing the high costs of timber, which is afflicting the sector, he advocated for substantial agro forestry measures to be augmented by the government which he said will also benefit the paper and plywood sectors.
Set up Intl. Furniture Park in AP too
While urging the government to set up special economic zones for the growth of the sector would be a welcoming measure as in the case of our neighbouring state Tamil Nadu he said “If the government comes forward to set up an international furniture park it would augment the furniture production which is tipped to bea Rs 3 lakh Crore industry pan India as of now. This would further help the plywood industry to grow from the current Rs. 30,000 Crore”
“As of now, we primarily supply to modular factories and carpentry contractors, and state patronage if extended would enhance the scope and reach of our products” he said.
“Work from Home (WFH) culture, which is in vogue now, has increased the demand for renovation and other interior decoration works of living spaces in Andhra Pradesh, which is a welcome trend for the industry” the industry player noted.
Mr. Sandeep Bharadia, Proprietor of Andhra wood, echoed similar sentiments and called for state patronage and the expansion of acreage under social forestry would stand to benefit a lot for the sector.
“The government would stand to earn as well, and the measure would increase the availability and bringdown the prices of timber” he said and added “However, India, primarily being agricultural country, this prospect is facing lot of hardship. At least semi-irrigated areas should be earmarked for plantation crops, and if it is done in coordination with International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) it would be highly beneficial for the paper and plywood industries”Mr Bharadia said.
“As of now the plywood industry players are paying through their nose, for the same raw materials when compared with the paper industry” the industry veteran bemoaned.
Labour shortage leading to innovation
Mr. Rajiv Agarwal, Proprietor of Truewoodz said that the plywood industry is fast adopting automation technology as a sure-fire solution to tide over the labour shortage problem, which is afflicting the industry.
“As the migrant labour force, is less available from Bihar and UP,we in the industry are forced to innovate and have taken to technology like fish to water. The industry is embracing automation in a big way and in a faster scale than expected to combat the non-availability of labour force” Rajiv Agarwal said.
Hailing the GST regime to have helped the industry take baby steps towards the goal of becoming an organized sector Mr Rajiv said that once the industrycomes into the organized fold it would easily surpass the 10% year on year growth number and touch even newer heights of growth.