Surgical Gloves: Market trends in India

Surgical gloves are an essential component in medical procedures. It helps in preventing cross-contamination of infections and diseases between doctors and patients. This medical device is made of different types of polymers, such as latex, nitrile rubber, neoprene, and polyvinyl chloride. They are also available in powdered and unpowered form. The powdered ones come with cornstarch which lubricates the gloves and makes it easier for the user to slide their hands inside. There are broadly two types of medical gloves: examination gloves and surgical gloves. The latter provides more sensitivity, accuracy, and are of a relatively better quality.

According to a 2013 news report, the gloves market in India was expanding at a rate of 15%. G Narayana Pillai, a global consultant of latex products, in an interview in 2017, stated that the manufacturing of surgical gloves- is still developing and has a broad scope in the future in terms of being labor intensive. However, he further added that there are restricted lines of production for these devices. Due to the shortage of production, only some portions of a more significant demand for the devices are being met. In the case of examination gloves, Pillai added that India does not have a similar market volume to challenge countries such as Malaysia.

To enhance the Surgical gloves industry in India, Pillai said that manufacturers have to make significant investments in the production of these devices.

There are examples which show that India is working towards amplifying the medical gloves industry. A latex-producing company in Kerala established the biggest glove manufacturing facility in the country in 2013. This was formed due to the rising demand for examination and surgical gloves. The facility was developed by St. Mary’s Rubber Pvt. Ltd. with an aim to produce 500 million pairs of gloves per year. Rupees 150 crores were invested in the project which indirectly echoes the comment made by G Narayana Pillai regarding the need for making substantial investments in the gloves industry to make it more productive.

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