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‘Retail sector will revolutionize packaging industry’

The 25-year-old Kris Flexipacks, Mumbai,has gained reputation as a leader in exquisite packaging, most modern technology and world-class products, under the dynamic leadership of the company’s Chairman and Managing Director, Shaileth Sheth. In conversation with Dilip S. Phansalkar
 
There is a deluge of global consumer products in the Indian market – with superior packaging and more alluring to handle and look at. How well are you prepared to cope with competition from home and abroad?
First of all, I would like to stress that we are skilled and masterly in packaging any kind of products and are not just ordinary suppliers, but we try to reach beyond that objective. Kris Flexipacks is an integrated solution provider and it is our constant endeavor to manufacture and supply superior and exquisite packaging, using the most modern and imported machinery and equipment. This has helped us cater to the biggest names in the country and abroad. Our designs have been well-accepted in the market, offering an extensive range of end-to-end, customized packaging which caters to the needs of a diverse group of industries. Thus, the company has earned itself a reputation as an innovation leader. We employ eco-friendly processes and products, and follow a newly-formed edict on quality in Europe, called ‘reach standard.’
 
Today, the company has ISO 9001-2000 and BRC IOP certified manufacturing units at Daman, and has equally well equipped, state-of-the-art facilities at Pondicherry, Nalagarh (Himachal Pradesh) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh). With our ever-expanding business in India, we have enlarged our global presence by opening offices in South Asia.
 
But mind you, the Indian packaging industry has matured in packaging products, although most technology and machinery is still imported from countries like Germany, Italy and Taiwan.
 
Finally, I would like to declare that we are a dynamic company – we put the best foot forward when it comes to efforts, energy and resources. We abide by the highest international standards, and therefore, we are ready to take on any competitor.
 
How is the current scenario for the packaging industry in India?
In India, the organized retail sector is coming in a big way and will make its impact felt. It’s going to be a quantum leap for the industry which will result in the revolution and evolution of packaging methods. There are new opportunities in packaging and new products in the latest packaging style. We continue to work towards better technology, taking into consideration the cost point of view, new products and so on.
 
In the near future, more organized players will make their mark by setting up their own standards in quality and cost. Talking of cost, the most obvious and important benefit from using the new technology is reduced cost. The demand for packaging remains high and interest in innovative techniques and materials is unwavering.To become more sustainable, the packaging industry must lower the overall waste, the energy consumed and greenhouse gas emitted from the use of plastics, metals and fibers. India is a perfect example of tremendous untapped opportunities. The growing demand will require us to continue to develop new manufacturing facilities and expand the current ones.
 
The food processing sector, which depends on packaging for its growth, is poised for good times ahead. Please comment.
 
Yes, the food processing sector is growing in a big way. A major agent of this growth is the middle-class which is becoming stronger economically and has more spending power. Also, in the near future, people will spend less time at home and in the kitchen as they become more dependent on processed foods. This trend indicates positive growth as part of the supply chain.
 
How much is the Indian packaging industry dependent on imported machinery, equipment and know-how?
It’s true that we are still largely dependent on imported machinery from Italy, Taiwan and Germany; but mind you, looking at it from a technological point of view, we are a lot better than Chinese machines and
equipment. In order to manufacture hi-tech packaging machinery in India, companies here should form partnerships with foreign firms. But until that time comes, we still need to import from overseas.
 
The Government of India recently announced a new edict regarding labeling regulations. What is your reaction?
The government made an announcement to that effect about four months ago, and it is likely to become mandatory by the end of May this year.  It says that all nutritional facts should be added on labels, and clear-cut information should be displayed about ingredients, calories and so on. We welcome this move even though it translates into reduced margins for us. It is good for the health of consumers and they would be pleased. I am sure it will also have a positive impact on the packaging industry and create more awareness about health among the public at large.
 
It would be good to have some highlights of your company’s long journey.
Well, we are on the anvil of completing 25 years of success and look forward to the next 25 fruitful years. Our meteoric rise is the outcome of our goal to become a dominant player in the world of plastics and packaging in South Asia. That apart, we have a major presence in US and Europe. Recently we enlarged our global presence by opening offices in South Asia.
 
Today, we are one of the biggest players in manufacturing and marketing of packaging products. Our wide range of products includes laminates, shrink label, packaging bags and much more.
 
The company, which has been awarded ISO 9001-2000 and BRC IOP certified manufacturing unit for Daman, will acquire other manufacturing locations. Flexipacks is a preferred supplier of Fast Moving Consumer Goods and top-notch MNCs vouch for our quality products and service.
 
We’ve won the highest accolade in the packaging industry – the India Star Award for packaging excellence by the Indian Institute of Packaging, Mumbai. 

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