A panel discussion on the authentication technologies and tamper-evident measures, which ensure the integrity of products in the food and beverage sectors. In pharmaceuticals, stringent authentication safeguards against counterfeit drugs prioritize patient safety. The FMCG and retail sectors rely on authentication solutions to combat product counterfeiting, safeguarding consumer trust and brand reputation.

Mumbai played host to the first-ever Pack.Nxt conference on January 18, 2024, as brand owners, packaging converters and suppliers converged at The Lalit for a day of insightful discussions, presentations, and collaboration. Organized by the IPP Group, the publishers of Packaging South Asia, Indian Printer and Publisher, and IndiFoodBev, and IppStar in collaboration with Threefold Business Solutions, the event witnessed the active participation of brand owners, recyclers, converters, machine manufacturers and software and solution providers. The participant numbers in the conference hall reached about 230 while a significant number of participants and exhibitors continued to network in the exhibition and refreshment area throughout the day.

The conference saw robust support from key industry players, with Fasiculus and Avery Dennison taking on the role of gold partners, while Banyan Nation and Veritech joined as silver partners.

conferenceUFlex contributed as the anti-counterfeiting partner, and HP assumed the presenting partner position. The exhibition floor featured prominent names such as Kurz, Tracesci, Heidelberg, VK Global Digital, Domino, and Linkmart Technologies, showcasing cutting-edge technologies and innovations as well as their commitment to the industry’s sustainability goals as enablers. 

The conference garnered support from the Active & Intelligent Industry Packaging Association in Amsterdam and ASPA. Media partners included Packaging Europe, Packaging South Asia, Print & Publishing, Indian Printer and Publisher, and IndiFoodBev.

The conference commenced with a welcome address by Naresh Khanna, Editor of Packaging South Asia & Researcher at IPPStar, setting the tone for the day. Engaging presentations were delivered by industry experts, including Swarn Singh Grover of Kellogg’s India, Andrew Manly of AIPIA, Mani Vajipey of Banyan Nation, and Raj Bhatia of Fasciculus. The following panel discussion tackled the crucial topic of brand protection and authentication in the food, alcobev, pharma, FMCG and retail industries. 

Post-tea break sessions featured speakers such as Bimal Mehta of Vakils Premedia and Umesh Kagade of HP, with a subsequent panel discussion on authentication and security.

Andrew Manly of AIPIA at the Pack.nxt conference

The afternoon sessions delved deeper into sustainability, featuring talks by Rajesh Bhogavalli of EPL  who decoded the current EPR regulations in the country, sustainability consultant Rajesh Kumar Gera, Dr Ajay Kumar Nema of SB-Constantia, Hariharan Nair of Essel Propack, and Dr Pramod Halde of Marico, who took on not just the regulatory framework for food safety but capably went into important concepts and facets of active packaging for extending the shelf life of food and sustainability in food packaging. “Innovate or evaporate,” he said.

A panel discussion centered on recyclates in the design of packaging provided valuable insights, emphasizing the industry’s commitment to sustainable practices. The conference concluded with a thought-provoking panel discussion on trust and transparency in the circular supply chain, reflecting the industry’s collective vision for a sustainable and responsible future. 

Naresh Khanna, Editor of Packaging South Asia & Researcher at IPPStar at the Pack.nxt conference

The discussion took up the search for scientific measurement, fact and evidence-based analysis, and the need to establish ecosystems for change and development that may point to giving up silos within consumer product companies and packaging suppliers and closer cooperation with packaging machine suppliers. Change processes were suggested that cannot be done in isolation but require continuous validation and upgrades and investment in the supply chain.

Naresh Khanna expressed gratitude in a closing note, acknowledging the collaboration and knowledge sharing that characterized the event. He again said that both knowledge and good intentions are present in the room as are the industry pioneers and leaders, and it is time to take the next steps for creating trust and transparency which will have to reach a sufficient scale. This sentiment was perhaps typified by Manoj Vajpeyi’s presentation in the early part of the day when he spoke of scaling up Banyan Nation’s recycling breakthroughs and capacity by five times in the coming years.

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

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