Alok’s antimicrobial masterbatches powered by Microban’s technology

Antimicrobial solutions for packaging under testing

Vikram Bhadauria, managing director of Alok Masterbatches

We recently interviewed Vikram Bhadauria, managing director of Alok Masterbatches regarding the developments since the company’s agreement with Microban International that we became aware of at the K exhibition in Dusseldorf in October 2019. As Bhadauria points out, the Covid-19 crisis has brought a heightened sense of hygiene and sanitation needs at an individual and community level in the country. As he also suggests, Alok’s antimicrobial solution stands out to be the need of the hour.

Naresh Khanna, editor, Packaging South Asia – Since the formal agreement between Alok Masterbatches and Microban International, what are the steps contemplated to bring Microban’s technology to India?

Vikram Bhadauria – Alok has been working on antimicrobial technology for a few years. Therefore, the first step was for us to find a trusted partner to elevate the potential of this solution for the Indian market. We had the opportunity to join hands with Microban, the global leader in antimicrobial technology, to revolutionize the approach to cleanliness and hygiene. We have seen success in some domains, like water storage and cleanliness, and are now in the testing phase for solutions across the packaging, healthcare, and other industrial sectors.

PSA– Which steps have gone into implementation and execution?
Vikram Bhadauria – We have built a strategic partnership with Vectus, a water storage solutions provider for residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructure, and agricultural sectors, to test the technology on water tanks. The product was tried and tested by them and later on, formally introduced to the market.

PSA – If you recall, I contacted you in February to ask if you had any products that would be of use in combatting Coronavirus, and at the time, you said that nothing was ready. Has the situation now progressed, and do you have anti-bacterial solutions for hospitals, offices, factories, or other public uses such as mass transport?

Vikram Bhadauria – The development is still at a nascent stage. However, Alok’s antimicrobial masterbatches aim to offer microbial protection for applications like hospital beds, linen and furniture, toilet seats and public sanitation facilities, door handles and handlebars, plastic bathroom wares, school, children’s toys, escalator handrails, electrical and electronics.

PSA – Has the Covid-19 crisis made you move faster with solutions that can help in preventing its spread?

Vikram Bhadauria – The Covid-19 crises has reinstated a heightened sense of hygiene and sanitation at an individual and community level. In lieu of the demand for ‘cleanliness’ and market penetration of plastics, Alok’s antimicrobial solution stands out to be the need of the hour. This technology is proven to inhibit the proliferation of microbes on a treated surface by up to 99.99% and actively reduces the risk of premature product degradation for its expected lifetime. We have combined all forces to reduce the risk of communicable infections within the community.

PSA – What is your Microban strategy in the short, medium, and long-run? What are the products or solutions that you plan to bring to the Indian market or to license to others?

Vikram Bhadauria – As highlighted previously, through this exclusive partnership for the Indian markets, Alok’s antimicrobial masterbatches powered by Microban’s technology will transform the approach to cleanliness, hygiene and sustainability of plastics used in packaging, healthcare, and industrial sectors, by inhibiting microbial growth.

PSA– What will be the business model of the collaboration with Microban? Will you develop only ingredients or also develop solutions?

Vikram Bhadauria – Our approach and business model will be more solution-centric for the sectors mentioned above and applications.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.


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