Maharashtra Plastic & Industries turns its focus on developed markets

Mumbai-based packaging strap maker’s success overseas

Ram Bhagwat, chief operating officer and Mukesh Jain, senior manager exports, Maharashtra Plastic & Industries. Photo PSA

As the Indian economy expands and manufacturers scale up to achieve a certain size, some desire to expand beyond the domestic market. Initially, they target the developing markets in Africa and Middle East and then move to more developed markets such as Europe and the US. Mumbai-based Maharashtra Plastic & Industries has also followed a similar trajectory. The company makes polypropylene (PP) box and polyester (PET) strapping. The packaging strap is most suitable for packing and sealing, reinforcing, unitizing and palletizing of articles. It began exporting its products a little over a decade ago to African and Gulf countries. Now the company is aggressively targeting markets in the US and Europe.

“We have a sharp focus on exports and have set up a full-fledged export department. We see a tremendous growth opportunity in the export markets. Customers in Europe and the US demand top quality and we think we can provide the same since we now have the required scale and infrastructure,” says Ram Bhagwat,
chief operating officer, Maharashtra Plastic & Industries.

Maharashtra Plastic Industries turns its focus on developed markets 2
The Maharashtra Plastic & Industries makes polypropylene box and polyester strapping for packaging

The company has been exporting successfully to the developing markets and has also been able to secure repeat orders, which has lent it the confidence to approach the developed markets. So, it was during the last interpack in 2014 that it delved aggressively into the European market. With it successful participation at
interpack, the company now has customers in multiple European markets such as Spain, Portugal, Germany and Netherlands, among others. The company currently supplies products to the European market directly to the customers and through distributors. Maharashtra Plastic & Industries also participated in Euro Asia 2016 in Turkey to further enhance its European presence.

Having set up a decent customer base in Europe, the next step for the company was to target the US market. For that the company participated in Pack Expo Chicago in November last year for the first time. “The initial feedback has been very encouraging,” Bhagwat says. “We had put up a world-class show at Pack Expo Chicago. We also managed to generate some very promising business leads. The potential is huge in the US market and we could gauge that by the fact that most visitors who we met were very receptive to our products. However, we also figured that handling the US market needs a different approach than the European market.”

Live and learn

Maharashtra Plastic & Industries is a leader in the Indian market, especially in the organized sector where usage of high-speed automatic strapping machine is a norm. Bhagwat says despite the company’s leadership, it is always open to learning and improving. “Our learnings from the developing markets came in handy for the developed markets. As we grow in the developed markets, we will strive to continuously adapt and upgrade our skills to meet the high-quality demand,” he states.

The company’s has its manufacturing plants in Daman and Roorkee, and currently boasts of a combined annual capacity of 8,000 tons per year while exports are about 10-15% of the total business. The company’s exports are now growing at the rate of double digits.

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 grown 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 and to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial — for advertisement and for subscriptions

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Previous articleFlextrus’ advanced films
Next articleAlpha Plastomers adds mulch films to its portfolio
Correspondent-Mumbai Shardul has been working and editorially contributing to both Indian Printer and Publisher and Packaging South Asia since 2011, covering the western regions of India. He has extensively covered variety of verticals in both printing and packaging industries. On personal front, he has keen interest in sports and music.