Bobst Group CEO Jean Pascal Bobst and Heidelberg board member Stephen Plaenz were chief guest and guest of honor respectively, at an inaugural function adorned by several luminaries from major consumer goods, food and pharma customers and various equipment and consumable suppliers. Jean Pascal Bobst cut the ribbon to the new shop floor as the new Heidelberg CX 102 7-color plus coater press and a full complement of Bobst die-cutters and folder gluers went into action.
In the course of the Parksons Packaging event in Sri City and Chennai, one could sense the direction and momentum of the Indian carton printing and converting industry. The Sri City region itself contains several leading food processing and packaging plants, including one of the biggest Mondelez plants in Asia. It is clear that the packaging industry growth is driven mainly by the consumer products industry and that the pharmaceutical industry also has an important role to play, especially as the Indian pharmaceutical companies become bigger suppliers and exporters of complex formulations. It was interesting to hear at the evening panel discussion that the domestic penetration of various over-the-counter drugs is still as low as 3% leaving enormous headroom for growth.
Parksons Packaging managing director Siddharth Kejriwal said at the Sri City inaugural that the company is addressing three main verticals—FMCG, pharma and gable-top cartons—that are slowly gaining traction for milk supply in regions where there is a cold chain. He also revealed that while the Sri City plant was being inaugurated in end-February 2017, another greenfield project would start up within the next two months just outside Guwahati in Assam, Northeast India.
Sri City to be followed by sixth plant in Guwahati
The launch of the sixth plant in Guwahati will make Parksons the first carton manufacturer to have plants in the West, North, South and Eastern parts of the country. The company’s first plant is located near Mumbai in Daman, where it continues to invest and modernize and it has another plant in Chakan near Pune, which also contains the company’s packaging design center. Known as Design PARK, the design center has created several patented designs and innovations. Parksons already has two plants in Pantnagar in North India and with the recent inaugural of the Sri City plant in South India and starting up of the Guwahati plant, the company will cover the eastern part of the country as well.