Mumbai-based Reifenhauser India Marketing, a 50:50 joint venture between Germany’s Reifenhauser and Mehta family, has hit a significant milestone of 25 years of successful operations in the Indian subcontinent. The journey, which started in late-1993, has seen many highs over the two-and-a-half decade period. The company initially started off with marketing and supplying extrusion machines from Reifenhauser Germany. Today, it represents some of the India’s and world’s leading brands in plastics extrusion, flexible packaging, converting, injection moulding, defect detection systems and labels solutions, among others.
“As we grew along with the Indian packaging industry and signed up more and more customers for extrusion lines, the same customers started demanding a variety of other solutions. It made sense for us to expand our portfolio of products. We were lucky that the industry welcomed us, and helped us grow,” says Manish Mehta, co-founder of Reifenhauser India Marketing.
The company now represents brands such as Reifenhauser, Bobst, AVT, Comexi, Pelican, Dr. Schenk, Kroenert, Totani, Nissei, Asano Lab, Bekum, Buhler, Fuji, Grafotronic, Konica Minolta, Langlaser, Mixaco, Nordson, Polycell, Schwing and many more.
Not only has the portfolio of products expanded, Reifenhauser India Marketing’s geographical reach in India has grown as well. It now has seven branches across India and employs 65 people, including 22 in the services department.
New initiatives planned
Carrying forward the momentum of last 25 years, Reifenhauser India Marketing has planned some interesting initiatives for the coming future both in terms of its area of operation as well as the products it offers.
On the lines of Reifenhauser India Marketing, Mehta family and Reifenhauser are in the process of setting up Reifenhauser Middle East and Africa (RMEA). Just like Reifenhauser India Marketing, RMEA will be a 50:50 joint venture between Mehta family and Germany’s Reifenhauser.
“The new entity will come into existence on 1 January 2019, and a formal announcement will be made during Arab Plast 2019 in Dubai. RMEA will be an independent company but initially Reifenhauser India will provide service support,” Mehta shares.
Reifenhauser India Marketing has also planned to sharpen focus on the injection molding segment through the Nissei brand that it represents in India. It will also work aggressively in serving the form fill seal (FFS) segment as well as ancillary segment (which consists of defect detection systems for narrow web and surface detection system).
Another area of focus will be the business development department which was set up three years ago. “The job of this department is to be a channel of communication between the supplier and the customers. This medium of communication helps in understanding what the customer wants and how the solution providers can meet that demand. This creates additional value,” Mehta argues.
Disruptive technology, disruptive marketing
The Indian packaging industry has grown manifold in the last 25 years. There have been many technological advancements over this period but there has also been severe competition in the recent past, leading to commoditization and proliferation of “me too” products and companies. According to Mehta, the packaging industry now needs a disruptive technology to move to the next stage.
“The Indian packaging industry needs disruptive technology to take the next leap forward. And to take that technology deeper into the industry we need disruptive marketing techniques,” he concludes.