Yogesh Agrawal, director of Aakar Packaging in Indore, caught the bug for business at a young age. Wanting to be independent from the family business, he entered packaging with three partners who eventually left the business. After more than 12 years, Aakar grew to become one of the biggest carton suppliers of Indore. Having started the company with Rs. 5000, Agrawal has grown it to a turnover of Rs. 3 crores.
“When I started, I was supplying packaging to local confectioneries. The boxes used by them were made from sundry recycled paperboards that were quite inexpensive. Later, we realized that food packaged in sundry boxes contaminate if stored for a long time, and that is when we introduced poly-coated boxes to local shops. We were the first in Indore to do so. Soon after, we shifted from chromo to duplex. Right now, we are supplying FBB board cartons,” Agrawal says.
Constant demand for pharma packaging
With time, the company started producing rigid boxes for local shops. Starting from food, the company now supplies these to incense stick producers, pharma companies and dairy product segments. It also supplies monocartons for certain dairy products. Indore is known for its strong demand for pharma packaging from the many companies in and around the city. This constant demand for packaging keeps many of the local suppliers afloat.
“There is absolutely no doubt that the demand for pharma packaging is extremely high in Indore. However, since pharma is not our USP, we’re not able to generate enough revenue out of pharma packaging. However, we haven’t compromised on that front and have achieved close to eight certifications for the packaging we provide to the pharmaceutical companies,” Agrawal adds.
Aakar’s installed production capacity
The company also makes wet-glue labels and wrap-around labels for pharma companies. It uses rotary offset for printing wrap-around labels and sheetfed offset machines for printing wet-glue labels and monocartons. Single- and double-color presses print pharma inserts and outserts. A double-color offset press is used for drip-off varnishes and coating effects on monocartons as well. Of all its output, 95% is of monocartons with the remaining 5% being labels, inserts and outserts.
While Aakar produces close to 2 lakh monocartons for pharma every month, and most of its production is supplied to local FMCG companies. According to Agrawal, the confectionery segment is growing rapidly. “Though it is not as big as other segments, it still has a lot of demand.”
Aakar to move to a new plant in Indore
For printing on monocartons, the company uses a second-hand Komori Lithrone 4-color press. Due to space restrictions, Aakar opted not to buy a second press. A Maxima diecutter is used for converting. The last financial year was not that great for the company and Agrawal feels that the elections turned out to be a significant roadblock for his business. In Q3 or Q4 of 2019, Aakar is moving to its new 29,000 square foot plant in the city from its current 8,000 square feet plant, which is in the heart of the city.