Damati Plastics and Paperkraft Limited, manufacturers of disposable plastic and paper products for the food service industry, is planning to manufacture paper shopping bags. With its three manufacturing units located at Daman, Silvasa and Bhiwandi, the company is growing at a rate of 20% per year.
Thin rectangular containers
Partner Varun Parwani says, “We started with manufacturing rectangular containers for take-away menus at Daman, which is our oldest manufacturing center. This was the company’s first product, which back then was rather unique in the Indian market. We were introduced to this product from one of our US-based clients in a meeting. We accepted their offer and came up with the containers which were quite well known in the Australian market.”
Damati conducted several trials to achieve perfection in manufacturing the containers. After trying out several permutations and combinations, the company’s R&D team made a breakthrough. After achieving success in the domestic market, Damati looked at exports.
Three years later, the company managed to tap the market in the US, which offers great potential for take-away packages and paper containers. Damati started by adding a 4-color Chinese flexo printing machine to its manufacturing unit in Bhiwandi for paper containers. Paper cups, noodle cups and paper cup lids are some of the company’s offerings from the paper division.
eCommerce driving market growth
Speaking on the eCommerce growth, Parwani observes, “The growing eCommerce industry and the ever-growing orders for online food is giving entities like us a big market. Paper cup lids, which ensure food safety till it reaches the destination, have seen a great demand. The industry has evolved quickly from simple lid designs to complex and appealing lids, leaving much scope for innovation.”
Capacity-wise, the company converts around 150 tons of paper and 400 tons of plastic to manufacture products in its state-of-the-art facilities spread across 75,000 square feet. At its Bhiwandi plant, the company has two flexo printing machines, one automated and one manual, a die-cutting machine, a lid framing machine, and four cup forming machines.
Damati manufactures rectangular containers from 500 ml to 1500 ml, and round containers from 2 to 50 ounces. Recently, the company has developed disposable golden plates and provides regular black disposable plates and other cutlery products under tableware products. In the paper cups segment, Damati provides single wall, double wall and ripple cups, and noodle cups between 16 and 32 ounces. In the lid category, the company has lids in 8, 12 and 16 ounces
Around 50% of the company’s production is exported, with the US and Europe being the major markets. All exported products from the company are printed with food-safe inks from Siegwerk. Every year, the company has its plants audited and inspected to renew its certifications from Siegwerk. An ISO 22000 company with SGS certification, Damati uses imported paper from Italy and France. To ensure all the raw material procured is of the best quality, Parwani has made it mandatory for suppliers to provide food-grade certification.
With exports comes greater responsibility to uphold the image of brand India in the foreign markets. Thus, the company has also installed track-and-trace systems for better traceability.
Expansion has been on Parwani’s mind ever since the company’s inception. From manufacturing plastic containers to paper containers, he is now looking forward to entering the market of paper shopping bags. Sharing his thoughts on this, Parwani says, “We have pitched our existing clientele for paper shopping bags and the response has been phenomenal so far. We have also managed to receive trial orders. Currently, we are conducting research over this segment, so that the viability and continuous support is ensured once we start.” The company is also looking at exports to the Gulf and African regions.