Uhlmann Pac-Systeme, one of the world’s leading suppliers of packaging machinery and comprehensive services for pharmaceutical products in blisters and bottles, announced the commencement of its India operations – Uhlmann India at a function held at ITC Grand Central in Mumbai on 18 May.
Headquartered in Pune, a wholly owned sales and service company as of now will locally support existing Indian customers and solicit new orders. The company will have another sales office in Mumbai which will complement their presence providing assistance on the project planning of new machines, the supply of tools and spare parts or support services. The announcement was made by Siegfried Drost, managing director, Uhlmann Pac-Systeme along with Sumeet Arora, managing director, Uhlmann India and Holger Hochdorfer, India project director.
Uhlmann is a member company of Excellence United, a unique alliance covering the entire value-added chain of pharmaceutical production. The spectrum, together with partners, ranges from product development, to the production of clinic samples, to production and packaging lines. “The main idea behind starting India operations is to be close to customers. Being a German company, Uhlmann lays great emphasis on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. The India operations will help in faster post sales service and quicker response time,” said Sumeet Arora, managing director, Uhlmann India. Arora has previously worked with companies such as AGC, Pam Glatt and Hassia Packaging.
To begin with, Uhlmann will be using its Pune facility for testing change or format parts. The plan is also afoot to start manufacturing the change parts and spare parts in India very soon. “Apart from targetting premium players in the pharmaceutical industry, we would also be looking at second-tier companies in India. By making the change in parts and spare parts in India we want to bring the costs down so that it is affordable for medium sized players as well. Our aim is to have at least a double-digit market share by 2020,” stated Arora. Talking about plans to have a full-fledged manufacturing unit of machines in India he said that the decision will depend on how we are doing in the Indian market.
Some pharma packaging trends
Speaking on the sidelines of the event Dorst said India is at the cusp of exponential growth when it comes to the pharmaceutical market and figures significantly in Uhlmann’s global expansion plans.
“Our Indian customers will now be able to leverage benefits like shorter turnaround time, cost and process efficiencies coupled with our proven technology like track and trace by Uhlmann, quality and engineering expertise. Twenty percent of all generics are already being produced here – and the upward trend is continuing. Through the new branch office, Uhlmann wants to tap into a larger share of this growth,” Dorst said.
Speaking to Packaging South Asia about future trends in pharmaceutical packaging Dorst said that the most prominent one would be decrease in pack size and popularity of dosage for smaller patient groups. “Packaging will need to adapt to these trends in the future. Smaller batches will lead to more changeover at the pharma packaging stage,” he stated. Increasing popularity of lifestyle drugs and health supplements will push demand for smart packaging, he added.