Subhashish Paper Products expands monocarton capacity

Carton expansion based on robust 5-year forecast

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DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products
DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products

Vapi-based carton manufacturer Subhashish Paper Products expects to see robust top-line growth in the coming years as it expands its printing and converting capacity, the company’s managing director, Ashish Seksaria, told Packaging South Asia.

“In the 2021-22 financial year, we expect a 40% growth in our sales. And in the coming three to five years, we envision an annual growth of 20-25% each year. We hope to double our top line in five years. This growth will be underpinned by investment in our printing and converting divisions during the 2022-2023 financial year,” Seksaria says.

The company will add a new multicolor offset packaging press, a new folder gluer, and a die cutter. These are in addition to the recent investments in adding a folder gluer and a diecutter from DGM. Subhashish Paper Products bought a new DGM Technofold 1100 folder-gluer in late 2020, followed by a DGM Technocut 1050S diecutter, installed in mid-2021.

DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products
DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products

Currently, the company operates three Heidelberg offset presses – a 6-color with coater, a 5-color, and a 2-color. In addition to the DGM folder gluer and diecutter, the company has three other folder gluers. It currently converts about 350 to 400 tons of paperboard every month. Seksaria says that although the company has not decided which brand of press and converting equipment it will buy in the coming year for its capacity expansion, the chances are it will continue with Heidelberg and DGM. “I am a big admirer of Heidelberg so most likely our new offset press will be a Heidelberg.

As for the folder gluer and diecutter, we will probably go for DGM this time as well.
We are very happy with the DGM machines and the after-sales service of the DGM India team. Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize that nothing is finalized as yet, and a final decision about the equipment brands we purchase will only be made in the early part of the next financial year,” Seksaria adds.

The new machinery that the company is planning to add will be installed at the Vapi plant, which the company is expanding in the coming months. It recently bought a plot of land adjacent to the existing unit. The plan is to combine the old and the new unit structures into a single coherent production workflow and plant.

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Growth to be driven by existing and new customers Subhashish Paper Products mostly supplies regular cartons, crash lock-bottom cartons, and E-flute cartons to brands in the FMCG and stationery sector. The company was established in 2010, clocking
steady growth till 2016. From 2017 onwards, as it invested in more machinery, the company managed to accelerate growth. Seksaria says the next growth phase will be even more robust.

“The year 2022-2023 financial year will be a breakthrough year for us. The investment we have planned will help us in servicing both existing and new customers. Our clients are growing. We have seen a dramatic increase in their demand for higher quality and quantities fuelled by the growth in modern retail trade and online shopping. With bigger capacity, we can also acquire new customers. We are also eyeing exports of our products to the US and Africa,” he adds.

Seksaria says that brand owners are now willing to spend more on the packaging of their products, and this trend will only accelerate. He adds that demand for virgin boards is increasing as customers enhance the quality of their packaging. “When we started in 2010, 80% of our work was with recycled boards, a share that has now dropped to 50%. The change is a clear indication that quality has become a major factor when it comes to packaging.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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