Punjab CM hands over 17 acres to JK Group for corrugation project

JK Group’s corrugated paper and board project in Ludhiana Cycle Valley

JK Group
Corrugated cartons Image: Flipkart

Welcoming the JK Group on its maiden project in Punjab, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh handed over a letter to the company on 4 August 2021, allotting 17 acres of land at a cost of around Rs. 40 crore in the Hi-Tech Valley at Ludhiana. The Group’s JK Papers is already a leading manufacturer in the country of a variety of printing and packaging papers and it plans to set up a corrugated packaging paper (liner paper) manufacturing unit in Cycle Valley near Ludhiana. 

According to news reports, this is the second big group entering Punjab with sizeable investment plans within the past fortnight. The Aditya Birla Group has recently bought land for two projects in the state with a planned investment of Rs 1500 crore in the state. The chief minister assured the JK Group of his government’s total support in setting up the plant and its smooth commercial operations.  

The chief minister said his state’s pro-investor industrial policy and incentives, are making it one of the preferred investment destinations in the country. ‘Invest Punjab’ a one-stop shop, has apparently facilitated investments of Rs 91,000 crore in over 2900 project proposals in the past four years. He added that of these nearly 50% of the project had started commercial production, expressing satisfaction that the state had attracted and retained investment even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The JK Group’s new unit in Punjab will initially procure waste paper and supply finished goods, which is corrugated packaging paper also known as unbleached liner, to industries in Punjab and the neighboring states to make corrugated board and cartons. By strengthening the waste paper industry ecosystem in the state, it will help Punjab achieve some of its sustainability goals. The project will local manufacturers in sourcing their packaging materials and it is hoped that a large proportion of the plants production will be consumed in the state, enhancing its GST revenue collection.

Rajat Aggarwal the CEO of Invest Punjab, said that the Hi-Tech valley at Ludhiana provides quality ‘Plug and Play’ infrastructure to potential investors, attracting investments from  industry players, such as Hero Cycles, Aditya Birla Group, and JK Paper. Hero Cycles has already set up their anchor unit in the Valley with a production capacity of 4 million bicycles per year, especially eBikes and premium bikes. 

JK Paper is planning to construct its plant and go into production within a year. The states investment promotion and facilitation arm, Invest India has been recently rated as the Top Performing Agency by the Government of India. 

The vice-chairman and managing director of JK Paper, Harsh Pati Singhania was full of praise for Punjab’s industrial ecosystem, and the state’s forward-looking industrial policies. He said the state’s pro-business environment, motivated the company’s decision to invest in the state. 

Chaitanya Hari Singhania, head of the Dairy and Foods Business of the JK Group, accompanied the company’s team at the meeting with the chief minister. Looking at the prospects for improving the welfare of the farming community, Captain Singh invited Chaitanya Singhania to also explore the investment opportunities in the dairy and foods processing and manufacturing sector in the state which has one of the few functioning Mega Food Parks in the country.

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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