After being non-operational for 40 days, Bobst India’s manufacturing plant near Pune started functioning on 4 May. The plant was shut down in late-March after the lockdown was announced to stop the spread of COVID-19. “The Bobst plant in Pune re-opened on the 4 May 2020, after almost 40 days of enforced closure due to COVID-19,” Upendra Deglurkar, president and local entity head – Bobst India. “We are operating at partial capacity within the government guidelines for our industry, which currently permit work between 7 am and 7 pm.”
When the plant first reopened, Bobst India made sure it prioritized the machines that had been left incomplete at the time of lockdown. The company is now rapidly working its way through orders, says Deglurkar. Bobst India is now fulfilling orders placed by local customers and for exports.
“At Bobst India, we fulfill orders for customers all around the world, including the local Indian market,” he adds.
At this moment for Bobst India staff’s safety is of utmost importance and therefore when it re-opened it made sure all the protective equipment and procedures were in place to ensure complete safety at the workplace.
“We put a lot of work into planning the re-opening and securing all the necessary PPE kits (personal protective equipment). As a result, when we did re-open, I’m pleased to say, it all went very smoothly indeed,” Deglurkar says.
With COVID-19 here to stay, companies are planning to adapt themselves to the new normal. Bobst India too is fully ready to manage through the uncertainties.
“It may be more a case of adapting to the new normal. I think what is important is ensuring we are ready to manage through uncertainty. The current situation has shown us that we are can be flexible and adapt as and when needed. This may even reveal some better ways of working, which will help us to bring equipment to customers even more efficiently than before,” Deglurkar argues.
Carton industry to stay resilient
Although many sectors in the Indian economy have been severely impacted by the two-month-old lockdown, according to Deglurkar, the folding carton segment has been relatively unscathed owing to demand from the essential goods industry. He expects the carton market in India to remain robust.
“There has been a surge in demand in certain industry sectors, such as food and pharmaceuticals, during the current situation, which has had an impact on the cartons market. One of the things that have impressed me most during this crisis is seeing packaging manufacturers in India and elsewhere going the extra mile to meet the demand for these urgently-needed goods. In general, I think the cartons market in India is very strong and will continue to grow,” he concludes.