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Dikshu C. Kukreja
Dikshu C. Kukreja
Mr. V. Raman Kumar
Mr. V. Raman Kumar
Ms. Chandra Ganjoo
Ms. Chandra Ganjoo
Sanjay Bhatia
Sanjay Bhatia
Aprameya Radhakrishna
Aprameya Radhakrishna
Colin Shah
Colin Shah
Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed
Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar
Alok Kirloskar
Alok Kirloskar
Pragati Khare
Pragati Khare
Devang Mody
Devang Mody
Vinay Kalantri
Vinay Kalantri

India’s Paper and Packaging Industry

India’s Paper and Packaging Industry

Introduction
Packaging is an essential component of almost every product. A product's packaging acts as an ‘eye catcher’, allowing it to stand out from competing goods in today’s market environment, which faces stiff competition, and therefore, an edge is required for the product to outshine its rival. Packaging is also instrumental in conveying the product’s message to consumers and helps in establishing the visual appeal of a brand; hence, marketers view product packaging as the best possible opportunity to attract consumers to their product. Moreover, the product’s packaging is designed to capitalise on the impulse shopping behaviour, especially in large super market chains that account for a significant proportion of purchases made by an average consumer. The main functions of packaging besides marketing is to transmit information, protect the product, provide convenience and add security. Paper and paper products are a major source of materials used to package goods. Paper finds application in packaging due to the many environmental concerns arising from plastic usage. The capacity to recycle paper more than once, along with how simple it is to deal with it as a waste product, serves as an essential method of reducing pollution and costs to an extent.

Types of Packaging
The packaging industry can be categorised into two segments: flexible and rigid.

  • The rigid sector accounts for 36% of India’s total packaging. Corrugated and paperboard boxes are an example of a rigid packaging category that are made using paper as a raw material. These boxes are considered to be one of the safest and most effective methods for packaging and transporting goods The cellular structure of corrugated boxes, in addition to being lightweight, has great compressive strength, toughness and impact resistance. The procedure of lining, laminating or coating the boxes can assist them to withstand moisture and other harmful elements, protecting the quality and longevity of the product. The packaging of both industrial and consumer items requires corrugated board boxes. They are used for packaging a variety of commodities including textiles, fruits, vegetables, potteries, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
  • The flexible sector comprises 64% of the total packaging. The application of paper in flexible packaging is in the form of bags, sachets, envelopes and so on. The flexible pouch market, which enables small-quantity packaging, has gained momentum due to demand for small packs. Compared to other types of packaging, flexible paper packaging is less expensive, requires less material and is lighter in weight. Flexible paper packaging has become more popular as a result of its high efficiency and low cost. Flexible packaging is a crucial component of versatile packaging, which includes packaging for food and drink, personal care, home care and healthcare, among others.


Source: MISSP and T&A Consulting

India Packaging Industry Overview
The paper and packaging sector in India is growing rapidly and has significant potential for future expansion. The industry was valued at $50.5 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to reach $204.81 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 26.7% from 2020 to 2025. The growth in the sector is being driven by a surge in e-commerce, food processing, pharmaceuticals, FMCG, manufacturing industry and healthcare sector. Additionally, numerous government initiatives including 'Make in India' had positive impact on the packaging industry. The paper and packaging industry is currently the fifth largest sector in the Indian economy and has the potential to achieve pricing levels that are about 40% cheaper compared to European regions.

The Indian packaging sector has distinguished itself with its exports of flattened cans, printed sheets and components, crown cork, lug caps, plastic film laminates, craft paper, paper board and packaging machinery. The packaging segment with the fastest growth include laminates and flexible packaging, particularly PET and weaved sacks.

India uses paper as a major source of packaging. The paper industry accounts for 5% of global production. Demand for paper continues to rise for the packaging of FMCG products and ready-to-eat food. Packaging-grade paper accounts for 55% of the main types of paper produced domestically in the paper and paperboard industry.

Pillars of Growth:

Growing Exports of Packaging Material
India is emerging as a key exporter of packaging materials in the global market. The export of packaging materials from India grew at a CAGR of 9.9% to US$ 1,119 million in 2021-22 from US$ 844 million in 2018-19. US remains the major export destination for the packaging industry, followed by the UK, the UAE, Netherlands, and Germany.


Source: Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics

Sectors of Application:
The packaging has applications in multiple sectors, two of which key sectors are:

  • Pharmaceutical: India boasts of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical markets and therefore produces a huge quantity of plastic pharmaceutical packaging to cater to the needs of the fast growing sector. In the pharmaceutical industry, blister packs are one of the most popular types of packaging. Blister packs are used for tablets, ampoules, syringes and vials, and also used for individual packaging for medication doses while maintaining the integrity of other doses. Primary, secondary and tertiary packaging are the three tiers of packaging typically used in the pharmaceutical sector, and the type of application depends on the drug. The material that initially covers and holds the product is referred to as the primary packaging system. This includes all the package elements and sub-elements that come into contact with the product or that may have an impact on its duration of life, such as ampoules and vials, prefilled syringes, IV containers and blister packs. Key players in the pharmaceutical packaging include West Pharmaceuticals, Huhtamaki PPL Ltd and SGD Pharma India Ltd.
  • Food and Beverage Packaging: India has seen a rise in the paper and packaging of food and beverage with an increase in demand, along with new companies in the food and beverage space. The entry and meteoric rise of food delivery service companies such as Zomato and Swiggy have led to growth in the consumption of packaging used for food and beverage. Zomato had even introduced tamper-proof packaging to keep the food safe and fresh. Food packaging has seen significant innovations that focus on highlighting the brand while maintaining the quality and standard of the food product contained within. There is intense competition among local manufacturers to produce cutting-edge products and stand up to MNCs that have a dedicated R&D department to test and eventually deploy the latest technologies. The major players in this space are Evirocor, Tetra Pak and Vinayak Ultra Flex.

Government Initiative
The government has launched the National Packaging initiative which focuses on the following measures to promote the sector:

  • Set up guidelines and certain requirements for design and material of packaging used
  • Promote the process of moving in bulk quantities
  • Focus on promotion of centralised industrial activity by encouraging application of necessary and sophisticated infrastructure such as specialised logistic parks with appropriate facilities as well as packaging labs to work on designs and carry out tests
  • Encourage processes to reduce packaging waste by establishing material recovery facilities (MRFs)
  • Support domestic business to manufacture sophisticated packaging materials
  • Develop training facilities and certified programmes of the highest order to maintain availability of skilled labour

Road Ahead
The Indian packaging sector is diverse and caters to a broad sector of industries and products. The government, through its positive promotion of the Make in India policy, has set the packaging sector to grow rapidly due to companies setting up their manufacturing units in the country and using these domestic facilities as a base to export to other countries. The government has implemented a strategy to lower tax rates for new manufacturing companies in order to turn India into a global manufacturing hub. Furthermore, given the need for domestic firms to compete with MNCs, the government is planning to further level the sector among players by launching various initiatives with the aim of promoting the development of packaging, along with technological advancements.

 

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