The Product Development and Innovation Centre is indeed an integral part of our integrated portfolio and is one of 7 such centres globally. With PDIC, our endeavour is to partner with our customers at every stage from recipe formulation to providing a testing facility where customers can test their products before they are taken to market, a pilot processing and packaging line and a package validation laboratory. We employ food technologists who work with our customers to formulate, conceptualise and test market new products.
The renovation centre in India, as you would have seen it at our Chakan facility, is the newest addition to our portfolio. This centre revamps old filling machines to suit local market requirements while upholding the Tetra Pak promise of high quality equipment and services. For a price sensitive market like India, these renovated equipment are the perfect solution especially when it comes to the local players who are looking for lower investment, but also a promise of quality.
Tetra Pak cartons are primarily paper-based and fully recyclable. Through recycling, the intent is to make sure that the cartons don’t end up at landfills and instead, get a fresh lease of life. Recycled cartons can be used to make many useful things like desks, chairs, roofing sheets, notebooks etc that go a long way in creating a positive environment for schools for the underprivileged, and other similar initiatives.
Tetra Pak has a network of 18 collection partners and four recycling organisations nationwide that are actively engaged in collecting and recycling used Tetra Pak cartons. This network works with thousands of waste pickers, providing them with an additional livelihood opportunity.
Over the years, Tetra Pak has been able to ramp up recycling rates from zero a few years ago to more than 38% today. The company is also investing in educating consumers and others in the waste chain about the recyclability of Tetra Pak cartons.
It ran a collection and awareness drive - Your Cartons My Classroom in Bangalore and in Delhi NCR that urged the public and students of SEARCH schools to bring in their empty cartons. It collected over 200,000 used cartons across the two cities over two weekends of activation; from which around 35 school desks were donated.
Tetra Pak has partnered with Sahakari Bhandar across Mumbai and NGO partner RUR Greenlife to launch Go Green – an in-store awareness program to encourage shoppers to return their empty cartons for recycling. Under this initiative, over 20 lakh cartons were deposited and recycled, with over 280 school desks donated to municipal schools and 50 garden benches donated; buoyed by the popularity of the program, and inspired by our previous campaign Your Cartons My Classroom in Bangalore and Delhi, we launched a campaign ‘Cartons Le Aao Classroom Banao’ and even roped in the iconic Mumbai dabbawalas to help increase awareness about recycling among all stakeholders.
One of the most interesting and inspiring recycling initiative has been our collaboration with the Indian Army. The Indian army has been a big consumer of milk in Tetra Pak cartons for years. Under the arrangement, the army sets up the collection centre and takes the responsibility to bring in used cartons; Tetra Pak provides baling and compacting units and arranges to transport the baled cartons to a recycler in Uttarakhand. So far, the army has set up 10 such collection centres in different parts of the country.
Doing business in India
Over the past few years, we have seen many positive developments in the country. The recent formation of the National Food Processing Development Council is a step in the right direction in that it builds a platform for collaboration and dialogue between the Ministry and the industry.
Tetra Pak has a long-term growth view in India and certain policy and development initiatives like Make in India by the new Government have generated positive business opportunities for companies like us.
We are also encouraged by some of the recent reforms announced by the government (for instance, abolition of licensing, lifting of certain restrictions, decision to implement Goods and Services Tax, freedom for farmers to sell their produce in the free market) and the urgency being shown to accelerate the pace of reforms.
About Kandarp Singh
A graduate in Chemical Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, and a management graduate from IIM, Lucknow
Marketing executive at HCL, Mumbai
Leadership mentoring, tennis, cycling, golf, theatre, piano
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell