"India will be the fourth largest packaging power," says Dr D Purandeswari

04 February 2013

The recently concluded Indiapack 2013 and concurrently conducted International Summit for Packaging Industry drew deeper insights on Indian packaging industry.

puru Purandeswari: "Indian packaging industry is poised to grow"

The $24.6bn worth Indian packaging industry has 22,000 firms comprising of raw material manufacturers, machinery suppliers, ancillary material etc of which 85% units are MSMEs. Prof N C Saha feels that India is at the threshold of explosive growth.

Dr D Purandeswari, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, was the chief guest at the show. She said, “India is the sixth largest packaging market worldwide. The packaging industry is expected to grow at 12.3% CAGR during next 4-5 years to become the fourth largest global market, with sales of $42.7bn.”
The per capita consumption of packaging in India is merely 4.3kg per person per annum, as against Germany's 42kg and Taiwan's 20kg, which is very low compared to global standards.
Around 125 companies took part in the exhibition with 11 overseas exhibitors from USA, Poland, China, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan.
According to Purandeswari, the challenges that the industry is facing today are lack of regulatory clarity in packaging, consumer awareness towards sustainable packaging and stress towards green packaging materials.
The sector-wise break-up of packaging industry in India can be given as follows: processed food packaging is 48%; personal care packaging is 27%; pharma is 6%; and rest is 19%.
In India the value additions to food products is only 7% as compared to 23% in China; 45% in Phillipines; and 188% in UK. According to a study by Tata Strategic Management Group, the Indian Ready-to-Eat food market is estimated to grow to $727.09mn by 2015 from the current level of $32.09mn. The growth trend of Indian packaging industry is in line with the global packaging industry.
Rakesh Kacker, secretary, ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI), Government of India, said “The food packaging sector grows in tandem with food processing industry, which is surging at 6-7%. This is higher as compared to 4% growth in agriculture sector,” 
In order to support the food processing sector, MoFPI has launched the National Mission for Food Processing. Kacker said that the scheme aims at decentralisation of issues related to food processing in every state of the country. This would ensure quicker implementations and help the state governments modify the policies as per local requirements.
Thomas Schneider, president, World Packaging Organisation, said, “In coming years Indian packaging industry will see a substantial growth. The increasing awareness regarding clean water, safe food and pharmaceuticals will drive this growth. With increasing retail sector, the concept of track and trace devices especially for product identification such as 2D barcodes, radio frequency identification (RFID) etc. will penetrate aggressively into the Indian packaging industry.”
According to Saha, the plastic packaging is growing at 20-25%, rigid containers at 15%, PET bottles at 25% and tubes at 10-12%. The total flexible packaging market is $671mn. The domestic demand for paper is 7.6mn tonnes, which is 40% of the total production that goes into packaging.
All in all, the increasing middle class, changing consumer habits, and retail boom coming in with FDI, the Indian packaging industry has a far long way to go.
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