We’re expanding on the role and function of packaging: Pankaj Bhardwaj of Avery Dennison

By 10 Nov 2022

Avery Dennison has invested more than Rs 1000-crore India, including more than Rs 250-crore in a new facility in Greater Noida. Pankaj Bhardwaj, vice-president of marketing, label and packaging materials, Asia Pacific, Avery Dennison, spoke to Rahul Kumar about the company’s evolving engagement with sustainable and innovative materials, and its future plans for India.

(l-r) Pankaj Bhardwaj and Saurabh Agarwal of Avery Dennison

Rahul Kumar (RK): Avery Dennison India turns 25, what is the celebration plan?

Pankaj Bhardwaj (PB): With regards to our celebrations plan, we have been conducting activities throughout the year while celebrating this milestone. Earlier this year, these celebrations kick-started with World Label Day celebrations. At Labelexpo 2022, we look forward to sharing the future possibilities further strengthening our foothold in the industry.

RK: Have we overcome the setbacks of two tough years? What are the three big headline announcements for your customers?

Pankaj Bhardwaj (PB): We believe each one of us has faced challenges during the pandemic and are on a stronger path of recovery. However, we believe in moving forward with vigilance and are making conscious efforts to emerge stronger for our customers and their needs. Our three key headlines would have to be celebrating our 25 years milestone; inauguration of one of the finest, state-of-the-art greenfield facilities in Greater Noida, and our Labelexpo showcase.

RK: Avery Dennison is making a substantial investment in its manufacturing capacity in India and Europe. The Europe programme involves a USD 60-million spend. What are the investments for India?

PB: With our new facility at Greater Noida, our investment numbers in India are now more than Rs 1000-crore with more than Rs 250-crore for this facility. 

RK: The new digital acceleration centre in Bengaluru will be the company’s largest tech hub in the future. When was it opened and what are the highlights?

PB: The digital acceleration centre in Bengaluru belongs to Avery Dennison RBIS business.

RK: What is the status of the Gurgaon plant?

PB: As announced in our press release issued earlier this year, we have scaled down the production at our Gurgaon plant and our employees have been further reallocated to our various other plants, with a majority being at the Greater Noida plant.

RK: As a group you make labelling and functional materials, which are used in a wide range of industries including food, apparel, medical, advertising and promotions, and architecture and building. What is your sustainability method?

PB: The industry still thinks of us as a pressure-sensitive label company, but we do so much more. We’re expanding on the role and function of packaging and the consumer experience with it. We are continuing to invest in sustainable and innovative materials while adding digital functionality to keep consumers connected with the products they purchase. We not only supply labelstocks but take those constructions apart to provide separate bonding and film solutions. We’re building on our expertise and making adjustments to specific applications and needs. That’s why our solutions can be found in just about any industry.

RK: How to support the label ‘solopreneurs’ in India. What more can be done to support the ecosystem?

PB: India is emerging as one of the most vibrant first-time entrepreneurs’ ecosystems. New entrepreneurs thrive on apt technical knowhow, guidance on resource pool and learning from peer groups. We have created multiple platforms for them to take advantage of – knowledge centre for label and graphic materials, i lab for immersive experience on intelligent labels, and technology centre for developing fit for purpose solutions are the ones that can be leveraged by new age entrepreneurs. I think we have further room for rallying together on sustainability and innovation. 

RK: What is the update on Avery Dennison Foundation Spirit of Invention Scholarship Program in India?

PB: After 10 successful editions of this scholarship programme and awarding more than 100 scholars, we are now focusing on putting more significant efforts in women empowerment, skill development and education. Recently, we launched a Read India centre in Greater Noida to support the neighbourhood with education and skilling opportunities. Simultaneously, we are running liner and matrix recycling waste management programmes to ensure responsible disposing of waste and its usage in various forms. 

RK: Avery Dennison was recognised as one of Forbes America’s Best Employers for Women. This award is a testament to the company’s diversity, equality and inclusion practices that further advance and support women in the workplace. India scores low in this regard. What is the plan?

PB: For the past half a decade, we have been significantly working on this area and we have been recognised as ET Best Places to Work for Women this year. We have made significant strides in this area and have seen more women power as managers and senior leadership. Some of our best talents and high growing talents are women. So, I would contradict that we score low in this regard. 

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