Ramneek Jain: At this point, support to food and pharma industry is most critical

By 29 Apr 2020

As the industry tackles the impact of Covid-19, PrintWeek asks Ramneek Jain CEO, Max Speciality Films, about the company’s approaches to business during the pandemic.

Ramneek Jain CEO, Max Speciality Films

How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted your business? What are its long-term repercussions?

Max Speciality Films has always been committed to foresee and plan for the natural disasters and has taken measures time and again to protect the interest of its stakeholders and assets of the organisation. However, we must admit, much like the rest of the world, we too have been taken by surprise and we are trying to find our feet to counter the effects of the pandemic on our business and our ways of life. Due to the nature of the pandemic, the manufacturing of critical packaging material and its supply to food and pharmaceutical industries is surely obstructed.

Are there any important constituents that go into manufacturing of packaging in short supply?

Evaluating the current scenario, support to the food and pharmaceutical industry is most critical. We are resilient in our approach and contributing to these essential industries is our top priority. We have already started serving to pharmaceutical and food industries and our frontline employees are on the floor and we are delivering in the adverse conditions. We are taking all the measures to ensure the safety of our employees and are committed to serve the essential industries to help the nation as a whole in these trying times.

How are you tackling the situation?

Both pharmaceutical and food industry seek a continuous supply of packaging material and packaging solutions. Therefore, we have started manufacturing and supplying the packaging solutions for these essential industries despite the lockdown. These are adverse conditions but our employees and partners are doing an inspiring job of transcending those barriers and delivering during the nationwide lockdown. We are taking extreme measures to flatten the curve while ensuring the safety of our employees on the floor. The following protocols have been deployed as standard operating procedures — social distancing while working and in canteen; sanitisation; screening of all employees visiting factory; fumigation; use of masks and gloves; car and bus cleaning; work from home for most of the employees.

Will this pandemic bring about a paradigm shift in the way packaging is perceived?

Most definitely! The pandemic of such scale is unprecedented and it will force people, businesses and governments to revaluate the way of life. We will experience challenges that will force visible behavioural changes in the consumer mind-set in the times to come.

For instance, probably, people will avoid consuming street food and visiting restaurants. Instead, people might prefer “take home” option or packaged food. The behavioural change will increase the consumption of packaged food. In addition, due to increased awareness regarding hygiene and fear of invisible health threats, I reckon that the use of anti-microbial film demand might increase.

Has the pandemic situation given you any important lessons? What is the strategic direction your company will thus take?

We find ourselves in different phases of managing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that we have been conducting the business during the lockdown for almost a month, in the process, we’ve narrowed down critical lessons —

  • Digitisation is the key to work remotely and efficiently
  • We have also learned our lesson to deploy a necessary plan for all-time preparedness should such crisis arise in the future
  • Our current emergency plan and preparedness was not good enough to counter such pandemic. We must look into it and make ourselves future ready for such crisis
  • We need proper protocols, plan, documentation, and drill in place to ensure operations and security should such crisis arise again in the future
  • We need to be better equipped and a plan must be in place to support essential industries should the nation reach a point of complete lockdown

What steps can the government take to better the situation? 

The government of India is moving fast and taking swift decision in its fight against Covid-19. We all must adhere to the lockdown and flatten the curve. We are following the lockdown seriously and most of our employees are working from home. We all must stay home and stay safe. I think it is the best way to contribute to the nation at his hour.

Any message for the industry?

We are all in this together. We all from whichever industry we may belong to must support whichever way we can to all essential goods supply companies. In addition, industries should be ready with a concrete plan for any short term and long term consequences due to Covid-19. Last but not the least, I reckon whenever we are confronted with challenges, new opportunities find a way to present themselves.

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