CorruCase goes 80% solar

By 20 Feb 2021

The Mumbai-headquartered corrugated box manufacturer is said to be India’s first corrugated facility to run on 80% solar power. The company’s managing director Ayush Khetan speaks to Aultrin Vijay

The captive solar rooftop plant has helped CorruCase achieve over 40% carbon neutrality in just over three years

Khetan Corru Case (also known as CorruCase) was in news during the beginning of the pandemic for its water-resistant, heavy-duty corrugated beds for quarantine facilities.

The Mumbai-based corrugated box manufacturer has gone an extra mile this time to be named as one of the top corrugated facilities in India to run on harvested solar power.
The company claims that its facility in Hyderabad now runs on 80% renewable energy harvested from its captive solar plant, which was inaugurated in October last year and installed by a sister concern of the firm – Solar Anchal.

This is not a small feat. The phase from conceptualisation to implementation took nearly four years for the company, which is reaping benefits from the project in terms of sustainability and reduction in carbon footprint.

According to Ayush Khetan, managing director at Khetan Corru Case, the captive solar rooftop plant, along with other sustainability measures, has helped the company in achieving over 40% carbon neutrality in just over three years.

“This is one of the major steps we have taken towards sustainability,” says Khetan. “We have always been working towards a sustainable production process. Aligned to our customer’s global sustainable goals, we are working towards achieving 100% carbon neutrality in our process in the next 10 years.”

Currently, the company has been able to achieve over 45% carbon neutrality, according to Khetan. “We hope that our months-long efforts and studies are put to good use and for that our sister concern Solar Aanchal (which is an engineering, procurement and construction company for solar energy /power plants) will help our friends from the industry to reap the benefits and start exploring solar energy for their respective production process,” he adds.


Ayush Khetan on the rooftop solar plant at the Hyderabad facility

Khetan believes that inspiring other MSMEs to move towards sustainable production does not necessarily be a capital-intensive measure. “It can be started with one step at a time.”

Founded in 2016, CorruCase is a family-run organisation based out of Mumbai and Hyderabad. The company has vast experience of working with big companies such as Pepsico, ITC, Flipkart, Carlsberg and many other multinational FMCG companies.

Concept to implementation
Speaking about the reason for zeroing in on solar over other renewable energy options, Khetan says, “Well, the choice of solar was taken after a complete analysis and exploring other options. Also, solar energy is one of the most easy-to-install options and can be set up on existing infrastructure”
Another reason that Khetan cites is the considerable reduction in the cost of procurement in comparison to other renewable sources, thanks to the global efforts to move towards clean energy.

Khetan says that the company had intended to use renewable energy at its facility way back in 2016. “Eventually, in 2020, we took a decision to go ahead and install rooftop solar,” he adds.


The CorruCase team's target is to source 100% power from a renewable source

He further explained, “We also had a tough time finalising the capacity to be installed, vendor, panel configurations and other technical parameters. These required months of study. The whole process has made us well aware of the concept, process and benefits of going solar.”

Technical feasibility
Going about any big project comes with its share of problems. But, in this case, the benefit of installing rooftop solar outweighs the issues associated with it. Khetan says that solar power “is definitely cheaper than other sources of energy”. He believes it to be around 45-60% cheaper than conventional power. Plus, he says the expenditure head of electricity also goes down from day one of installation.

He also mentions that the solar plant is able to churn the desired output required to run the facility. However, Khetan remarks, “Our idea was to go 100% solar, but the laws and regulations in India only allow set-up up to 80%. But again, it may vary across states.”


The company has a vast experience of working with FMCG majors such as Pepsico, ITC, Flipkart, and more

Khetan also confirms that the company is planning to obtain a ‘green building’ certifications from the Indian Green Building Council and ISO 14000 once the parameters are right.

Pandemic woes
Like many other companies, CorruCase also suffered its share of setbacks during the pandemic.

Khetan says: “The complete lockdown, labour shortage, price hikes of raw material (Kraft paper) played a spoilsport. But as we are in the packaging business, which affects the supply chain of various essential commodities or goods, we had to keep the show running and support the supply chain.

“Despite the challenges, our team has been working day and night during the pandemic, especially during the initial months of the lockdown, to support various FMCG companies for their corrugated packaging.”

Corrugated beds

During the start of the pandemic, CorruCase developed corrugated beds – Corrubeds – along with other manufacturers to address the medical bed shortage at hospitals and quarantine facilities. The beds were able to take loads of up to 250kgs and came with a special water-resistant chemical coating. The Corrubeds came in a portable knock-down-flat format, which took less than four minutes to assemble. Since the beds were made from paper, it was capable of being re-pulped and recycled, making it an eco-friendly solution.

 
Pitch for sustainability
Expressing his delight on accomplishing this feat, Khetan says, “We are proud to be the first and only corrugated packaging company in India to have been able to achieve this milestone. One of our goals has been to not only provide our customers with sustainable packaging (corrugated boxes) but also produce it in the most sustainable or eco-friendly manner.”

The company has also been nominated for the Sino Corrugated Expo’s World Corrugated Awards 2021 for its sustainability initiatives.
He also envisions, “Opting for sustainable production practices is the future. And investing in technology will eventually help reduce the cost. Our target is to source 100% power from a renewable source – mostly solar.”

Rapid-fire with Ayush Khetan

Qualification: Masters in marketing and strategy from Warwick University, UK, and graduated in business administration from NMIMS University in Mumbai

Your guru: My father Ashok Khetan and my grandfather (maternal) VD Dhanuka

One project that you're really proud of: There are two; one is Corrubeds. Another project is helping one FMCG company in redesigning its corrugated packaging structure

Who do you admire the most: Ratan Tata, Azeem Premji, and Virat Kohli

Companies that you admire the most: Tata and Wipro

 

 

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