Face-to-Face: NC Saha

At Interpack 2014, Prof Dr NC Saha, director, Indian Institute of Packaging, speaks to PrintWeek India about the India pavilion and its success in representing the Indian packaging industry on a global platform.

14 May 2014 | By Noel D'Cunha & Rushikesh Aravkar

Q: A preview of India pavilion at Interpack
A: Indian Institute of Packaging opened up an India pavilion first in 2011 with funding from the Government of India for the Indian exhibitors at the Interpack 2011 in Dusseldorf. Following its success, we decided to participate more aggressively with a larger India pavilion at Interpack 2014 in order to represent Indian packaging industry on a global platform.

In this edition there are two India pavilions of 490sq/ft area each, one for the Indian packaging machinery manufacturers and the other for Indian packaging materials manufacturers. In total there are 77 Indian companies present at Interpack out of which 50 are exhibiting as a part of India pavilion. Among these 50 participants 12 are machinery manufacturers while the rest are packaging converters.

Q: What is the objective of India pavilion?
IIP’s objective was to bring the MSME packaging companies in India on a global platform. If we look at the exhibitors of India pavilion, most of the participants are small scale industries. With this platform they get global exposure and are able to target a visitor base from all over the world, which is not possible in India. Though they may not be able to encash any order, this experience will help them understand the nature of requirements that the customers are looking at, at a global level.

Secondly, Interpack being the biggest packaging event, many innovations are showcased here that are yet to arrive in India. These participants get a chance to have a look at these innovations. When they return, they take back innovative concepts and new ideas to work upon and develop new solutions.

Q: Can you highlight few innovations?
 I would highlight a couple of innovations that I saw here and which are yet to arrive in India. At one of the stalls, I saw a multi-cavity vacuum packaging machine which in India is limited to one cavity only. Another machine was used for packaging of mineral water with nitrogen flushing. Generally, in India we use still water and not aerated water and its shelf life is one year. However, with the use of nitrogen flushing, the shelf life of packaged water can be further increased. These are new applications and concepts that will come to India in the near future.

At Interpack, I can see a major emphasis on bakery and confectionery machineries.

Q: What are the trends that you observe?
 I feel buyers are not really considering the cost of a solution. They are stressing on quality. When I spoke to a few machinery users, they say the Chinese machinery may be of a lower cost, however, we prefer Indian machinery for its quality standards. In this aspect, Indian manufacturers have been able to achieve global standards.

Q: What is the feedback from the participants?
A: Interestingly most of the exhibitors are first timers and hence they are quite excited. The location of India pavilion is hall 7.2 and hall 12. Since hall 7.2 is located at a second floor the visitor turnout has been low when compared to the halls on the ground floor.

The location has been a disadvantage for a few players. Also, some players like Ace Industries sold the machine they were exhibiting and many of these have received good number of inquiries.