Corrugator Speak: Pankaj Shah, Mehta Paper Industries

In a quick Q&A, Pankaj Shah, Mehta Paper Industries talks about the challenges and opportunities facing the big brown box

09 May 2018 | By Rahul Kumar

Which segment will drive the corrugation industry in the next three years?
Packing of fresh fruits and vegetables is largely an untapped market, although mangoes, grapes and some other fruits have adopted corrugated boxes. This sector promises growth opportunities. 

Which kraft paper and box specifications you prefer, grammage and burst factor or ring-crush, edge-crush and box compression tests or short-span compression test?
I prefer all. Choice of parameters for quality or performance depends on what is expected from the corrugated box. However, all parameters are hardly ever required in a single box. To illustrate the point, how do you choose the best athlete among a swimmer, a marathon runner, and a cricketer? It all depends. So, it’s never either-or. 

List the challenges faced by an Indian corrugator.
There are several, but maybe realistic return on investment, disruption due to eBidding and greater graphic expectations will rank higher.

What packaging job has made you the proudest in the recent months?
Partitions used inside a corrugated box traditionally have a high labour content during production and assembly. We were able to automate both the processes and add value.

What would you like to change in your customers?
I would want them to buy corrugated boxes for a specific performance. Ranking by weight or by BF or by any other material-based index dilutes the performance purpose.

Why do you think corrugation has a bright future in India?
As a transport package, the corrugated box has the best cost-to-weight ratio. It’s fully recyclable, therefore, it's eco-friendly. There will be some market gain from wooden packaging or loss to shrink packaging but in the long run, there is no substitute for corrugated packaging.

Which is your favourite flute and why?
The flute, the musical instrument.