Khushal Patel: We anticipate 2021 to be a bumpy ride

As there was a huge demand for packaging amid the pandemic, Khushal Patel of BST Eltromat India is confident that the Indian FMCG segment will continue to grow in 2021. He says, "Hygiene and zero to minimal direct contact will become essential for consumers."

20 Jan 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

Khushal Patel, BST Eltromat India

2020 in review
The lockdown affected our business. However, we are gradually progressing towards normal operations. As a team, we are striving to achieve the objectives we set post-lockdown for the remaining fiscal year. Meanwhile, we have successfully installed and commissioned a 100% defect-detection system at one of the top converters in East Africa.

Doing business during pandemic
If we compare the flow of order intake before and after the lockdown period, then the first quarter of 2020-21 from April to June witnessed a drought. The order flow began again in July. We also faced challenges in executing our orders due since a majority our product portfolio comprises of imported components. Plus, projects were on hold due to the limited availability of resources.

Plans for 2021
We anticipate a bumpy ride for the next 12 months. There was a huge increase in packaging due to the lockdown. But with the gradual opening up, this rapid consumption has halted. Moreover, there was absolutely no growth in packaging volumes usually seen during the festive periods. But we are confident the Indian FMCG segment growth will overcome and continue as hygiene and zero to minimal direct contact will become essential for consumers.

Most popular kit in 2020
We have developed AlphaMix (adhesive mixer/ dispenser) and EagleEye print inspection system, both conceptualised and designed in India, focusing on the requirements of Indian converters and operators. Both these systems are running successfully.

Investment stories
Recently, Prakash Flexible Packaging invested in three new presses at their new plant in Uttarakhand. Situated in Kashipur, the company offers sustainable packaging solutions, such as high-performance barrier films and laminates used in packaging.