Our plan is to always solve the problems of our clients - The Noel DCunha Sunday Column
Chetan Jain, executive director, Taurus Packaging, explains how the company’s recent innovation in HIP Framework is helping its clients achieve short-run shrink sleeve labels
29 Aug 2021 | By Noel D'Cunha
It’s been mostly business as usual for Greater Noida-based Taurus Packaging in the past 12 pandemic months. The company started early after the pandemic and were able to service its clients in time. “We did suffer shortage of raw materials and manpower while following all protocols, but we took up the challenge and catered to our clients, mostly FMCG companies. Despite the loss of demand with some of our clients, we managed to add more products and clients in our business and did well,” says Chetan Jain, executive director, Taurus Packaging.
The company, which manufactures shrink sleeves, BOPP wrap-around labels, flexible laminates and pouches, has put up base in Greater Noida because being closer to New Delhi, it’s well-connected with the entire country through road, rail network and airport. “And with the western freight corridor, the New Delhi-Mumbai expressway, and the Noida airport coming up, we will see definite advantage of our location to service our clients swiftly,” Jain says. “Access to international airport and inland international cargo ports also made it our preferred choice.”
Chetan Jain, executive director, Taurus Packaging
He adds that FMCG is set to see furthergrowth in India and the company is well-prepared for servicing the sector.
The company is in rotogravure and UV flexographic printing, and has a host of converting equipment such as high-speed slitters, high-speed non-stop seaming machines, label cutting machines, and dry and wet lamination. The company also has an in-house design and pre-press team, where it creates 3D and actual mock-up for its clients for shrink sleeves, which helps brand owners make an informed decision. The company also employs many techniques as per client’s requirement for preventing counterfeiting of shrink sleeves. These include invisible inks, variable alphanumeric codes, scratch off inks, holographic effects, lenticular printing and so on.
Until the last year, the company was producing about 99% of jobs, which were pure gravure without any embellishments, but with active R&D and the ability to produce highly innovative surface finishes, this year the demand for innovative embellishments has been growing – from 1%, the figure has gone up to 4-5%.
The company’s print-runs normally vary between 5,000 sqmt to 25,000 sqmt. During and after the lockdown, the company added newer products and clients due to its capability to do much lower print runs with its new technologies. However, Jain adds that bulk quantities have also increased since the lockdown.
Taurus Packaging plant in Greater Noida
Jain says the company’s investment decisions are completely based on only one question: Will the new equipment help solve the problems of its clients? He explains, “We saw a major problem for short-runs and slow time to market. We saw clients getting frustrated due to lead time of four to six weeks in developing their shrink sleeves. We made our investment, which could help us deliver shrink sleeves using our Hybrid Intaglio Printing Framework (HIP Framework). We solved a major problem of short quantity requirements and are now able to produce shrink sleeves with best-in-class graphics in three days.”
However, he adds that the company doesn’t believe in minimum order quantity (MOQ). “All business or products are not alike, and so, the demand is varied. Limitation of MOQ shouldn’t hinder or lead to compromise on anyone’s packaging. We offer shrink sleeves with practically no MOQ,” he says.
He agrees that technology upgrades are now faster than before. “Every time, we buy a printing or converting machine, we see the technology changing. But the needs of printers like us are changing, too,” he adds.
This changing needs also relates to different variety of substrate customers demand. “With respect to shrink sleeves, we see a wide variety of demands from our clients or from the application point of view. Clients are now more open to experimenting. We offer the highest ranges of substrates for shrink sleeves in India. Like I said before, we solve problems, and one solution doesn’t fit all, which creates the purpose of having different sleeves,” Jain says.
To achieve this, the company uses an ERP system. It requires a lot of real-time data entry. Jain says there was an initial resistance when the company shifted to digital data entry mode, but it was sorted with training. And they use a workflow software, which Jain says, is an easy-to-use, cloud-based system.
Chetan Jain’s father, Rajesh Jain
Talking about substrates, Jain says the raw material supplier is an equal stakeholder in any company. “For us, suppliers and clients are alike. It’s a partnership. We don’t change suppliers frequently and we believe service is more important than price,” he says.
Jain agrees that the flexible packaging industry is going through same issues, including price hike by major suppliers. “Initially, we faced difficultly convincing our clients for price increase, but when the entire industry is affected, situation is the same for all clients and all converters. Customers have been very supportive, accepting a major share of the burden of the price increase. Moreover, we had been finding ways for reducing our costs to client.
For example, with the increase in prices of PVC, we had been convincing our clients and managed to convert some of them to PETG, which is more economical than PVC right now. With our experience in this area, and a professional technical team, we made a successful and valuable transition (from PVC to PETG) for our clients,” he explains.
Talking about sustainability, Jain says most of the company’s waste is single layer plastics, which can be recycled. The rest of the waste is passed on to a government-registered waste management company.
The company recently launched the HIP Framework, a technology that offers shrink sleeves with no MOQ, and with fastest turnaround time possible. “This, I believe, is a ground-breaking technology,” Jain says. “Also, with
HIP Framework, lot of start-ups and SMEs in the FMCG space, who have smaller volumes or multiple SKUs, are able to get low volume sleeves without worrying about high inventory and expensive print cylinders. Normally, they would have to compromise on their product or packaging or number of SKU’s or keep unreasonably highly inventory, which might get obsolete. But now, they are able to get world-class packaging.”
He adds that the HIP Framework also helped the company during the Covid crisis. “We launched it at the right time. With uncertain market conditions, and volumes, many of our clients opted for low quantities for test launches and that also without bearing any cylinder cost for these small lots. This was a real deal for them. And we were happy we could cater to the changing market dynamics. Some immunity or sanitising products had to be launched faster, and we were prepared to help our client get their shrink sleeves delivered in three days of order confirmation,” Jain explains.
According to Jain, Taurus is always evolving. “Our plan is to always keep on providing solutions to the industry. Problems keep changing and keep evolving, and so does Taurus. We are already planning for further investment in technology and materials, which will ultimately help our clients bring down their packaging buying cost and with even faster turnaround time.
We wish to serve all clients regardless of the size. We want to play a pivotal role in improving the overall standard of packaging in India. We see many companies willing to compromise on packaging and printing quality due to commercial and availability limitations. We want to
change that,” he adds.
At the end of the day, Taurus prides itself to be one of the most innovative packaging companies in India. “The bottom and top line is critical for any business, but from time to time we do invest in our R&D infrastructure. We have a dedicated R&D lab and technicians. Our biggest-ever innovation has been the HIP Framework, which is helping our clients,” he concludes.