12 questions with Pankaj Poddar of Cosmo Films

Cosmo Films is one of the global leaders and manufacturers of bi-axially oriented polypropylene films (BOPP), with current annual sales revenue of $300 million.

22 Dec 2014 | By Tanvi Parekh

Cosmo which has plants in Maharashtra and Gujarat in India, the US, Korea and Japan, is the only BOPP film manufacturer who has been coating films for the direct thermal printing. The company is also seeking out new markets, especially at the global level.

Pankaj Poddar, the chief executive officer of Cosmo talks the talk.

Where do you learn the tricks of the trade? 
I got into the packaging industry four years ago. Though executive education left me with a requisite cross functional exposure and a good grounding to step into the corporate world, I learnt about the industry nuances on the job.

What is your greatest business achievement to date?
The greatest business achievement would be being the best in the industry on innovation, profitability and sustainability.

What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? 
Coating technology, online cameras and effective utilisation of SAP has made quite a difference to the business.

The best break-through in print technology in the past hundred years
Flexographic printing. Because of its versatility and adaptability of handling versatile production jobs.

What do you prefer: a mentor in the industry or brain storming with like-aged?
I prefer brainstorming with like-minded people over advice from one person simply because it leads to variety of solutions/options to choose from.

If you won Rs 25 crores what would you invest in?
I would invest it in an e-commerce venture. I find huge potential in that space.

For a working lunch if you met the PM of India, what would you talk to him about?
I would talk to him on corruption, education, easing financial impediments for doing business and infrastructure.

3 am print consultant?
Editor of AMI Plastics

One person who impressed you with wisdom. Why?
I would want to talk about two. First would be A K Jain, the executive director at Cosmo Films. I respect his mature advice and wealth of experience. The other one is Sebastian Bako, an ex-colleague at Avon, who despite being a foreigner, knew so much about India. I always valued his tremendous knowledge and sharp wit.

What’s the first thing you do on entering the office?
Greet people on the way to my cabin and open my laptop as I walk in.

When you see a great piece of print created by your competitor, what is your reaction? 
I would like to learn more about them.                   

Biggest luxury on your shopfloor?
An in-house designed chemical coating line.

Fun and trivia with Pankaj Poddar

Favourite gizmo: iPhone

Favourite travel: My favourite travel destinations include Colombia because of its tourist attractions and warm people and South Africa because of its unique mix of culture, wildlife, and a beautiful landscape.

A magazine that caught your eye recently: Packaging Europe

The IT system in your firm: SAP

What you drink during Happy Hours: Tap brewed beer

Favourite film: Titanic

Best print compliment received: Editors coming back to you for insights topic after topic is a compliment in itself

Best print gift given: You can win by Shiv Khera

Working lunch means: At office, catching up with colleagues. With customers, networking and getting update on the trends

Cat naps? 10 hour snooze? Or catch up on sleep during the weekend? Daily disciplined sleep regimen works well for me

Your wheels: Audi A6

Your pen and watch: Mont Blanc and Tommy

Your gym regime: I prefer brisk walks and jogging 

Favourite trade show: Drupa

If you were NOT in this industry, you would have: I would have been a sportsperson, a badminton player