The Gen Z Mantra: Aditya Birajdar

Connected packaging can build a dialog with customers via their packaging which can provide brands with valuable customer data, says Aditya Birajdar of Cargill India. Birajdar tells Charmiane Alexander how he perceives printing and packaging

12 Jan 2022 | By Charmiane Alexander

Birajdar: Brands audit consumer trends, requirements and languages to target audiences

What's your best childhood memory about reading in a library?
Reading comic books in peace without distractions and  interruptions.

One way print can change the world?
Words and colours play a very important role in brand recognition. Even brands have begun exploring marketing techniques using digital printing in packaging. Customisation and personalisation can be offered through the advanced printing technologies.

Are Gen Zs loyal to brands or do they prefer exploring other alternatives?
I believe Gen Zs are constantly confused. As a fellow Gen Z, I tend to explore all the possible options and look for value and authenticity. If a brand designs a product according to my needs, it will have my loyalty.

Which is better— a novel or a movie?
A novel over a movie, any day. Personally, a writer’s words resonate more compared to the visual feel provided in movies through the director's lens. 

Which is your favourite book?
What Every Indian Should Know Before Investing by Vinod Pottayil. As a working professional, I have lately gained interest in financial planning and have found this book beneficial.

How can digital printing help in boosting creativity and consumer connection through packaging?
Coca-Cola ran a campaign called 'Share a Coke' where people were able to personalise their own bottles of Coca‑Cola. Similarly, Mondelez offers customisations, where you can print the name of your loved ones on the Cadbury pack. Simple efforts taken by brands can enhance the consumer-packaging connection.

Do you have any experience with consumer-packaging connection
We all buy books after seeing the cover image. During my high school education, I didn’t find many options for the same. A while ago ITC introduced the element of personalisation for their notebooks. So now I have an office diary customised with my favourite Netflix series Peaky Blinders

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
The time I secured first place in Packathon, a national-level packaging development competition. I believe that experience was the actual test of my four years of engineering.

Social media has become the newest way of promoting packaging innovations or learning about the newest trends in packaging. Why?
Brands audit consumer trends, requirements and languages to target audiences and social media is the best way to promote products because of its reach. Packaging is now expected to connect with other branded content online to create a seamless consumer experience. A field that usually got lost in the aisle racks of superstores is finally coming forward to show how far they’ve come. Given the Covid situation for the past two years, people have turned to social media for news, updates and trends.

Which is the most innovative packaging that you have come across?
The bottom of Haldiram farsan’s stand-up pouch reads ‘it's time to grab a new pack'. This was a witty move by the product designer since they anticipated the user’s movements.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read recently?
Packaging is usually associated with visual appeal and how well it stands out on shelves. Sonic branding, a concept where one uses sound to create a brand identity is still not widely popular. Recently I came across how brands are using sonic branding for packaging. 

In your opinion, what’s the best film about the print you have ever seen?
Catch Me If You Can. A 2003 film, that portrays the life of Frank W. Abagnale, a skilled forger who successfully duped federal agents and made millions of dollars by counterfeiting checks. When the experts hold the faux check-up to the light, they conclude that the check was printed on a Heidelberg press.

Would you rather be like Einstein who is good with numbers, or Shakespeare who is good with words? Why?
Shakespeare. I would like to have the power of vocabulary since I would be able to express myself better.

One thing that is on your bucket list
I want to skate away to different cities around the world.

Which scientist or technologist would you want to travel with on a long flight?
Elon Musk. He is a real-life embodiment of Tony Stark (Iron Man).