VK Seth: The importance of common sense to beat Covid-19

VK Seth, managing director of Sakata Inx says, “I guess the current mood is only for sustenance and not for any disruptive changes. I think the current time is more like – maintain, conserve and meet the necessities

29 Sep 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

VK Seth, managing director of Sakata Inx

PrintWeek (PW): How have you been leading your organisation through this once-in-a-lifetime crisis?
VK Seth (VKS):
The leadership in Sakata has emerged very strongly during this period. The top/senior management has led from the front. There were many examples where the leadership exhibited “commitment before self”.

PW: How much has altered?
Social distancing norms, PPEs are used with proper sanitising wherever limited interactions are called upon.

PW: Describe a typical day?
Most of the business is now done digitally. Zoom, Webex are commonly used tools for communication.

PW: We’re in an extraordinary moment. As a leader what are you telling your team now?
The team Sakata stays committed together in this challenging period. Everyone understands the need to stretch a bit extra to pull the company through with least damage. Luckily, the team exceeds in thought and action and there is not much left for me to say.

PW: Is it different messaging for different teams? For example, department heads, factory supervisors, admin staff, shopfloor experts, logistics and support staff?
Basically, the direction of understanding the crisis is the same throughout the various levels of leadership. Sakata has many leaders at all levels.

There are many stories of commitment and sacrifices that have emerged during this crisis. Besides the words of appreciation, there is no need for any special message from me.

Sakata Inx’ plant in Bhiwadi

PW: The post-Covid world will need massive HR repair with your entire team. How are you planning to achieve this?
This challenge has thrown up a situation where a lot of behavioural aspects and conduct have come forth.

There are examples where many have gone beyond the call of duty. In normal times, it is difficult to understand such mettle in people.

The HR management response can be framed by the management accordingly.


PE-PE laminate for the detergent vertical while for food packaging BOPP-CPP laminate will become prominent. Can we use this period to pre-empt the changes in our society to come out with new product concepts?
I guess the current mood is only for sustenance and not for any disruptive changes. I think the current time is more like – maintain, conserve and meet the necessities.

India is a big consumer of milk. But there is a huge opportunity for the packaging industry. Since all the focus and attention is on the top 10-15% of the top brands in this space.
Yes, this is the correct observation. There is tremendous potential for growth for milk packaging. This is directly connected with the purchasing power of masses. The issues involved are increasing shelf-life, temperature, humidity controls, ease of distribution and storage. I see consolidation to happen so as to provide economic solutions for packaging and logistics. I can see there will be many more Amuls in the near future.

Based on your interactions with the FMCG and food majors which packaging prototypes do you anticipate a boom in?
I can see all segments – cartons, sachets and pouches, bags, films and overwrap, and tubes and liners – grow, as in India the packaging industry is still very small.

Going forward, is there a solution that can be worked out with brands to boost online packaging applications with customised and virtual solutions?
Yes, this is very much in the realm of possibility. You may include – touch and feel – as a problem which will need to be addressed.

What happens to the debate on single-use plastic now?
I guess all governments will go slow to support existing businesses as they are and not going to bring in drastic regulatory changes at this junction of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) time.

PW: Have you been re-negotiating deals with your customers? From a position of strength? Or same old, same old?
Customers have many choices and it is never a matter of position of strength or weakness. Of course, we are seeing a lot of appreciation from many of our customers who think that Sakata as a company managed to service them well despite all the odds that everyone around us are facing.

PW: How have you been planning your next step with your banks and financiers when you don’t know what the future will hold? One step that you have taken...
Our bankers are happy to have Sakata as their customer and we have never faced any issue ever.

PW: Sakata had a lot of investment plans...
I think we will have to delay our new investments by at least six to nine months due to the changed market conditions.

PW: How have you been empowering your team at the bottom of the pyramid?
Most of the operation level, freedom is available at all levels in Sakata.

PW: Any specific steps (sanitisation, plastic partitions, physical distance, air vents, and WFH) to keep your office healthy and psychologically safe?
: We are practising all hygiene and safety norms prescribed by the authorities and we like to see all our people safe and healthy.

PW: A personal question: How has Covid-19 changed the nature of what you are working on, your own resilience and self-renewal and how you do it?
I have used this opportunity to give more attention to my physical and mental health.

I have started doing yoga along with the cardio exercises. This has helped me to nurture my calmer side.

PW: Any final predictions about how, as a leader, you can harness digital technology for good?
This has been a good opportunity to go even more digital. Sakata, even in pre-Covid time, was using digital technologies along with SAP for all our decision making. Automation of processes will take some more time.

At a glance: Sakata Inx HP - HD ink

How does it score on the main merits such as intense colours, high gloss, sharp dot retention, tack?
Being a versatile ink for the packaging market it constitutes good gloss, fast drying, less dot gain with a stable ink water balance. Its premium performance satisfies printers in all aspects of  mono cartons manufacturing.

Explain its compatibility with UV varnish, aqueous coating, foil or lamination?
As most of the packaging jobs require UV and aqua coating, ‘HD’ is designed for good compatibility  with such varnishes. It is also suitable for lamination.

Any certifications like ISO 2846-1: 2006 and ISO 12647 on-press compliance?
Under standard conditions, HP- HD compliance to ISO 2846-1 and ISO 12647- for colours.

What’s the USP?
HP-HD is a unique combination of good strength, fast drying and setting. Product also has low wax content. These properties make HD a suitable choice for packaging applicaiton. HD has soya oil content as per American Soyabean Association guidlines.

How easy is it to use?
The product has good compatibility with variety of fount and machines conditions. Stable ink-water balance and roller stability eliminates the need to adjust settings once the machine operator sets the parameters.

In what form is it supplied? 2.5kg vacuum tins, 2kg cartridges or 200kg drums?
It is supplied in 2-kg slip lid cans.

What technical support is on offer?
Our technical experts are available 24x7 for providing technical service to our valued customers. We also give training and share our technical knowledge to upgrade skills of person involved in operations



  • Colours available: Yellow, magenta, cyan and black
  • Suitable papers: Packaging boards- SBS, FBB, WBC, and grey back duplex boards
  • Lightfastness: Yellow and magenta - 5. Cyan and black - 7 on Blue Wool Scale
  • Fountain solutions: Suitable with variety of fount (both alcohol base as well as alcohol free type)
  • Manufacturing compliance:
    Sakata compliance ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018
    Print standard: ISO 2846 -1 and ISO 12647-2
    Containers: 2-kg Slip Lid

Note: Sakata Inx also has the HPM - Universal Plus and and HP - Enviro inks in the series. The Universal Plus is a high segment ink while the HP - Enviro is an environmentally friendly ink free from mineral oils and cobalt driers.