IPPTA seminar on 25-26 March 2022

On the occasion of its 56th AGM, Indian Pulp & Paper Technical Association (IPPTA) has organised a seminar on best practices in the field of manufacturing, environment, HR, image building and branding by the pulp and paper industry. The event is scheduled for 25-26 March, 2022 at The Leela Ambience Conventional Hotel, Delhi.

02 Mar 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

Indian pulp and paper mills have been flourishing over the past decades, and are currently producing around 25-million tonnes of assorted grades of paper per annum. Among the segments, the packaging sector is the leader of the pack. Currently on the world production map, Indian is a shade behind Japan, which is producing about 26-million tonnes of paper and board annually.

Indian paper mills thrive on a varied technology canvas. Many mills are still manufacturing paper on machines which are not synchronised with current requirements. Relatively modern machines used by major paper manufacturers contain latest features with the support of advanced technology, setting them at par with the best. Thus, such mills hold a latent advantage in comparison to mills having machines with very limited instrumentations and technological support as far as the operational scale of economics are concerned. Though both ways, the paper produced may be of high quality, efficiency and the cost advantages obtained due to their scale of operations differ significantly.

In the midst of mounting competition, it is essential that scale of operation and economics are revisited periodically to improve working parameters and achieving new benchmarks. It is, therefore, even more imperative to bring on a common sharing platform all such manufacturing practices which help in enhancing efficiency of operations and to be in the competition.

Most Paper mills are by and large located in remote areas away from large cities or in tier-three towns. As a result, mills are facing serious issues in meeting their desired manpower requirements. With mills shifting their offices to the factory site in order to consolidate operations is further adding to the already difficult situation. Furthermore, this is posing a major problem of different nature altogether, job opportunities for qualified spouses get minimised.

On other hand, the paper technology course at IIT Roorkee has been discontinued, which has created a dearth of qualified manpower. To some extent, it is being abridged by regional institutions, which have courses on paper-making but there still remains a big vacuum. To handle such social issues with pay packages which are not the best in the market poses a serious challenge for the HR department.

Paper mills have been blatantly accused by many companies, in particular by telecommunication giants of being guilty of cutting tree and making paper. As per the information gathered, they did it primarily to avoid posting hard copies of crores of bills every month which was based more on economics than anything else. Much to the chagrin of the paper industry, they succeeded in their mission by creating a jaded image of paper industry in the public. It was presented in a lopsided manner as if the paper industry is the only reason for deforestation and global warming. The fact is that India manufactures > 75 % of paper by using recycled paper, 15% by wood pulp (including imported pulp) and 10% agricultural waste.

Of late, the paper industry has awakened and resorted to this unwanted onslaught and the results are quite positive. Efforts of various organisations, auch as IPPTA, IPMA, IARPMA and state associations on this front are laudable.

Historically, the paper mills have shied away from investing efforts in brand building. The time has come to let the world know the hidden goodness about paper products and companies, which shall help in creating demand, respect and value.

In consideration of the above scenario, IPPTA has chosen the theme for this year seminar. The organisation has also invited interested persons to share their papers for the same. The last date for sending the paper is 5 March. The guidelines are available on the IPPTA website.