Packaging is the fifth largest sector in India’s economy and is one of the highest growth sectors in the country. With the rising requirement for packaging across sectors especially in view of the current pandemic, with traditional businesses preferring to package products, and the retail and e-commerce growing rapidly, the industry is growing at a robust pace.

“Packaging is an important aspect in reducing the perceived value of a product. Every year the industry comes up with new trends & has been constantly evolving.” said Mr Rajesh Sikka, Chairman, CII Western UP while addressing at the 2nd CII Packaging Summit held over virtual platform. He also pointed out that flexible packaging will soon be joined by bio packaging and the sector will see extensive use of augmented reality in times to come. He also remarked that initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ have given a further thrust to consumption and export of Indian products resulting in a growth for the packaging sector as well.

“Food packaging is a significant contributor to the overall packaging industry, more so during current times where takeaways & home deliveries are being preferred over in-house dining. Pre-pandemic, the sector was seeing a growth of 18-20% & it has been recording robust growth even during the pandemic” pointed out Mr Manish Bhatia, CEO & Managing Director, DIC India Ltd. Mr Bhatia also highlighted the need for striking cohesive partnerships, redefining sustainability & focus on safety for growth of the industry. He shared that the organization has launched a digital initiative – DIC Connect to train factory personnel how to eliminate fire instances at factories as well as printing presses. Mr Bhatia further added that incentivizing the sector will give it a boost to adopt sustainability & manage waste.

Mr Sharad Agarwal, COO, Modi Enterprises & COO & Director, Godfrey Phillips India Ltd mentioned that the packaging industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and currently stands at around 90 billion dollars. He identified the top trends in the sector as sustainability & innovation , product hygiene & safety and e-commerce readiness and adoption of technology. Mr Agarwal also highlighted that Fibre foam has made inroads in India & can prove to be a viable alternative to thermocol.

Mr Vishnu Puranik, Director-Engineering, Clearpack Automation Pvt Ltd shared that the reason for automation adoption by industries has gone beyond cost reduction. Similarly, Smart Packaging has evolved to focus on components that have been added in packaging material & creation of exquisite outcome. He also pointed out that Dark factories will be the future of the industry where just the raw material would go into an automated setup & the finished product would emerge from the other end.

“Counterfeiting is a major concern for the Indian economy which caused a loss of INR 1 Trillion in 2019” said Mr Ankit Gupta, Director, Holostik India Ltd. He emphasised the need to adopt smart technologies such as Track and Trace and counterfeit labels to integrate supply chains so as to ensure that illegitimate products are kept away from the market.

Mr Utsav Dixit, Senior Manager – Sustainability, ALPLA India mentioned that “Sustainability is not about what you produce but how you produce it”. He added that it is all about using human and natural resources in an efficient way with a focus on resource efficient production. He also said that social, environmental, ethical and human right concerns play an important role in defining an organisation’s core strategy as well as its corporate culture.

“India is a powerhouse for FIBC manufacturing and represents 44% of the global market and companies here have invested in world class manufacturing facilities. It helps in the reducing cost, optimising time, helps in customisation which enables the use of real world applications and enhances the sustainability of supply chain.” Said Mr Shashank Agarwal, Deputy Managing Director, Kanpur Plastipack Ltd.

The Summit also included participation from national & international universities, leaders in the segment, service providers who deliberated on the road ahead for the packaging sector and a great attendance of participants over CII virtual platform.