Subhashish Paper Products expands monocarton capacity

Carton expansion based on robust 5-year forecast

DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products
DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products

Vapi-based carton manufacturer Subhashish Paper Products expects to see robust top-line growth in the coming years as it expands its printing and converting capacity, the company’s managing director, Ashish Seksaria, told Packaging South Asia.

“In the 2021-22 financial year, we expect a 40% growth in our sales. And in the coming three to five years, we envision an annual growth of 20-25% each year. We hope to double our top line in five years. This growth will be underpinned by investment in our printing and converting divisions during the 2022-2023 financial year,” Seksaria says.

The company will add a new multicolor offset packaging press, a new folder gluer, and a die cutter. These are in addition to the recent investments in adding a folder gluer and a diecutter from DGM. Subhashish Paper Products bought a new DGM Technofold 1100 folder-gluer in late 2020, followed by a DGM Technocut 1050S diecutter, installed in mid-2021.

DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products
DGM Technocut 1050 S at Subhashish Paper Products

Currently, the company operates three Heidelberg offset presses – a 6-color with coater, a 5-color, and a 2-color. In addition to the DGM folder gluer and diecutter, the company has three other folder gluers. It currently converts about 350 to 400 tons of paperboard every month. Seksaria says that although the company has not decided which brand of press and converting equipment it will buy in the coming year for its capacity expansion, the chances are it will continue with Heidelberg and DGM. “I am a big admirer of Heidelberg so most likely our new offset press will be a Heidelberg.

As for the folder gluer and diecutter, we will probably go for DGM this time as well.
We are very happy with the DGM machines and the after-sales service of the DGM India team. Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize that nothing is finalized as yet, and a final decision about the equipment brands we purchase will only be made in the early part of the next financial year,” Seksaria adds.

The new machinery that the company is planning to add will be installed at the Vapi plant, which the company is expanding in the coming months. It recently bought a plot of land adjacent to the existing unit. The plan is to combine the old and the new unit structures into a single coherent production workflow and plant.

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Growth to be driven by existing and new customers Subhashish Paper Products mostly supplies regular cartons, crash lock-bottom cartons, and E-flute cartons to brands in the FMCG and stationery sector. The company was established in 2010, clocking
steady growth till 2016. From 2017 onwards, as it invested in more machinery, the company managed to accelerate growth. Seksaria says the next growth phase will be even more robust.

“The year 2022-2023 financial year will be a breakthrough year for us. The investment we have planned will help us in servicing both existing and new customers. Our clients are growing. We have seen a dramatic increase in their demand for higher quality and quantities fuelled by the growth in modern retail trade and online shopping. With bigger capacity, we can also acquire new customers. We are also eyeing exports of our products to the US and Africa,” he adds.

Seksaria says that brand owners are now willing to spend more on the packaging of their products, and this trend will only accelerate. He adds that demand for virgin boards is increasing as customers enhance the quality of their packaging. “When we started in 2010, 80% of our work was with recycled boards, a share that has now dropped to 50%. The change is a clear indication that quality has become a major factor when it comes to packaging.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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