ITC’s Sanjiv Puri on its paperboards, paper and packaging business

Company to invest in plant-based molded fiber plant in MP 

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Puri said ITC’s paperboards, paper and packaging business is today one of India’s largest, greenest and most technologically advanced.

In the multinational conglomerate ITC’s 112th annual general meeting held recently, chairman and managing director Sanjiv Puri shared his vision on ITC, which he said is ‘Nation First – Transforming for our Shared Tomorrows.’ 

Puri said ITC’s paperboards, paper and packaging business is today one of India’s largest, greenest and technologically advanced. India’s ambitious growth trajectory, he said, is expected to drive demand for high quality value-added paperboards and sustainable packaging. 

Packaging South Asia had reported how ITC highlighted the significant expansion of its sustainable products portfolio and the impressive revenue growth achieved by its paperboards and specialty papers division in its recently published annual report for the financial year 2022-2023. ITC’s sustainable solutions, including the ‘Filo’ series and ‘Omega’ series, gained strong traction in both domestic and international markets, the company had reported.

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Sanjiv Puri, chairman and managing director ITC

“Current per capita paperboard and paper consumption in India is considerably low at 14 kgs, compared to world average of 57 kgs, pointing to the growth potential. The emerging trend for plastic substitution will also provide further fillip to the demand for paperboards and plant-based molded fiber biodegradable products.”

In order to realize the significant market potential, the ITC Next strategy for the paperboards and packaging business entails development of a portfolio of value-added paperboards and sustainable packaging, strengthening structural competitiveness, scaling up a cost-effective fiber chain and leveraging opportunities arising out of the mega trends of digital and sustainability, Puri said.

“The value-added paperboards portfolio has been fortified with substantial capacity augmentation in the last five years. The paperboard Business, together with the packaging business, is at the forefront of developing sustainable packaging solutions and a range of planet-friendly, biodegradable and recyclable products have been launched on existing platforms under the ‘Filo’, ‘Omega’, ‘Bio-seal’ and ‘Oxyblock’ series.” 

These eco-labelled products, Puri said, have recorded a 2x increase in revenue over last year. Work has been undertaken to create a new platform with exciting market opportunity for substituting plastic packaging with plant-based premium molded fiber products that are capable of solving complex engineering and aesthetic requirements, he said.

 Accordingly, ITC is investing in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh, to manufacture technologically sophisticated products with promising applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, electronics and other sectors.

“The business is an acknowledged icon of environmental stewardship, with focus on decarbonization, sequestration and livelihood generation. The recent state-of-the-art high-pressure recovery boiler commissioned at Bhadrachalam will reduce coal usage by one-third while improving ITC’s share of renewable energy by 6%. ITC’s afforestation program has greened over 1 million acres and supported over 190 million person-days of employment for marginal farmers whilst creating a sustainable and competitive fiber chain for ITC.”

According to Puri, it is evident that a competitive wood-based industry can generate large economic multipliers, enable significant carbon sequestration and livelihood generation. “Our country has 30 million hectares of degraded forest land capable of being converted into productive and green assets. An enabling policy framework that would permit enterprises to lease degraded forest land can enhance competitiveness, spawn new wood-based industries, enable import substitution to the tune of US$ 4 billion annually, create large carbon sinks and generate significant rural employment of nearly 1.3 billion person-days.”

ITC’s manufacturing excellence, thrust on digital, sustainability and frugal innovation capacity will enable competitively superior performance whilst also creating significant environmental and social capital as it embraces the vast opportunities ahead, Puri said.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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