European quality at Indian price
With years of expertise in manufacturing varieties of PVC Films, Caprihans is all set to launch mono PVC films. K K Kemmu, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, reveals more to Manjusha Morgaonkar
What are the pharma packaging products you provide?
We specifically meet the needs of blister packaging for pharmaceutical industry. We have brands like Sunpac plastic corrugated sheets, Sunbord Foamed PVC sheets and Sunflex flexible vinyl films etc, which are used in the other industries.
How does Caprihans custom modify products to suit individual companies?
We have developed different types of films to suit different requirements to the industry. For example, we recommend different film types for putting blister packing on the rotatory machines and different film types for the flat bed machines. We also have different film types for normal draw (tablets and capsules) and also for deep draw applications, for example, injectibles, IV cannulas etc. We have also developed special film types for machines that operate on very high speeds. Our technical services cell works in close coordination with the customers and suggest the correct type of film or machine parameters for optimum results.
Which is your latest packaging product launch in the market for pharma industry?
Among the latest packaging products we have launched PVDC coated film from the new technology. We have commissioned a new coating and lamination machine in-house, which employs a far superior process known as ‘Reverse Gravure Coating’. This process is specifically good for fine coatings like PVDC coating as it is far more consistent and accurate across the length and width, does not cause a hazy appearance of the product nor defects like ‘micro bubble’ and ‘orange peel’. Besides this, it leaves behind a clean atmosphere. We have also introduced Sunplex bilam (PVC/PE) and the Sunplex trilam (PVC/PE/PVDC) laminates. We have started marketing the Ineos range of Aclar laminates. Beside this, we also have a few products both in the mono PVC film with focus on aesthetics and a high barrier product that will answer both issues of moisture as well as oxygen barrier. These are in final stages of developments and will be launched shortly.
Which MNC brands are marketed by the company in India?
In addition to our own products we also market the entire Aclar laminated range of films from the Ineos portfolio. This includes the Aclar160, Aclar 20E, Aclar 900, Aclar 2000, Aclar 3000 and Aclar 4000. These are characterised by high water vapour barrier, superior dimensional stability, reduced heated temperature, excellent processability, chemically stable, biochemically inert, flex-crack resistant and high transparency. In addition to the Ineos Aclar range, we are also the sole distributors for the entire range of Ineos films that is for pharma packaging films, packaging films, card films and speciality films. (Note: Aclar is a registered trademark of Honeywell)
Is the company planning to expand its manufacturing facilities to other locations?
Presently we have two plants at Thane and Nasik that manufacture flexible PVC films and rigid PVC films. We are amongst the few companies that have the calendaring and the coating operations at the same location. In near future we don’t have any such plans to set up plants at any other locations as all expansion will be executed at these locations only to ensure economies of scale and better efficiencies.
What is the growth rate of the company?
Since last five to seven years, the company has been growing at around 12 percent to 15 percent per annum on an average. The factors affecting the growth rate are the demand and supply situations within the country and the world as a whole, as now-a-days all markets are globally connected. We also cater to the growth rate of the pharma industry and others. In the past few years we have also been affected by capacity constraints. Being a capital-intensive industry, it took a couple of years to add any significant capacities and then stabilise the same. However, these have already been addressed and we look forward to a much better growth rate in the coming years.
How do you maintain customer relationships?
We have an extensive sales and service network throughout India through which we maintain a regular contact with our customers through 14 sales offices/depots spread over the country. Our aim is to be as close to the customer’s location as possible. We have a fine tuned communication system that keeps customers informed about all changes in the industry, the petrochemical industry and new developments. In India, some of our major customers are GSK, Sanofi Aventis, Merck, Wyeth Laboratories, Abbot Laboratories, Astra Zeneca, Cipla, Wockhardt, Ipca Labs, Nicholas Lab, Zydus, Cadila Pharma, Torrent, Microlabs etc.
Which are the industry verticals serviced by your company besides pharma?
We service the food packaging, thermoforming and vacuum forming markets such as battery packing, toy packing etc. We also make films for the banking, credit card and smart card industry, printing industry, stationery films and speciality films custom made for the specific requirements of customers.
Who are your competitors?
We have different competitors in different business segments. Among them our competitors from the field of pharma packaging are Klockner, ACG and Bilcare.
What are your expansion or investment plans for future?
We have already completed our expansion plans in the field of pharma packaging products by adding a new calendar line (K7) and a new coating and laminating line. In future we shall be adding another calendar for flexible films and setting up a specialised plant for card films. Regarding plants abroad, Ineos films already has plants in Italy and Germany in Europe, Delaware in the USA and our plant at Thane and Nasik in India (Asia). We are able to service the entire global market through these plants and there are no new plants planned in the immediate future.
What is your projected growth for the next five years and what are your strategies to achieve this growth?
For the next five years, we would plan to grow at a faster rate than the market growth. We shall increase the market share within India as well as target a decent pie of the global market. In the past, we could not aggressively target global markets due to capacity limitations. However, now these concerns have been addressed and we shall increase our thrust on the export front. We shall also make full use of the synergies within the group. Our aim is to be the lowest cost producer with global scales of economy and efficiency. Ineos films is the market leader in Europe, and Caprihans is the leader in India. They are commissioning new plant of Ineos in USA with a new calender K7 and the new coating and laminating lines at Nasik in India. All the three plants having been brought to the same competence levels and it makes perfect sense for MNC pharma companies to source from the same vendor to ensure consistencies. Our PVDC coated film also gets a consistent supply of the base film within the plant, both calendaring and coating at the same location. Very few blister film manufacturers have this advantage. This ultimately benefits the customer in terms of reliability and consistency. We offer the latest and the best in terms of the PVDC coated technology. Only Caprihans employs the Reverse Gravure Coating technology in India. Europe was the place where blister packing was invented and all the later innovations started from there. Even today, European films are considered to be the best. We plan to deliver European quality at Indian price.
Can you share the exports and growth of the company?
In the past, we focused our exports only on the Asian markets and rest of the markets were catered by the Ineos films from the Germany plant. But now, this strategy has been changed after the installation of new capacities and upgradation of the plant at Nasik. We are now closely working with Ineos pharma team and identifying new markets that will be serviced by Caprihans. In this continuous process, Caprihans has already started servicing some of the markets and this should give a tremendous push to our exports. Our products have already been approved and supplies have started. For instance, we have already exported 100 tons of PVDC coated film to such markets upto March 2008. We have plans to export more than three times the blister packing film in year 2008, which will include countries across the world that we were not dealing with in the past.