Wednesday, February 26, 2020


“We are servicing every large brand in parts of world”
Monday, 26 August, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Cosmo Films Ltd today is a leader in speciality films for packaging, lamination and labelling applications. Its film offerings include biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films, cast polypropylene (CPP) films and soon to be offered biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) films. The company has pioneered BOPP film manufacturing and introduced India to its commercial applications. Today, the company is the largest exporter of BOPP films from India and is also the largest producer of thermal laminating films in the world. The listed company clocked revenues of Rs 20.92 billion in FY 2018-19. Pankaj Poddar, CEO, Cosmo Films Ltd, in an interaction with Khyati Das shares details on the company’s India plans, worldwide clientele and growth. Excerpts:

Your focus has been on expanding synthetic paper products. Elaborate on these products. How will it enhance your current product bouquet?
Synthetic paper is a recyclable product and it can replace paper in many applications, specially where you know life required out of a product is much longer and the other thing is you don’t have to cut trees because it is made out of rock and polypropylene, right now we have 3-4 different ranges in synthetic paper the one is where it can be printed with laser technology  which is quite a critical one and it is very common & prevalent,the second one is for commercial printing whether it can take different types of printing whether it is offset or UV offset, flexo and all such printings and third product is tearable in a certain way wherever there is a notch it can be teared in this way. So it has virtually so many applications, certificates, tags, labels, commercial printing. It has a very large range now. We are happy to say that our range is one of the widest in synthetic paper also its quite an expanding segment for us.

Transparent films are used for F&B packaging, and you are offering products in this area. Elaborate.
We are basically giving polypropylene based films or BOPP films or CPP films and they have a very large usage within the food & beverage industry, so whether you talk about biscuits, ice creams, chips, coffee, milk powder. Virtually every product and beauty about polypropylene-based films is that it meets the needs of every FMCG product or a food brand. Whether it is cost parameter, sustainability parameter, the look and feel of the product whether the shelf life of the product, shelf appeal of the product, so it virtually meets all the needs. We are catering to most of the segments in F&B sector.

How was the company’s performance in FY19?
We are continuously improving, we would say that it was a good performance, it can always be better and we are working towards it and we have launched many products in the recent past and they have been great success not just in India but worldwide. We are continuously improving and had a decent performance. We expect we should be able to continuously improve from here.

What is your outlook for FY20?
It looks much more promising than FY 19, there are multiple reasons as I said we have launched many products with synthetic paper whether packaging products to do with sustainable packaging and those are liked by various brands and different industries and the other thing is even demand supply gaps are getting better for the packaging film industry.

What are the unique products offered by you vis-a-vis your competitors?
As far as the F&B industry is concerned we have come up with innovative products in the recent past specially given where sustainability is a big theme, where virtually every brand is looking for sustainable solution, recyclable solutions typically polypropylene in the past had a one major issue that while heat sealing the BOPP films used to shrink so now we have come out with heat- resistant films and at different temperatures and it can virtually service in any and every applications as such, the other thing is there was an oxygen barrier with some of the oily products required there also now we have barrier properties as low as point one barrier to 10-15-30 oxygen barrier, so now we have different products for barrier properties which was to some extent earlier missing and third thing is wherever the pack size becomes larger you need a heat seal strength, for sealing, we offer a high seal strength CPP film and not BOPP film.

Which are the major F&B brands you service?
We are virtually servicing every large F&B brand in India and most parts of the world. Brands such as Unilever, Britannia, Nestle, Parle all these are our customers.

With which countries/geographies do you deal?
We are very well spread obviously being in India, India is a fairly good market for us, but we continue to be the largest exporters of these films worldwide so whether it is very developed market like Japan, Korea, USA, Europe, Australia these are large markets for us but we are also there in South America, the Middle-East so we are very well spread out virtually everywhere in the world.

Tell us about your manufacturing plants in India and overseas.
We believe that customers need low-cost products and which better country to manufacture than in India. Majority of manufacturing has been there in India and we continue to expand in India. We also believe very strongly on Make in India initiative, we have plants in Korea as well. We continue to grow in India as of now when it comes to manufacturing capacities.

Share your views on enabling the circular economy creating a green tomorrow.
It is extremely important and we are playing our part in a significant way by helping a green tomorrow think right now what is happening in food packaging lot of different types of plastic is being used which makes extremely difficult to recycle. What we feel is that we need to have more homogenous structures in food packaging to make it more sustainable and recyclable. There are some good examples like PET bottles, a recycler knows very clearly which is a PET bottle and which is a polypropylene bottle and therefore they are recycled so well, similarly milk pouch - every recycler knows whether its polythene-based pouch, unfortunately in most of the other food and beverage segments multiple plastics are used and therefore there is a confusion that the value derived out of the recycle is very low so if together we can make the value of waste higher then there will be far bigger in trust within the industry.

What is your strategy to enable growth that is sustainable and inclusive?
There are two things that we are doing, one thing is we are working with lot of brands and helping them on becoming more sustainable by providing them recyclable solutions, we have done a lot in last two years and some of these brands are not just looking forward to work with the company only for India but at a global level for them. The other thing is that we are continuously trying to see whatever waste we generate is reused within our premises within the film or we use it for making other plastic parts for packaging our products for other applications.

What can the Indian government and players with a presence in India do?
I think the Indian government and global players have to work together to define a clear framework. We still see that there is still confusion when it comes to what needs to be done with flexible packaging for food products. I think there has to be more hand-in-hand approach and a clear policy framework which needs to come in terms what needs to be done. I think this problem is not just India-specific this is global and virtually every country or majority of country are working to define that what should be the right framework to make the whole world more sustainable.

What is your share in the Indian market?
Within India we feel that we are spread out somewhere between 20-25% market share.

Tell us about the R&D that goes into your products.
We are one of the strongest teams when it comes to R&D we have a team of more than 15 people within our R&D and we have invested more on the R&D equipments. R&D team consists of doctors, post-doctorates, master degree people who are continuously working on finding new solutions all the time.

What about plans such as expansion, diversification, collaboration and so on?
We have just commissioned a new coating line. We are looking at another asset to be announced soon.

As the CEO of the company, what are your top three strategic priorities?
The first thing is to take care of the various stakeholders and today stakeholders definition is continuously evolving may be 50 years back it used to be shareholders and the customers, suppliers but today society at large is the real stakeholder for any company. We are also into lot of CSR activity mostly in Maharashtra and Gujarat state. Second priority is as the world is growing fast with technology we need to stay up with the same pace with more innovation third thing is again there is so much of changes which is happening in the regulations, currency side so much volatility is there, managing the compliance and volatility part will be the third priority.
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