We can expect good growth & investments in FMCG, packaging sectors

Interview – Mrunal Joshi, CEO and vice-chairperson of Nichrome India

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Mrunal Joshi, CEO and vice-chairperson of Nichrome India

Mrunal Joshi, CEO and vice-chairperson of Nichrome India – a manufacturer of packaging machines, packaging systems and filling systems – talks about market trends, customer behavior, the Indian packaging market, adoption of technology and automation.

How have you seen the market change over the past decade? 

Consumer demand has drastically changed over the years, leading to the expansion of the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sector in India. This is further fueled by the rise in product prices of essential goods. The growth of this sector is because of various favorable government initiatives and policies, the rising rural market and youth population, and the growth of eCommerce platforms.

The FMCG sector is India’s fourth largest and has been exponentially growing over the past years. According to reports, the sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27.9% till the year 2027.

Overall, we see healthy growth and huge investments in the FMCG and packaging sectors. Various government policies are extremely favorable for the further growth of these sectors. The government announced that the food processing industry has invested US$ 593 million under the PLI scheme, which will increase the sales and export of food products. At Nichrome, we are happy to see this exponential growth and are looking forward to cementing our leadership in these sectors.

Do you think the buying pattern of your customers has changed post-pandemic? 

There has been a drastic rise in the eCommerce and D2C segments. With the D2C evolution, there has been a huge rise in the packaging and FMCG sectors. We see a paradigm shift in the buying pattern of consumers. This has led to factories and manufacturing units changing their production runs.

Factories primarily ask for features such as easy changeover for changing from mass production to smaller batch runs. We see a steep rise in the demand for remote monitoring and remote access services. Additionally, we see our customers asking for secure and safer machines, especially those connected to the IT space.

How do you see the rate of technology adoption in the Indian packaging market? 

Packaging globally is a technology-intensive industry. It is typically fast to adopt new technologies. Thus, most of the technological advancements are evident in the FMCG industry. Owing to the various government initiatives, coupled with consumer demand, the rate of technology adoption in the Indian packaging market is much higher than seen in other sectors in India.

The packaging industry has widely adopted automation for decades. Today, factories are looking at digitizing operations. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, IIoT, and the digitalization of operations and process is common in the Indian packaging market. Earlier, new technologies adopted by the Western world would take 5-6 years to become popular in India. With globalization, increased competition, and ease of access to technology advancements, this difference has drastically reduced. I am sure the packaging market will further see higher adoption of technology in years to come.

Could you highlight your offerings for the FMCG and packaging market? 

We have been in the packaging industry since we developed India’s first indigenous milk packaging machine in 1977. Since then, we have been at the forefront of next-generation packaging technologies and have become a brand trusted for its rich legacy of pioneering innovation, extensive domain knowledge, and manufacturing competency in packaging systems. Nichrome has the expertise, capabilities, and innovation to transform productivity and enrich customer relationships in infinite ways.

We are leaders when it comes to packaging machines, including vertical form fill seal (VFFS), horizontal form fill seal (HFFS), and sealing systems. Our VFFS machines are able to fill solids, liquids, as well as viscous fluids with extreme accuracy.

As far as packaging systems are concerned, we offer a complete portfolio for any packaging line – right from product handling, primary packaging, secondary packaging, end-of-line packaging, warehousing, and track and trace to any industry-specific solutions. We meet the stringent packaging needs of the pharmaceutical, food as well as non-food industries. The non-food market includes agrochemicals, fertilizers, adhesives, coolants, paint powder, hardware, cement, pet foods, and dyes and pigments. We are proud of the fact that we offer an entire spectrum of machines that cater to various industries. With our innovative, efficient, reliable, fast, and accurate machines, we are a trusted choice for customers for various applications.

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A PLC-based control system and optional interface with PC & data processors make the Maxima 200/400 a favorite with powder manufacturers. The Maxima 200 packs up to 200 pouches/min. while the Maxima 400 packs up to 400 pouches/min. Single or perforated chain of pouches can be produced. The Maxima 400 has flexibility to pack different products with different quantities on each head.

Why do we need strong partnerships in the Indian packaging market? How do you work with vendors and customers?

Strong partnerships are of utmost importance in the Indian packaging market. At Nichrome, we recognize the value of long-term collaborations with customers, vendors, and stakeholders. Rather than treating partnerships as one-off relationships, we prioritize lasting connections and cooperative efforts.

Working closely with vendors is crucial for ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality materials, equipment, and components necessary for our packaging solutions. By establishing reliable and mutually beneficial relationships with vendors, we can source the best resources and technology, ensuring the efficiency and quality of our packaging processes.

In our interactions with customers, we emphasize understanding their unique requirements and tailoring our solutions to meet their specific needs. Through open and transparent communication, we gain insights into their challenges, goals, and the dynamics of their markets. By fostering strong relationships with our customers, we deliver customized packaging solutions, dependable after-sales support, and responsive service.

At Nichrome, our approach to partnerships is centered around trust, transparency, and mutual growth. By working closely with our customers, vendors, and stakeholders, we can create a sustainable ecosystem that drives innovation, efficiency, and success in the dynamic Indian packaging market.

Can you tell us about the automation and software development process with Trio Motion  Technology?

Automation is one of the most important aspects; the brain of a system. We work with partners that are able to understand our market and requirements and optimize the solutions for making our machines faster, smoother and rugged, and reliable. Trio Motion Technology is one such partner.

We benefit from Trio’s technology know-how and expertise that helps make our machines highly performant, efficient, and productive. The motion technology, a single controller, and an integrated software approach have benefited us. Their after-market support is commendable.

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