Kolkata-based corrugation specialist Pioneer Packaging Industries is looking to expand beyond West Bengal in a bid to explore new growth areas, Dinesh Kumar Agarwala, director of Pioneer Packaging Industries, told Packaging South Asia. “The Covid-19 related restrictions have been lifted across the country, and the economy is getting back to normal. To capitalize on the growth potential of the Indian packaging industry, we are looking to set up operations outside of West Bengal. The growth in the state has plateaued, so it makes sense to look for opportunities in newer areas. We have not decided the location, but central India could be an area of interest,” says Agarwala.
Pioneer Packaging is one of the oldest corrugation specialists in east India, making regular slotted containers, duplex, diecut, self-form and variable size boxes. It is a key supplier to a large number of multinational companies in the FMCG, food, beverages, and eCommerce segments for their requirements for quality corrugated boxes.
Bobst FFG helps the company’s growth
Pioneer installed its first Bobst FFG 8.20 Discovery machine at the end of 2018, the first inline flexo folder gluer in Eastern India. Pioneer ordered a second FFG 8.20 Discovery machine in 2020 based on its experience with the first machine and the prompt service and support from the local Bobst team based in Pune. Successfully installed last year, the Discovery 8.20 has 18,000 boxes an hour production speed.
The RSC boxes produced on the Bobst FFG 8.20 Discovery are as per global standards and perform well on auto erecting lines. The performance of the corrugated cartons on such machinery without any complaints is considered a big advantage by Pioneer in meeting and exceeding the expectations of its customers.
In the last three years, the company’s production has grown rapidly due to the exponential demand for packaging during the pandemic. While the company’s production was approximately 30 million square meters in 2019, it grew to 43 million square meters in 2020 and reached 50 million square meters in 2021. “Our production grew rapidly during the pandemic as demand for food and FMCG products was very robust. We will not see the growth rates that we saw in the last two years, although the growth of the Indian corrugated industry will remain robust,” says Agarwala.
Ram Gopal Agarwala, chairman and managing director of Pioneer Packaging, adds, “We feel that eCommerce is booming in the post-pandemic during the market recovery phase. Therefore corrugation in India has a deal of scope going forward, taking India from a US$ 2.9 trillion to a US$ 5 trillion economy.”
Talking about the Bobst FFG machine, Ram Gopal Agarwala says the company evaluated a few machines from the Far East. It also looked at the Bobst machines at a few locations until the company management was convinced that a Bobst machine was the one that could adequately resolve its production shortcomings. “Soon, we required another machine to fulfil the further increase in requirements and demands – and we did not think of any other machine than the Bobst Discovery 8.20 itself,” says Ram Gopal Agarwala.
Getting into E flute cartons
Pioneer Packaging has bought a 50,000 square foot area near its existing plant that it plans to use for setting up its E-flute carton making operations. “The land parcel was being used to keep stocks during the pandemic. Now we want to use it for making E-flute cartons. We do not make E flute cartons at present, and this expansion will help us diversify our product range,” concludes Dinesh Kumar Agarwala.