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JK Paper: Thriving on Innovation and Sustainability

JK Paper Ltd., a prominent player in the Indian paper industry, offers sustainable paper solutions tailored to various needs. The company adopts a responsible approach to paper production by utilizing Social Farm Forestry methods. This ensures that not a single natural forest tree is harmed in the process. Emphasizing environmental consciousness, their paper-based solutions are not only 100% bio-degradable but also entirely recyclable. Thus, they empower customers to make choices that contribute to a sustainable future.

The company operates three integrated Pulp and Paper Mills strategically located across India. They have factories in Rayagada, Odisha; Songadh, Gujarat; and Kagaznagar, Telangana. Collectively, these units contribute to JK Paper’s robust production capabilities. Following a recent expansion of 170,000 TPA capacity in the Packaging Board at Songadh, Gujarat, the company’s present installed capacity stands at an impressive 761,000 TPA.

JK Paper’s journey has evolved from being a pioneer of branded paper in India to emerging as a leading provider of sustainable paper product solutions. Their commitment to environmental responsibility, coupled with a rich legacy, positions JK Paper at the forefront of the industry. Moreover, they not only offer customers just paper but also a pathway to a greener and more sustainable future.

Talking to The Interview World at Paperex, Partha Biswas, Chief of Sales and Marketing, underscores how JK Paper is breaking the barrier of conventions. Here are the excerpts.

Q: How do you keep ahead of your competitors?

A: In our ongoing efforts to outpace competitors, we are strategically expanding our reach across India, aiming to encompass wider geographies. In addition to this, our focus extends even to smaller markets, where we are actively working to augment our market share. One distinctive approach we have adopted is the “service at the doorstep” initiative, fostering direct engagement with our customers. This unique strategy sets us apart, as none of our counterparts in India currently offer a comparable service.

In contrast to our competitors who persist with the traditional wholesale network model, we have developed a robust retail network. This shift not only aligns with contemporary market dynamics but also positions us as pioneers in adapting to evolving consumer preferences. Complementing our strategic initiatives is our unwavering commitment to delivering the highest quality products to our customers. Further, we solidify our competitive edge in the market by focusing on technology and differentiative products.

Q: What new initiatives are you taking now?

A: We’ve embarked on a new initiative that aligns with the prevailing shift from plastics to paper. The government’s emphasis on reducing single-use plastic has prompted us to devise various solutions to address this concern. In our commitment to this initiative, we now offer specific grades of paper as alternatives for plastic bags, cups, and straws wherever needed. Our range includes oil and grease-grade paper, food-grade paper, and even aqueous barrier paper designed for cup production. These innovations signify our dedication to meeting customer needs in an environmentally sustainable manner.

In our pursuit of customer-centricity, we’ve implemented numerous measures. By engaging directly with end customers, we gather valuable insights that guide the development of new solutions tailored for various sectors, including the food industry, beverage industry, FMCG sector, clothing sector, and more. This approach is especially pertinent as multinational corporations increasingly transition from non-sustainable to sustainable packaging solutions. Recognizing this shift, we collaborate closely with these companies to offer solutions that align with their sustainable objectives. This collaborative effort enables us to continuously evolve and introduce innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

Q: Are you using new technologies to enhance production efficiency?

A: Two years ago, we made a strategic investment in a cutting-edge packaging board machine equipped with state-of-the-art technology. This advanced machinery features a curtain coater capable of applying a diverse range of coatings on both paper and boards. These coatings are tailored to meet specific criteria, such as providing a barrier on paper or addressing other requirements essential for the production of papers intended for packaging solutions. Leveraging the capabilities of this machine, we are actively developing a myriad of solutions for converters, enabling them to deliver customized packaging solutions to a broad spectrum of multinational corporations.

Q: What’s your export target?

A: As one of the country’s largest exporters, our significant export volumes play a pivotal role in bringing foreign currencies into our nation. Our exports constitute nearly 10% of the overall production, showcasing the substantial impact we have on international trade. Specializing in copier papers and packaging boards, we reach 62 countries across the globe, spanning Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, and America.

Leveraging our extensive network, we strategically market and sell our products worldwide. Our commitment to innovation is evident in the technologies we’ve developed, such as anti-fungal boards utilized for soap cartons and various food-grade boards. These cutting-edge solutions not only cater to domestic markets but also receive approval from multinational corporations, allowing us to extend our reach to their counterparts in international markets. This global approach reinforces our position as a key player in the international export landscape.

Q: Do you have any expansion plans regarding the plants?

A: Currently, we have successfully stabilized our extensive expansion efforts. One crucial aspect of this stabilization involves reducing our reliance on pulp imports. Specifically, in the realm of packaging board production, a particular type of pulp known as BCTMP (bleached chemical-thermomechanical pulp) is essential. Unfortunately, BCTMP is not readily available in India, and our domestic manufacturing capabilities do not encompass its production. Consequently, we have had to import this pulp. In response, we have proactively developed the capacity to manufacture BCTMP domestically. This strategic move not only lessens our dependence on imports but also contributes to saving foreign currency, fostering greater self-reliance.

The primary focus of our endeavors lies in these pivotal initiatives. Additionally, our progress extends into the arena of conversion, marked by strategic acquisitions that enhance our capabilities. Notably, we have acquired Horizon Packs, the largest corrugated paper manufacturer, and more recently, Manipal Utility. These strategic acquisitions represent forward integration initiatives that play a crucial role in expanding our capabilities. Furthermore, they empower us to develop innovative products. By integrating these organizations into our operations, we gain valuable capabilities that enable the creation of new solutions, catering to a diverse range of customers.

Sustainable Solutions by JK Paper
Sustainable Solutions by JK Paper
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