An Interview with Mr. Shailesh Nema, Vice President and Managing Director, The Michelman Innovation Centre for Coatings

The Michelman Innovation Centre for Coatings(MICC) was recently inaugurated in Mumbai and Packaging 360 took the opportunity of having a chat with Mr Shailesh Nema, Vice President and Managing Director, Michelman about the center and their future plans in India. Shailesh Nema has been closely associated with the packaging industry for over two decades in India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.  and here is how the interview panned out.

Can you please enumerate the Vision & Mission of Michelman in India?

Our vision and Mission in India  is to offer the packaging industry, the tools to innovate and comply with Plastic Waste Management and other regulations; Offer greener and environment friendly solutions; Evaluate newer technologies, prototype innovative structures, accelerate the concept-to-commercialization cycle and achieve cost efficiency.

What are the innovation opportunities identified by Michelman which has relevance to the Indian market? How does the Mumbai-based Innovation centre with its world-class resources  plan to take these innovations & solutions to the market?

There always have been many opportunities in India, however in the past while developing packaging for various products, the packaging industry and the stakeholders were not very conscious of future repercussions of the solutions adopted and hence today we see issues related to the environment, paucity of resources, etc.

Michelman has been a manufacture and promoter of water-based coatings for over 70 years, and Michelman solutions hold more relevance in India today, than they have any time in the past. With solutions such as FDA approved coatings for the food & beverage segment, edible oil, Pharmaceutical, etc to name a few, Michelman is working with many brands and converters on packaging structures that besides, meeting their own specific criteria, are recyclable and Plastic waste management(PWM) regulation compliant . 

MICC is a fully integrated packaging incubator that allows brands and converters to evaluate new technologies, prototype innovative packaging structures, test customized coating formulations and quickly commercialize superior packaging, without having to stop their own assets used for their own commercial manufacturing. 

Activities at MICC have intensified with the enforcement of PWM as manufactures are looking for rapid prototyping and solutions, which is exactly what MICC offers.

What are the technologies/solutions offered by Michelman for the flexible packaging industry based on plastics & paper -based substrates?

Michelman is a global developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly advanced materials for coatings, printing & packaging and industrial manufacturing markets.

Michelman is also well known as an innovator in the development of barrier coatings like oxygen, moisture barrier and oil grease resistance. The company is also a strong player in functional coatings for heat sealable coatings, extrusion primers and other surface modifiers used commonly in the flexible packaging industry.

On paper based substrates, Michelman offers barrier products that offer water repellence for applications that require deep freeze and cold chain performance.

How does Michelman envisage to building the sustainable food packaging solutions, especially in the present context where there is a build up for a plastics ban?

Thanks to advancement in green water based coatings, Michelman has solutions that will facilitate brands and converters to shift from multi-layered flexible packaging to mono material structures with enhanced barrier properties. Such structures not only offers recyclability benefits but can also be optimised to the meet the performance requirements of specific food product being packed.

Food packaging in India has growing at an aggressive pace and regulatory compliance should not per perceived as a hurdle by brands, but as an opportunity to establish themselves as a brands that are environmentally conscious and compliant with global health and safety standards.

All this can be conceptualised, developed and tested at MICC.                                                                       

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