Mr. Rajesh K Khosla, President and CEO of AGI glaspac, shares his views on glass packaging and the sustainable advancements on glass packaging industry in an exclusive interview with Packaging360. He also provides his insights on new technological innovations on glass packaging industry.
Packaging360: Tell us a Brief about the expansion Journey of AGI glaspac.
Rajesh Khosla: AGI glaspac is a prominent player in the container glass industry. Its installed capacity of 1600 MT per day is the second biggest capacity in the Indian market. We plan to add 1000MT per day additional capacity in the first year.
Out of this 1000 MT, 400 MT will be in the eastern part of India and 350 MT in the northern region, and these two will expand soon. We are now concentrating on the retail segment where we have launched glass water containers with the brand name of Raindrops.
This is currently available online through eCommerce sites and offline through various channel partners and will soon be available in all the hypermarts as well. We also have our own retail chain called ‘Evok’ through which we sell these products.
Packaging360: What are your thoughts on growth of the glass industry in India?
Rajesh Khosla: There is a shift in the preferences of the public due to the circular economy and glass being designated as an environmentally friendly packaging product. Inorganic growth is also expected through the negative perception of plastics and the banning of single-use plastics. Such initiatives will create a natural demand for glass containers.
Glass is a capital-intensive industry, and much capital is required to put up the manufacturing plants. AGI glaspac is well positioned to invest in its expansion plans and to take forward the growth story of glass in India. Currently, the per capita consumption of container glass is hardly even 2kg in India, whereas in China, it is 10-12 kgs. Hence, there is great potential for growth in our country, and we look forward to it.
Currently, in the market, the capacity of container glass industry is around 8000 MT per day. In the coming three to four years, India needs to have a minimal level of growth with at least 2000 MT capacity. AGI aims to capture 30- 50 per cent of that growth, targeting to add at least 800-1000 MT capacity.
P360: What are the highlights of sustainable advancements in the glass manufacturing industry?
RK: AGI glaspac makes sure that the process of manufacturing glass is environment friendly. We have already installed eight MW of solar panels, and we are in the process of installing 16 MW panels. We have installed Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP) that helps in controlling air pollution by reducing SOX, NOX & CO2 emissions.
Only a few of the industry players are following such environment-friendly norms. The industry as a whole needs to implement environment-friendly norms in the process of manufacturing glass. This will not only contribute to creating a sustainable world but also help in increasing exports to Western countries who value such aspects of a manufacturing company.
Mr. Rajesh K Khosla is President & CEO of AGI glaspac, a part of Packaging Products Division (PPD) at HSIL Limited, makers of the iconic brand ‘Hindware’. He is the Current Chairman of EFSI for Telangana & Andhra Pradesh Region. Mr. Khosla packs rich corporate experience, with 27 years spread across domains such as global and international businesses, business strategy, mining operations, and marketing.
P360: Tell us about the new technological advancements in the industry.
RK: There are a lot of technological advancements in the glass industry that will help narrow the gap between usage of glass instead of PET bottles, like light-weighting technologies, NNPV technologies, technologies that are reducing carbon footprints and reducing energy consumption.
P360: What are growth areas in India for the glass industry?
RK: The beer industry is already witnessing the growth, and with the current millennial lifestyle, the liquor industry will also see a spike.
A packaged water industry, which is very low in India right now, will see a distinct growth, too. The market of dairy and beverage industry, when compared to South-east Asia, is quite low here. However, these industries will now see good growth in India as well.
P360: What do you think about growth of the glass industry with plastic phasing out by 2020?
RK: Plastic will not phase out immediately because of the high consumption of plastic in India. However, a lot of social awareness is happening around eliminating plastic from the environment, and it will take about 2-3 years for partial plastic elimination. In this scenario, will glass be classified as a commodity packaging material or a premium/niche packaging?
P360: What are the key drivers that AGI sees in line with its expansion plans?
RK: Key drivers include:
– Government policies and social awareness of redirecting to environmental-friendly packaging
– The young generation that will generate more demand in the glass industry
– AGI glaspac is well placed to grab all the opportunities that the market will present