Entering the new millennium, Cosmo Films was steadily growing, so was the market for
BOPP and also the market share of Cosmo for BOPP films. With a positive situation prevailing, they became bullish and registered unprecedented growth in this decade. In 2001 they commissioned their fourth line and a year later in 2002 they acquired Gujarat Propack Limited, the Karjan Vadodara based BOPP manufacturer which became their fifth BOPP line. In 2003 the sixth line was commissioned and in the very next year in 2004 they decided to go for specialties in BOPP by adding a metalizer, an extrusion coating plant and yet another BOPP line taking their total count to seven. Expanding on coated products, they commissioned their second extrusion coating line in 2005. Encouraged by the success, Cosmo added five more extrusion coating lines. Two were added in 2006, one in 2007 and two more in 2008. Extending their footprint globally, in 2009 they acquired USA headquartered GBC’s Print Finishing Business from Acco Brands Corporation USA. Also in 2009 they enhanced their BOPP production capacity with yet another line at Vadodara, taking the total to 8 lines.
|Cosmo Films Vadodara Unit|
|Cosmo Films Hagerstown USA|
With Pankaj Poddar at helm, the company became more aggressive especially in the label segment. The label segment comprising of self-adhesive labels, wrap around labels and IML is continuously growing in volumes. They supply these films worldwide with some sales also in China. Today leading Indian Labelstock and other label producers use Cosmo’s products for labels. Label films continue to become a substantial part of the company’s product offerings these are now around 15% of their total production. Cosmo has invested in creating the right products to facilitate top of the line decorative packaging. Their offerings include films that are white opaque pearlised, transparent, solid white, gloss/matt metalized, etc. Their films have a clean surface, have excellent gloss, high clarity and can be printed by different print technologies that include printing by using Water based inks, UV inks, Gravure inks, Thermal transfer ribbon printing and some Digital print processes. According to Pankaj, while the domestic BOPP market is growing at around 10 % per annum, the growth is slightly more in self adhesive labels and IML, yet Cosmo is registering a growth rate above this due to their increasing exports. They are committed to diversify more and more into the specialty segments due to depressed margins of commodity products in a competitive scenario. They will soon be launching direct thermal printable film and paper. Being firmly committed to maintain their leadership, for them delivery of quality and innovative products is a priority. They have invested more than 1.50 Million US$ in their new Research and Development/Innovation centre. The centre has capability to analyse the entire film’s chemistry viz. surface, polymer and chemical analysis. The centre is also capable of testing all properties of the film right from its concept stage way upto its end applications. Centre can also conduct in house printing tests with diverse processes like Screen, UV flexo, Gravure printing, Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer Printing.
Pankaj is emphatic that BOPP consumption will continue to grow at a fast pace, but he wishes to see Cosmo diversify more into specialty segments. They will also be adding a Cast Poly Propylene film (CPP) and metalized CPP film line in 2018; they will also be installing a PET film line. Both product lines will be packaging and label centric. PET will be majorly offered as label face or later for release liner applications. PET liners can reduce the adverse impact of liner waste on the environment by bringing down the tonnage of liners using thinner liners. While most of the present paper siliconised liners go to landfills, PET liners can be recycled. Capacity enhancement for synthetic paper is also on cards. Their biggest competition at global level comes from Jindal Poly films subsequent to their acquisition of Exxon Mobil’s BOPP films division and from Innovia films. However still, Pankaj says, “We will be enhancing capacities. As for specialties, we have no real competition”. Pensively and hesitantly he does agree that digital printing direct on product that will eliminate the substrate maybe a challenge but he is confident it will not affect Cosmo’s growth plans.
Cosmo Films is an environmentally conscious company and continues to make strides in implementing eco friendly measures. All coatings on their films are water based and they support water based ink printing for conversion of their films. They are an ISO: 14001 certified company. The waste water in all their plants, after effluent treatment, is used for gardening. All plant sites have water harvesting. Natural lighting is used wherever possible. They plan to initiate a solar power plant at their Vadodara site as a first experiment and if found successful, they will replicate in other sites as well. Every employee in their organization has to undergo training. As a part of their corporate social responsibility, they work on supplementing basic education provided to young children in government schools in and around their plants through various sustainable programs like Computer Literacy, basic English Learning, basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. They have trained about 150 rural youth as qualified teachers to be able to execute this and till date more than 25000 students have benefitted from these programs.
Pankaj feels in 5 years Cosmo’s turnover will more than double up from the present 300 million US Dollars to 600-700 US Dollars. This he states will be just from the ongoing organic growth. However if they install more projects and happen to acquire some businesses, the turnover may reach USD 1 billion. The present share of specialty films in the company portfolio is around 40%, he hopes and wishes to increase this share to 60% so as to keep adding value to its bottom line.
Written for Packaging South Asia magazine by Harveer Sahni Chairman, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi, December 2017.
Print Publications wanting to reproduce may do so by giving credit to the author Harveer Sahni and by mentioning that it is published in arrangement with "Packaging South Asia"