Corrugated boxes are one of the high-growth sectors of the packaging industry. There are loads of information available online on setting up a corrugated plant and running it and thousands of players in the market. However despite several players the future of corrugated boxes in India is well and growing.
Om Sangam Packers unit at Shristhal Industrial Estate of Canacona, owned by Nitin Narayan Sudhir from Loliem, Canacona, has been in this business for the last eight years. Sudhir is a Std. XII commerce student who right from young age never wished to never work for others but to do some business wherein he would become self-reliant and remain independent. He established the unit in 2008 as he felt it was a product where there is no wastage nor pollution.
“Small scale packaging box manufacturing business is perfect for those aspiring entrepreneurs who have knowledge and experience in commercial packaging system and paper industry” says Sudhir. “One can start this venture whether living in a metro city or suburban, city area. Every small and big manufacturer needs a box for packaging. An attractive and durable packaging box is a must needed product when it comes to dispatching the product to the end users.”
Corrugated boxes are versatile industrial raw material with wide variety of applications and an always ‘in-demand.’ More than 80 per cent of industrial packaging is done by corrugated carton boxes as it provides effective cushioning, is light weight, easy to fabricate, easy for storing, easy for disposal, does not need strapping, is recyclable, etc.
The packaging boxes come in different customized size and shapes and are usually square and rectangular. Boxes are made of corrugated paper board with variety of 3-ply, 5-ply, 7-ply, etc. The business involves purchasing corrugated sheet from the manufacturers or market and turning them into customized boxes as per customer specific requirement.
Corrugated packaging boxes are used in nearly all industries such as, breweries, glass wares, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, biscuits, milk and milk products, soaps, cosmetics, tea and coffee, food items, clothing, chemical, agro-chemicals, leather, etc.
Sudhir says that, there is lot of demand for boxes. He explains that corrugated boxes are printed and non-printed. Most of his finished product goes to the pharmaceuticals and liquor industries. He prepares three layers, five and seven layered boxes.
The manufacturing process is interesting. First the paper roll undergoes heating process in machinery manned by one or two persons, followed by another machine which does the pasting work. Then it is shifted to another machine for scoring (that is sizing) and finally slotting/punching and then stitching is done. The boxes are ready for dispatch to different places.
His unit manufactures about 2000 boxes of small and medium size depending on the demand, says Sudhir. The raw material, viz. paper rolls, wire and gum which is required in the manufacturing process is from Kolhapur, while the finished products is to companies located in Verna Industrial estate, Cuncolim, Madkai, Mapusa, Tivim and Pernem.
Two paper rolls are sufficient to manufacture total of 1500 to 2000, small and medium boxes, while about 800-900 bigger boxes can be prepared using the same amount of paper. One roll of paper weighs about 340-360 kilograms.
When asked if he finds competition tough in the field? Sudhir shots back with the reply, “Surely there is. But one needn’t be afraid as there is lot of demand in the market.” He says that, some years back there were a few units manufacturing corrugated boxes in Goa. But today the number is increased from 25-30 units to to 50-55 units all over the state which shows that competition is increasing as a rapid pace.
Asked on the problems of production, Sudhir says that some of his machines are manually handled but today several units go for automatic machines for manufacturing corrugated boxes. His vision is to update his system so that he has more automatic machines and can closely compete with others, he says.
Om Sangam Packers has eight workers in all who work in only one shift from 8.30am to 5.00 pm with an hour of break for lunch in between. Salaries range according to workers skills and it starts at Rs 7000 per month and goes up to Rs 15000 per month depending on the experience. “Labour insurance is there for my workers,”: says Sudhir. He adds that, one advantage he has in the unit is that his workforce is from Canacona itself which save a lot of time and therefore he finds it easy to work with them.
The delivery for the finished product/goods is done through transportation of goods by a pick-up, every alternate day or sometime twice a week, depending on the demand of the products.
Sudir’s advice to the younger generation is, “Do not just vie and wait for government jobs because they will elude you. Rather start your own business on a small scale initially and then expand. When you do this your self-reliance is assured and you are independent and have freedom.”
He informs that, the unit is financed through bank loans and repayments are always in time. As regards water connectivity, it is regular, he says. Later he discloses that, the electricity supply is all right but sometimes there is no current and he suffers in business as the “machinery is standstill and the workers have no work to do.”