Packaging is the moment of truth at the Point of Sale: Ashwani Sharma
Packaging is the moment of truth at the Point of Sale: Ashwani Sharma

ASEPTO as a brand is adding innovation in the Aseptic Liquid Packaging. The idea is to promote a safe and hygienic packaging solution to preserve freshness. The natural and sustainable way of packaging without compromising on the ability to influence the market, is the key point on which Uflex works. They have attained the same with the use of new, high end technology and running advanced engineering hubs to manufacture the best packaging materials to ensure the freshness of products. Innovation and advancement in methodology is the mantra to the success of this industry. Ashwani K Sharma, President & CEO, New Business Initiative, Uflex Ltd talks to about his maiden brand ASEPTO.

What kind of packaging solutions do you provide to Indian retailers?
Uflex is India’s largest fully integrated multinational flexible packaging materials and solutions company catering to over 140 countries across the globe.

Our six strategic business units give us the unique and competitive edge and have helped to earn an irreproachable reputation of a fully integrated flexible packaging company with a formidable market presence in over 140 countries across the globe. These six businesses are:

1.      Packaging Film

2.      Packaging Products

3.      Engineering

4.      Cylinders

5.      Holography

6.      Chemicals

In the amazing series of packaging Innovation aseptic, Liquid Packaging is now making it’s space globally. The new brand ASEPTO from the house of Uflex is the new business initiative living up to the promise of innovation to create value added differentiation into Aseptic Liquid Packaging.

The manufacturing plant is a state-of-the-art aseptic packaging plant in the industrial hub of Sanand, in Gujarat, where safe and hygienic aseptic packaging material required for packing liquid products is manufactured. ASEPTO, offers six layered packaging and design solutions , built on the 3 P’s of packaging i.e. PRESERVE – PROTECT AND PROMOTE, keeping in mind the perspectives of customers & end users. The packaging solution thus engineered is highly effective and optimised with best material application comprising Paperboard, Aluminium and Polyethylene.

ASEPTO name is derived from the word Aseptic which means sterile, and the catchphrase is the product’s promise to its customers ---- “Freshness Preserved” Our approach is to create innovative printing which gives a distinct appeal to the packs drawing the attention of customers at “POINT OF SALE". Our design methodology truly understands the merit of standing out of the clutter and the struggle to get noticed in an already inundated retail shelf. Being end-to-end packaging solution provider that it is, Uflex also offers packaging machines for filling these aseptic packs. These machines are being especially designed at its engineering plant in Noida.

What kind of trends are you witnessing in packaging industry, especially in retail/FMCG sector?
With convenience goods becoming a staple in the lifestyles of the Indian consumers, particularly from the upwardly –mobile urban populance, the country’s FMCG market is witnessing massive growth, the industry is very wide and equally diverse, and so are its packaging requirements. Every year thousands of new products and SKUs are introduced.

Packaging is inalieanble from the overall product experience and in fact forms the first tryst or moment of truth at the Point of Sale (POS). Thus packaging is a key differentiator that clearly brings out the brand proposition on an already inundated retail shelf. According to a recent survey by Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) the FMCG industry in the country will more than double from the current levels to reach USD 103.7 Billion by 2020.

Considering several tangible factors that underlines paradigm shift in the packaging industry, aseptic liquid packaging is the one that perhaps stands out  the most, it can ensure that the food product can remain sterile and free from micro-oragnisms for a longer period of time without refrigeration, these packages enable optimum utilistaion of storage and transportation space ,further bringing down the logistical and warehouse costs, ensuring the fact  that the consumers get better quality, unadulterated cosnumables than they have been able to hitherto enjoy.

What are the benefits of your packaging solutions?
ASEPTO packs give freedom of choice in terms of branding and it comes with various innovative printing innovation which not just benefits the brand visibility but also engages consumers  in a more interactive way.

Above the aesthetic benefits the multi-layered construction enables the carton to protect the contents from various factors responsible for spoilage, thereby preserving the product freshness and value. The packaging also increases shelf life of the product also saving from dependency on the cold chain besides enunciating easy handle-ability.

Our packaging design technology includes an optimised blend of enhanced aesthetics, colour schemes, shapes, functionalities and brand protection features among others. Our hi-specification paperboard and printing technologies do everything right from real-time color monitoring, defect detection and rendering seven-colour output all at lightning-fast speeds. This enables quick turnaround, in terms of high quantities of precisely sized sheets for undertaking specific packaging production runs, simultaneously, optimising efficiency and minimising waste.

Who are some of your retail/FMCG clients?
Under the umbrella of uflex we are already offering end to end flexible packaging solutions  to brands like Nestle ,Dabur, Amul , Coca Cola and Pepsico among several others. So the benchmarks are already created not only in india but for the global brands too.  We will surely make the most of this opportunity to proliferate our new business of aseptic liquid packaging with our existing customers and several new ones. There is a growing interest about our new product offering and we are fully prepared.

What are your domestic and international expansion plans?
Presently the Indian Aseptic Liquid Packaging Market is growing @17-18% per annum and the market is expected to double up in the next five years to approximately 20 billion packs per annum as per Warnick International Report.

ASEPTO the aseptic liquid packaging business is coming  up as a total system supplier in the market. We will be offering Packaging & Design Solutions along with associated Filling Machines coupled up with impeccable technical support which will be a true differentiator.

Our manufacturing capacity to produce 7billion packs per annum that caters to 90% of the domestic market, with that strength we see a great opportunity  to cater the domestic markets definitely. In the initial phase our focus is to cover  India market aggressively, and simultaneously will be  approaching global markets, as we see high potential there too.“Make in India”and “Made for the world” is what we are.

Do you have any plan to diversify into other businesses?
ASEPTO the Aseptic Packaging Business is the new business initiative from the house of  Uflex.With the liquid packaging business we will complete our entire product bouquet that at present spans across solids, semi solids, powders, granules, viscous fluids, pastes and gels.

What are your market shares in India?
In the Indian organised sector for flexible packaging in terms of net sales our market share would be somewhere around 25to 35%.

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