India ended 2016 with a bang, with the government banning old high-value currency notes to curb black economy. The knock-on effect of that was a sudden slowdown in demand across all industries as the common man struggled to make ends meet due to limited availability of cash. It has been over two months since the shock move by the Modi government and it looks like the market is returning to ‘business-as-usual’. Although, every businessman knows that ‘business-as-usual’ doesn’t quite mean the same as it used to before November 8, 2016.
Over last few years, we have seen Indian packaging growth and development lean towards flexible packaging primarily due to limited shelf space in Indian houses. With various other advantages that flexible packaging offers over rigid packagings, such as better brand appeal, barrier properties and much more, the pace of development and quality has improved tremendously and at Alpha, we are playing our part by increasing our capacity and product offerings.
We launched the Mulch film in the beginning of 2017 and throughout the year, will look to increase awareness of such film in agricultural applications. India is an agriculture-based economy and we felt the need to add value to this industry. With this product, Alpha has added a 'non-packaging' product to our portfolio, for the first time. The mulch film can increase crop yield by up to 33%.
As the Modi government introduced a slew of reforms over next year, including the introduction of GST, and with the Indian packaging industry showing double-digit growth we have put in place our own expansion plans. Much of Alpha’s focus will be on POF shrink film and Mulch film as it looks to increase production capacity for both films this year.
At Alpha, we are as optimistic as ever about the Indian Growth Story and within that, the packaging industry. It is well known within the industry that packaging consumption per capita in India is 4 times less than China and about 10 times less than the USA. With the Indian packaging industry pegged to grow from US$ 35 billion to US$73 billion by 2020, there is no other place Alpha would rather be.