TAPPI Conference In India a Success

MUMBAI & NEW DELHI, INDIA | Growth, opportunity, and innovation were the themes of the 2009 Flexible Packaging Symposium on trends and technology development co-hosted by TAPPI, the Indian organization PFFCA (Paper, Film and Foil Converter's Assn.), and the SIES School of Packaging. The event, held in Mumbai and New Delhi, India, Nov. 10-14, 2009, attracted more than 200 industry professionals.

Attendees gained the insight provided in nearly 30 technical papers covering topics from the status and potential of flexible packing in India and how to enter the US flexible packaging market to extrusion coating process improvements and advances in barrier films technology.

The first of its kind in more than 12 years, symposium chair Bruce Foster considers it a success. “I'm pleased to say that based on the feedback from the attendees and the co-hosts, it was a meaningful learning and networking experience for everyone,” he said.

While today, 80% of the packaged products are consumed by 20% of the population, there is much room for growth — that growth is on the way. As the Indian economy continues to expand despite setbacks in other parts of the world, there is not only increased purchasing power of households but there is a greater number of households able to purchase low-priced, packaged foods. It is expected that the percent of households able to consume these types of products will reach 40% in the near term.

While the bulk of flexible packaging manufacturers struggle to keep up with domestic packaging demands, there is a select group of companies reaching out toward expanding into new markets. For them, countries like the US, UK, South Africa, Angola, and Brazil present diverse opportunities. But those opportunities don't come without challenge. To enter countries such as the US, Indian manufacturers know they will need to meet the strict requirements of the FDA and other quality assurance organizations.

Events such as the Flexible Packaging Symposium provide a forum for Indian manufacturers to stay abreast of trends and technologies that not only will enrich the domestic market but provide a chance to learn about expanding into new markets by employing new methodologies for a global competitive advantage. Companies represented by the speakers included Davis Standard, Enercon Industries, Pinnacle XL, Comexi, Mica, and more. The organizations are “looking forward to scheduling another event in 2011,” added Foster.

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