There are two new writing & printing paper production capacities to hit the industry from relatively less known companies. Two recognized industry experts have associated themselves with these companies.
Both R.L. Lakhotia and Rajiv Sheopuri held prestigious office in their previous positions; while Mr. Lakhotia was Senior President of Century Pulp & Paper, Mr. Sheopuri was Head of Marketing, Sales, Strategy and Business Development at JK Paper Ltd.
Under Mr. Lakhotia’s leadership, Century Pulp & Paper began using all types of fibrous raw materials to produce Writing & Printing (W&P) paper. Moreover, during his tenure, Century also expanded and initiated operations into Tissue and packaging paper respectively. Whereas, JK Paper entered the major arenas of coated paper and packaging board during Mr. Sheopuri’s tenure.
Both have recently associated with emerging companies. While Mr. Lakhotia is now with K.R. Pulp & Papers Ltd, Mr. Sheopuri is with Bindal Papers Ltd. Both companies will produce W&P paper including maplitho, creamwove, and copier paper from a raw material mix of agro-residue and softwood/hardwood pulp.
Bindal Papers, located in Muzaffarnagar, has purchased paper machine from Walmsley, UK with a 300 TPD capacity. While K.R. Pulp and Paper located in Shahjahanpur has purchased the paper machine from Ruby Macons with a production capacity of 250 TPD. Bindal Papers plans to start commercial production in August, while K.R. Pulp & Paper follows in November this year.
The shift from leading companies to emerging names heralds a major change for the industry. Even though both bring reputable brands of thinking, they have challenges ahead. A competent design of policy and procedure in recessionary times will demonstrate their effectiveness. Apart from the recession, a critical aspect is the expected deluge of capacities; our February-March 2009 issue had discussed the need for planned expansion, failing which markets would be flooded with additional capacities, without corresponding increase in demand. Much of the optimistic enthusiasm that had fuelled the capacities surge was corroded by the recession; therefore recession and an excessive increase in capacities is a two pronged force facing the industry.
Though it is expected from Mr. Lakhotia and Mr. Sheopuri to help in creating a market for these new capacities, the abovementioned two-pronged force represents a significant challenge for them.