The inaugural session kick started the current 12th edition of the show amid boisterous crowd formed of represen-tatives of all corners of the paper industry from India and the world
Paperex 2015, World’s Largest Paper Show, with 545 Leading Exhibitors from 33 Countries including Group Participation from- China, Finland and Taiwan, was inaugurated on November 1 with the presence of few leading names of the paper industry on the dais and the rest constituting the audience. All top brands are displaying their products at the show, of which few may be mentioned such as BILT, JK Paper, Century, International Paper, Trident, TNPL, West Cost, Pudumjee, APP, Valmet, Voith, and Andritz. ITEI with an active support of various national and International trade associations is organizing the event.
Since its inception in 1993, the show has become a kind of citadel for all who matter and wish to matter in the global paper industry. Paperex has become a viable outlet for expressing the achievements and aspirations of the paper industry including the most pressing and pertinent issues. This fact was corroborated by the presence of present stalwarts of the industry on the dais inaugurating the show of the likes of Mr. Gautam Thapar and Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, the chief guests. Besides, the show has invairably proved to be a great business and networking platform for the industry.
The three day show, apart from being a wide exhibiting ground, is slated to become one of the brainstorming sessions in the form of a panel discussion and eight technical sessions spread across three days. ‘Road ahead for Indian Paper Industry’ was the theme for the panel discussion on the first day and themes of technical session are going to be Paper Industry, Quality Management and Storage System; Environmental Protection; Developments in Utilities: Pumping, Roll handling and Lime Klin; Coating and Printing; Fiberline; Agro-based Paper Mills; Paper & Board Making, Steam Technology and Nanotechnology; and Recycled Fiber: R&D and Recycling. These themes are designed to cover the pertinent issues of the every segment of the paper industry.
Mr. Pramod Agarwal, President, IARPMA welcoming the guests and delegates, said, “Paperex since 1993 has become a major event today and everyone in the paper industry takes huge interest in the show. That shows the kind of success the show has achieved over the years. I welcome all the captains of the Indian paper industry and delegates from around the world.”
Mr. Udo Schuertzmann, MD, ITE said, “The Paperex has now become the only comprehensive business platform servicing the paper industry and established itself as the business partner of the paper industry supporting the overall growth of the industry.
He added that Paperex 2015 along with Tissuesex has already received an overwhelming response from all part of the world. “With over 445 leading exporter from 33 countries, and over 25,000 visitors from more than 55 countries prove the kind of popularity the show has garnered. The major highlight of the current edition of the show is the group participation from China, Japan, Taiwan, Finland, Germany, etc.,” he said.
Highlighting the theme of Paperex 2015, “Pulp and Paper Industry: Innovation, Need of the Hour”, Mr. N. Gopalaratnam, Chairman, Paperex 2015 Technical committee & Chiarman, Seshasayee Paper and Boards Limted, said, “This USD 500 billion global industry has been on the slippery ground in both the North American and European markets. Unfortunately, this has got extended to the Asian countries like India and China. The slipping growth in the industry demands fresh thoughts and concepts to regenerate itself and reach on the higher side.
Mr. N. Gopalaratnam also said that the aim of the conference and technical sessions ahead is going to be the effort towards providing inputs for operational improvements and strategy to fight cost escalations. He added that Paperex 2015’s recognition of Mr. S. Viswanathan in the form a memorial lecture on him is commendable.
The keynote speaker, Mr. Jari Vahapesola, President, Paper Business Line, Valmet also paid tribute to Mr. S. Viswanathan in his address. He said, “For Sri SV, as referred to by his friends and associates, preserving the country’s forest resources and enhancing sustainability were of great importance, and for e.g. the use of bagasse or wheat straw as material for paper industry was one efficient way to promote this target. Today, about 20 percent of the paper made in India is manufactured out of unconventional raw materials, i.e. other than wood fibers. This we have very much Sri SV to thank for.
Mr. Vahapesola added that on the line of Mr. Viswanathan, Valmet also believed in Innovation and R&D for taking his customers performance forward by supplying advanced technologies, automation and services to the pulp, paper and energy industries globally.
Mr. Vahapesola, besides talking on innovation and research, also emphasized on issues like collaboration with stakeholders to augment innovativeness, sustainability as key focus area, and making overall pulp and paper industry sustainable with the help of technology infusion.
Mr. Sanjay Singh, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC Ltd – PSPD as always was at his quintessential optimism and asserted that this slackening growth of the paper industry in India is just transient and that paper industry is geared to register a healthy growth in coming times. “Being an optimist, I believe that paper industry will do very well in India. The implicit fight between the paper industry and e-media will continue for a while, but we are slowly getting an edge in this battle as people now are realizing the associated hazards of the electronic medium in the form of piling up e-waste. It sure is going to create a problem,” he said.
Mr. Singh, while contrasting the paper with e-media, said that paper is fully sustainable and the paper industry is one of the most sustainable industries of the world – product, process and raw material wise. He added that the process of declining growth can be reversed by investing in environment friendly technologies and this is only question of time when we start this reverse process.
Mr. Singh also raised some of the pertinent issues like the need of the govt. to restructure the economy as fast as possible, flux of imports creating pressure on paper prices, and the need of chalking out an energy strategy by the whole industry. “Though imports are creating a kind of pressure on our price structure, in a way, it’s also forming a ground for the healthy completion where we can focus on augmenting our quality by investing in technology,” he added.
Mr. Gautam Thapar, Chairman, Avantha Group and Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, JK Paper Ltd. Addressed the inaugural session conjointly, a rare yet pleasing occasion. Both the chief guests raised relevant issues and assured the paper industry that there is nothing to worry about the future. The overall address was dotted with humour and serious talk making the session worthwhile to attend.
“The paper industry seems to be an industry that despite the talks about stagnancy keeps on growing and also an industry which has a lot of resilience,” said he.
Mr. Singhania said, “The paper industry has huge growth potential as may be proved by the huge investments by foreign companies in India. If we have to create one million job a month, then Indian economy need to grow at 9 percent at least which it will. There are a number of drivers present in Indian which will provide tremendous to the growth of the industry like rising literacy, a gamut of educational and literacy programs of the govt., growing number of businesses and offices requiring huge amount of paper, e-Commerce, etc.
Mr. Thapar also emphasized the need to engage with the govt. and said that the industry needs to highlight its achievements and draw attention of the govt. towards better policy formulation.
The inaugural session also saw the presentation of Achievement Awards where the Chief Guests conferred the award on Mr. R. R. Vederah, Vice President and Non-Execuitve Chairman, BILT; Mr. Pradeep Dhobale, Executive Director, ITC; and Seshsayee Paper and Boards Limited (Award of Excellence in Science & Technology development.