Paper Business is Now More Service Sensitive

Besides an ever-increasing product mix, which enables the company to fully utilise its installed capacity and gain best possible returns on invested capital, Century Pulp & Paper rates the quick service provision to places where customers are as crucial business mantra in these times.

Century 1Century’s approach has always been to be a complete paper solution provider, which it has achieved through an extensive product range – from W&P and tissue to high value multilayered board. As one of the rare mills using all types of raw material, i.e. wood, bagasse, and waste paper, the mill is also known for utilizing most-advanced technology in its manufacturing process, churning some of the best paper, tissue, and board products across globe. Over 60 percent of its tissue production is exported to a number of countries in the world and its board product basket is almost complete after it commissioned the board plant in 2012.

Constant addition of products in all the segments, a ‘go-to-market’ strategy, adapting to changing market dynamics, opening quick service centers near customers concentration, etc. are some of the core strategies that Century employs to remain at the fore in the business. On these strategies and other strategies, Paper Mart had a brief chat with Dr. Alok Prakash, Chief Sales Officer, Century Pulp and Paper. Excerpts:

Do you feel that paper mills have to become “paper solutions” providers? Give a 360-degree outlook on becoming a “paper solutions” provider. Is Century making any efforts on this front?

Yes, paper industry today is more service sensitive market rather than traditional product oriented. Our approach has always been to be a complete paper solution provider.

Century 2With three decades of excellence in manufacturing paper and pulp, Century’s product offering has become one of the most rich and diverse in the industry. With a production capacity of 4,50,000 TPA, Century offers a wide basket constituting products from wood base, bagasse base and recycled base for various applications.

In the writing printing segment, our product offering is stretched from 40gsm to 190gsm to cover a wide spectrum of applications such as leaflets, stationery, notebooks, commercial printing, textbooks, diaries, book covers, drawing papers, ledger Paper, cheque papers besides other applications. Experiencing the rapid growth in demand for copier paper, we at Century offers numerous options to our customers with various copier brands placed at different price point like Star, Green & Green Plus, Elanza and Utsav.

In the industrial segment, our offering to the market widely range from high quality absorbent kraft, imitation parchment, ARSR, coating base paper and overlay tissue. In the tissue segment, Century is manufacturing tissue ranging from 12.5 – 42gsm and operates in all major categories of application which includes facial tissue, napkins, kitchen towel, carrier tissue and maxi roll.

Since the inception of board plant in 2012, Century has achieved a firm growth in the board business with a product basket that includes folding box board, solid bleached board, cup stock board, and other special application boards for playing cards, invitation cards and special coating.

Each product offers its own unique value proposition and enables us to serve the widest range of regular and specialty paper products, making us the one-stop, complete paper solutions provider in the industry.

Century possesses best technology, especially with regard to your tissue and packaging board machines. Are you able to communicate your technology USP to your trade channel and the consumers? In fact, are you able to get some premium in the market for the products manufactured from these high-end machines?

Yes, the market, both domestic and global, is well aware and appreciative of our state-of-the-art machinery: METSO for tissue and VOITH for packaging board. These machines are put to their best use by our highly trained and experienced R&D and production teams, making us one of the best quality producers of packaging board and tissues in India.

The various grades of virgin boards ranging from 165-450 gsm manufactured are premium in all parameters. Thus, acceptance and consumption of Century’s packaging boards and tissues by the leading global MNCs and converters across the globe is testimony to the quality and standards of CPP’s paper board and tissue grades.

Century 3Please share new developments at Century related to product mix and market development for different grades. Also share your future plans for the same.

Companies in the Paper industry that has grown over time are the ones which have understood the advantages of adapting to changing needs of the market and more importantly to changing demands of the end-consumer.

Our ability to adapt to market dynamics and notice product niches through continuous market scan has led us towards new product initiatives. These initiatives help to serve our customers in better ways, which is one of the guiding principles for us at CPP.

Century 4In the recent past, Century has widened the product gamut by adding the various products in packaging, W&P, copier, and tissue segments. In packaging board, we have added Prima Fold Plus & Superia Fold Plus (FBB); Omega Plus (SBB); Deck Card, PE Coated Cuppa (Specialty). In copier, we have now Century Utsav, Century Elanza and the upcoming launch of 75 GSM premium copier paper. We have also added Carrier Tissue in our product basket.

We guess that you have orders to achieve optimum utilization of your tissue and packaging board machines. Please tell us what further value addition (product quality or market reach) you plan to do now and how you intend to further improvise the return on capital?

Like we stated earlier, we are constantly innovating and improving our product quality on the basis of our customer requirements and feedback that we receive from both domestic and global markets.

As our fundamentals, at Century, we have adopted the art of applying science to progress towards prosperity benefitting our entire stake holders. Our wide, ever-increasing product mix enables us to fully utilise our installed capacity and gain best possible returns on invested capital.

Globally, we seek to increase our penetration in the Middle East, European and American markets. Domestically, we wish to increase our penetration in the southern region.

Take us through the marketing strategy of Century for all the product grades.

Century 5Our approach has always been ‘go-to-market’ strategy. We are utilizing our every resource to reach out to the customers and deliver our unique value proposition to achieve competitive edge.

We are continuously working on scanning the market, understanding the gaps and getting new product in place to serve the market requirement. These initiatives resulted in introducing new products like Carrier Tissue in tissue segment, Deck card and PE coated Cuppa in packaging board. In copier segment Elanza, Utsav & upcoming 75 GSM premium copier paper will strengthen over market presence.

Also, Century’s proximity to some of the prominent market in India has played a pivotal role in attending business objective and customer satisfaction. As you are aware that we are strategically located in the Northern part of India, which is the biggest market in the country. Moreover, to tap the West Indian market, we have opened the cutting and Quick Service Centers to cater effectively and timely to the requirements of the client based in this region.

Century 6We at Century believe in making its products available to the customer within minimum lead time through expanding infrastructure support. Thus we have opened cutting center in Baddi to extend our services for the customer at door step.

The final objective under ‘go-to-market’ strategy is to enhance the overall customer experience and our strategy is exactly focused at that – serve customers to utmost satisfaction.

Paper industry doesn’t have a good image in the eyes of people including its human resource, customers, investors, government or general public. What should be done to counter this challenge?

Century 7This is one of the most serious but partially attended agenda of the paper industry and which needs to be taken strongly to improve its image among the mass. The world is pursuing low carbon economy and in this paper industry stands out – being based on the renewable raw materials, mills using large percentage of renewable energy and its products lending it to recycling. But, still there is myth around common population when seen from the ecological angle.

Effective communication is the need of the hour; the story of paper Industry being carbon-friendly has to be shared to masses and especially to the stake holders. Now, it is high time for the Industry to consider some of its part of revenue for this effective communication.

At last, would you like to add something else to this interview?

Several attributes of paper, including its pedagogic and packaging Century 8value makes Indian pulp and paper industry uniquely positioned among the manufacturing industries. Paper, is thus, recognized almost as a touchstone of socio-economic development. Being one of the leading players in the paper industry, our responsibility lays not only on generating economic prosperity for the stake holders, but also growing amicably with community and environment.

So, apart from our regular business activities, at the core of our existence are our schemes and policies for our employees and workers. Century’s township in Lal Kuan adjacent to our plant offers good accommodation to our employees in the lap of nature. The township is equipped with activities like yoga, stadium, school and supporting eco-system. We are also a very socially conscious organization. And, as a committed employer of the local community, we are also associated with scores of projects for community development.

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