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Adler Paper: Turning Waste into Meaningful Resources

Adler Paper is the outcome of the merger of three companies – Victory Creations, Ultraprint and PaperWorks. The company is moving with an innovative approach and has recently introduced a mobile-based application – Adler Track and Trace. The company has carved its own niche in the recycled fibre industry by adapting to the ever-changing environment and building long lasting relationships globally.

Adler Paper
(L to R) Mr. Hrishikesh Vora, CEO and Mr. Devang Vora, Founder, Adler Paper

Adler Paper is a Mumbai-based company that imports and deals in all types of waste paper and stock lots of paper rolls & sheets from all over the world. The company has an extensive global market presence and it provides long term disposal and procurement solutions to the Indian paper industry. In an exclusive interview with Paper Mart, Mr. Hrishikesh Vora, CEO, Adler Paper shares how the company was born, its out-of-the-box thinking & initiatives and their approach towards business and industry. Excerpts of the interview:

Paper Mart: Could you please give us an overview of the business journey of Adler Paper? Also, elaborate on the market presence of the company.

Hrishikesh Vora: Adler Paper is a cohesive amalgamation of Victory Creations, Ultraprint and PaperWorks, or as I like to say a seamless merger of three global recycling entities.

The integration of these three established entities backed by the consolidated 100 years of experience is possible thanks to the vision and direction of my father Devang Vora. We were amongst the first in 1979-1980 to import waste paper into India in break bulk shipments. We have diversified into stocklots and waste paper and my father’s trust in my abilities has instilled confidence in me to grow this business onwards and upwards. We are based out of Bombay and we supply waste paper and stocklots from various locations – the USA, UK, Europe, Middle East into all across India. Our network of agents has helped us to reach customers of every region of India. We represent some of the top suppliers from these above-mentioned regions and we are looking to expand into unexplored markets in the near future.

“In terms of container shipments, be it 1 load, 2 loads, 20 loads or 100 loads – we can move it all.”

PM: What do you think are the key strengths of the company that has enabled you to make your mark in the paper recycling industry?

HV: There are a number of factors which has helped us to carve out our niche in the paper industry. Our razor sharp vision, high and stable flight path, systematic approach, innovative procurement and most importantly, our out-of-the-box thinking ability and ability to take calculated risks helps us to stay updated in this ever-changing market and build long standing relationships.

Also, we are able to assure our suppliers and buyers a steady supply of certain special and difficult grades of paper and we are known for the supply of specialty grade paper. Buying OCC and mixed grades is relatively easy but we can move anything and everything & find a home & end-use for special grades. Thus, we have a diverse range of waste paper which is a unique advantage for us. In terms of container shipments, be it 1 load, 2 loads, 20 loads or 100 loads – we can move it all.

“‘Adler Trace and Track’ is the one-stop-shop for all the orders booked with us as one can use the application for tracking the containers and to get the status of the pending orders, if there are any.”

PM: Has there been any recent development at Adler Paper that you would like to talk about? What are your future plans and growth strategies for the coming years?

HV: Yes, absolutely. Firstly, we have incorporated technology into the way we work. We have made available our entire documentation process online. This enables work from anywhere in the world & there is no need to come to the office since all we need is a laptop and an internet connection. This gives us the freedom to work from any location and any time zone, especially in the uncertain times that we are experiencing now.

We are also very pleased to inform you that Adler has launched its own web and mobile-based application called ‘Adler Trace and Track’. In our pursuit of making the entire process of tracking containers easier for our customers – we have developed this software which gives you a limited access into our system and further reflects the transparency in our approach.

‘Adler Trace and Track’ is the one-stop-shop for all the orders booked with us as one can use the application for tracking the containers and to get the status of the pending orders, if there are any. One can access the software on Google Play Store (for android users), Apple App Store (iOS) and moreover, we also offer a web access to the customers using their desktop or laptops.

To sum up, one would no longer need to call us for the weekly shipment status charts as we have handed over that power to our customers. Anyone from their organization will be able to access this and track the containers and get status reports, which makes the process very easy.

PM: Earlier this year, the Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) had put forth the idea of setting up “recycling zones” and “shredding centers” that can become hubs of scrap management. How do you think this proposal is favorable in the context of the Indian paper industry?

HV: I think it is a great idea and we need to implement this plan. As a matter of fact, since Indian landfills are getting exhausted, there is a strong need for establishing “recycling zones” and “shredding centers” that can become hubs of scrap management in different regions in our country.

Although there is enough money and investment potential in India to set these up, one major prerequisite is the support of the Government of India to be extended to bring this plan into action. The plan would require large tracts of space for setting up these zones and centers and thus, we will need the Government’s aid to build the infrastructure and execute this proposal.

“It is extremely important to source responsibly and have regulations in place for good quality imported waste paper to come into the Indian market that goes for re-pulping.”

PM: As per the Confederation of European Paper Industries, India is one of the leading destinations for most of the waste paper from the US and Europe for recycling purposes. What are the regulations for the import of waste paper in our country and the challenges as the demand for waste paper is increasing every year?

HV: To begin with, we need stricter regulations in place. While I am all for increased sales of imported waste paper into India – India should not be used as a dumping ground. It is extremely important to source responsibly and have regulations in place for good quality imported waste paper to come into the Indian market that goes for re-pulping rather than filling our already full landfills more and more.

PM: The present recovery and utilization of waste paper in India are relatively low as compared to other developed nations. How do you think that it can be increased to meet the raw material demand?

HV: In India, do we need proper channels and methods for the recovery of waste paper? One thousand percent, yes! If we have a proper recovery system in India like the rest of the world has – three-bin system or four-bin waste separation system- where we segregate the waste at the source – the amount of waste paper we could recover domestically in India will be tremendous. In fact, we are talking about millions of tons of waste paper not going to landfill every year, which is an enormous amount that we could recover.

The availability of raw materials (old and used paper) for the Indian paper industry can increase manifold if institutions and more households segregated the paper waste and sold it to the recycling units. The domestic waste paper sector will explode exponentially and financially if we can achieve this. However, it can be made possible only with the adequate support and relevant policies of the government to enhance the recovery of waste paper in our country.

Mr. Hrishikesh Vora (left) and Mr. Devang Vora (right) with their partners in the UK – Recycling UK (RUKGROUP.COM)

PM: How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the recycled fiber industry and how do you foresee the future?

HV: The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has made us realize how the world can change overnight. We must change with it and if we do not change and not adapt to the environment – the competitive edge we offer to the customers would likely be gone.

The industry is going to have to be smart and resourceful in the context of raw material. As we evolve, it is certain that if you have waste paper stocked in your yard at any point in time – you are the King. That being said, it is of utmost importance to plan wisely, and making sure that you have enough waste paper stocks in the yard and in the pipeline as it is the most valuable resource. Moreover, it can be said with absolute certainty that in the post-pandemic world, e-commerce is going to flourish and grow at a tremendous rate. As a result, the packaging segment is also going to witness higher growth in the coming times.

Although it is true that there are some challenges that we need to address and it is not going to be easy, but then, the Indian paper industry is also uniquely positioned and given the right set of market conditions, we will flourish and bloom. I am quite excited for what the future holds in store for us.

PM: Is there anything else that you would like to add to our interaction?

HV: I would say, to be a knowledge partner is no mean task. One needs to know the market very well and it is essential to be an expert in all technical, logistical and actual aspects of trade. Thankfully, my father and myself are uniquely positioned and experienced in flying across continents to constantly build new trade relationships. We are confident that Adler is here to stay for the next 100 years. As we are in the post COVID-19 new world reality, we are eagerly looking forward to all the challenges that come with it.