Being spent so many years in the industry I think it is a wonderful industry to be in - Papermart

Being spent so many years in the industry I think it is a wonderful industry to be in

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Mr K S Kasi Viswanathan, Deputy Managing Director,
Seshasayee Paper & Boards Ltd.

On the sidelines of PaperTech 2011 we had a brief interaction with Mr K S Kasi Viswanathan, Chairman, PaperTech 2011 & Deputy Managing Director, Seshasayee Paper & Boards Ltd, in his theme address he said the focus areas will be on energy, environment and water. In addition we also discussed with him other subjects like quality manpower, consolidation & Indian paper industry, Subburaj acquisition and Seshasayee’s future plans. Excerpts:

On energy, environment & water he said, “Everyone in the industry is worried about these issues but sometimes technically it’s not possible and if possible then commercially not viable to work out a solution. Mills are under tremendous pressure in dealing with these issues. Generally there is a perception in the people mind that where there is a paper mill the water gets contaminated, energy gets wasted and environment become unfit for living. These issues can be addressed by educating people around about the benefits of having the paper mill around the area. It generates employment, develops infrastructure and other facilities like schools, hospitals etc. and its effluent is not harmful if treated properly. But one thing is certain if as a management of paper mill we ourselves think that this industry creates problem for the society then we have no right to remain in this business.”

On quality manpower, “There are two aspects we need to take care. First we need to go to colleges and institutions and get involved in the education process like giving a talk on chemical engineering, plant operations, RO systems etc. This will provide the students the thought that this industry will offer them the opportunity to use their knowledge extensively whether mechanical, chemical or electronics along with the growth prospects. The interaction should be continuous. Second point is that the remuneration should be lucrative. If the employee is getting an attractive amount, proper accommodation and basic amenities along with good working environment he will not think for the alternatives. We need to bring qualified, professional and committed people in every department in order to work efficiently and above all talent should be recognized. Being spent so many years in the industry I think it is a wonderful industry to be in.”

On consolidation & Indian paper industry “the coming of International Paper has improved the image of the Indian paper industry to a great extent and most importantly the financial image. The industry has now started thinking on a bigger scale. In coming time bigger capacities like 2000 or 3000 tons a day will be viable as the overseas players have big pockets and sourcing of raw material is not a big issue for them. Now, the IP has put in his foot in India will give confidence to other overseas players to come in. In the near future some bigger events are being awaited.”

On Subburaj acquisition & Seshasayee’s future plans “Initially Subburaj contacted us for the technical assistance and in due course they found out that they have to pump in more money to make it more viable. Also at that time the prices of waste paper was sky rocketing and for them everything happened at the same time. The mill has good automation, machines, infrastructure etc. but they were lacking on technical edge. We have just acquired the mill and at present we are in consolidation stage and it will take a year or so to stabilize the mill. This is the first time we have ventured into waste paper based papermaking.”

“For future expansion we have multi layer board in our mind but it’s too early to decide on that.”