Genus Paper & Boards, a part of the Kailash Group of Companies, is a key manufacturer of kraft paper and paperboards with a production capacity of more than 450,000 TPA. Equipped with modern paper machines, their production units make premium quality packaging paper from recovered & virgin fiber through sustainable sources. In the recent past, the Company has made a number of notable developments – the acquisition of NS Papers, and on boarded industry veteran Mr. JP Narain for its overall business transformation at Genus.
“We emphasise on upgrading our technologies, improving our machines, and bringing more value-added products… Genus aspires to be ahead of its competitors with an enhanced team in the future.”
In an interview with Paper Mart, Mr. Kailash Chandra Agarwal, MD & CEO, Genus Paper & Boards Limited, sheds light on the company, its specialisations, milestones, and key capabilities. Further, he describes the product portfolio in detail, acquisition of NS Papers, and an outlook on the Indian pulp & paper industry.
Paper Mart: Could you present a brief overview of Genus Paper & Boards along with its crucial milestones?
Kailash Chandra Agarwal: Kailash Chandra Agarwal: A division of the eminent Kailash Group of Companies, Genus Paper & Boards Ltd. has a production capacity of more than 450,000 TPA. Our facilities are located at Moradabad and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Equipped with five state-of-the-art paper machines, our production units make premium quality packaging paper from recovered as well as virgin fiber through sustainable sources. Recycled waste paper is a biodegradable and eco-friendly alternative to virgin pulp and plastics, when combined with sustainable forestry this method is the key to a progressive future for the planet.
Our product segments and respective capacities are:
- Carton Board: We have a capacity of 500 MT and we specialise in producing carton boards from 200 GSM to 400 GSM with both recycled & virgin fiber.
- Container Board: With a capacity of 500 MT, we specialise in manufacturing container board kraft from 100 GSM to 400 GSM with a BF range from 18 to 40.
- Speciality Kraft and Board: As a unique segment, we specialise in kraft paper with a production capacity of 300 MT per day which we produce from 60 GSM to 120 GSM with BF range from 25 to 40.
Genus is looking forward to being a complete packaging supplier for all industrial needs which include cartonboards, containerboards, and speciality kraft boards.
PM: Please shed some light on the crucial milestones of the company.
KCA: The agro-based kraft manufacturing unit in Moradabad, set up in 1976 by DSM Group Agro, was closed down due to some issues. We took over the unit in 2001 and revamped it. When we started the unit, the production capacity was 18,000 TPA. In 2003, we put a 3MW turbine for captive power generation and in 2006; we put another unit for making high BF virgin kraft with imported raw material with a capacity of around 50,000 TPA. We put in another turbine in 2007 for power generation. In 2010, we decided to use recycled paper completely and shut down agro-based operations. Recently, we acquired NS Paper Ltd., Muzaffarnagar which had three machines. With a total capacity of 450,000 TPA, the group is, at present, well-positioned in the Indian paper industry. In the near future, Genus wants to be a single-stop shop for all packaging needs.
PM: Share a few thoughts on what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
KCA: If you talk about the packaging grades, Genus is among the top paper manufacturers. We believe that ‘quality is king’ and we need to constantly upgrade it if we have to move ahead of time. We use the virgin pulp and the best grades of recycled paper for our production. In a competitive market, one cannot survive without efficiency. Hence, besides quality, we also emphasise on upgrading our technologies, improving our machines, and bringing more value-added products to the market. We have totally changed the facilities in the mill we recently acquired in Muzaffarnagar. We have invested in machinery for pulp making section and focused on automation. Moving forward, Genus aspires to be ahead of its competitors with an enhanced team in the future.
PM: Describe the infrastructure, the manufacturing capabilities, and the machinery installed at your facility.
KCA: Genus Paper & Boards Ltd. was started in 2001 with the inauguration of its primary unit at Moradabad. This facility laid the foundation for the company and is the catalyst for all business feats we have achieved in our journey so far. Equipped with two state-of-the-art paper machines, the company is capable of producing fluting medium, liner board, and assured HRCT (high ring crush test) kraft up to 35 BF.
Our second unit in Muzaffarnagar started operations at the beginning of 2022. Similar to the Moradabad facility, the plant is well-equipped with three state-of-the-art paper machines. Today, the factory uses imported and Indian waste paper as well as responsibly sourced virgin fiber as raw material to produce cartonboards, containerboards, and speciality value added kraft paper and boards. A modern paper mill, the Muzaffarnagar unit is equipped with a modern ETP, Simplex Sheeters, Valmet’s QCS, ABB DCS, Siemens DCS, and more.
PM: Please tell us about the product portfolio of Genus Paper & Boards along with its USPs.
KCA: We produce different types of carton boards, container boards, and speciality kraft boards.
1. Carton Boards
- Genus Grey Back Board (HWC) (Range: 230 to 450 GSM)
Genus grey back is a top-coated paperboard with virgin hardwood pulp top layer which gives the best surface properties and superior print results. Its refined recycled pulp offers best-in-class physical properties. Being suitable for high-speed printing and packaging industry requirements, it is used across multiple industries such as FMCG, liquor, footwear and garment. It is also used for making notebook covers.
- Genus White Back Board (Range: 230 to 450 GSM)
Genus white back board is blade-on-blade coated with virgin hardwood pulp on the top and bottom layers which provides superior stiffness and good printing results. An ideal white back board for remarkable quality box making applications and used in various sectors including pharmaceutical, food & beverage, FMCG, liquor, garment and cosmetics
- Genus (HB- HS) (HWC) Grey Back (Range: 230 to 450 GSM)
Genus High Bulk – High Stiffness Board is a highly engineered product developed for high-speed filling line, with a focus on lightening the box and providing economic competitiveness with excellent printing and superior strength properties. It is used in many industries such as garments, footwear, and FMCG.
- White Top Kraft Liner – Coated
White top kraft liner is equipped with higher folding endurance and stiffness. It is good for printing applications as the smoothness and printability are higher on the front side.
- Genus Eco Liner
Genus Eco Liner is an engineered cluster of containerboard economically designed to fulfill the strength of the corrugated boards. It is made out of state-of-the-art machinery and process, delivered after stringent quality checks.
- Genus Prime Liner
Genus Prime Liner is an engineered product out of recycled fiber to cater to the brand prerequisite of corrugated packaging. Both burst factor and ring crush are combined with excellent corrugator runnability and very good printability. It has stable and sustainable strength under various climate conditions.
- Genus Royal White Top Liner
Genus Royal White Top Liner is a concocted product to fulfil branding needs through high-end packaging. It is constructed as virgin bleached kraft pulp top ply and high-grade secondary fiber bottom ply.
- Genus Royal Virgin Top Liner
Genus Royal Virgin Top Liner is constructed as virgin unbleached kraft pulp top ply and high-grade secondary fiber bottom ply. It is made through state-of-the-art machinery and process to ensure supreme strength, run ability at corrugation and printability.
- Genus Royal Korean Kraft Liner
Genus Royal Korean shade, a multilayer liner board constructed through cutting-edge processes and technology at Genus, has enhanced printability and surface finish. It has high ring crush test values and a stated burst factor within the bunch. Its unique shade of top layer promotes your brand from the box.
- Assured HRCT Liner and Fluting Medium
Assured RCT liner is a multi-ply sheet made with recycled fiber for high-strength, lightweight corrugated applications. It is designated to provide assured crush resistance.
3. Speciality Kraft & Board
- Genus Carry bag paper
Genus carry bag paper is a technically advanced product that meets strength and converting performance for a wide range of bag applications. It offers outstanding resistance to tearing, moisture, stress, and punching.
- Genus Grocery Bag paper
Genus grocery bag paper has a very consistent appearance and stable properties ensuring strength. It provides excellent resistance to tearing, moisture, stress, and punching.
- Genus E-Commerce Bag paper
With excellent run ability, resistance and homogenous appearance, Genus e-commerce bag paper is designed for meeting all the strength properties.
PM: In the recent past, Genus Paper & Boards acquired NS Papers. How has this acquisition been beneficial for you?
KCA: As we are well aware that having greater economic power can lead to higher market share, more influence over customers, and reduced competitive threat. The strategic acquisition with NS Papers helped us to acquire, an industry leadership position in recycle segment, along with this it had given us a wide range of product mix portfolios which made us an overall & complete packaging manufacturer so that we can cater to all industrial packaging segments. Being a form of inorganic growth, acquisitions provide a faster way to enter new markets and product categories.
PM: How do you look at fiber security?
KCA: Fiber security will surely be a challenge for the industry. News is doing the rounds that there might be changes in the import and export rules in Europe. However, I believe that in the future, there would be incremental fiber availability in India and we might not have to depend on imports. The industry might have to rely more on agro-fibers or virgin fibers so as to reduce the dependency on recycled fibers.
PM: What are your expansion plans with regard to developing new products and penetrating new markets?
KCA: We are dedicating our production line to speciality products which will be catering to single-use plastic substitution needs. This line will be specialised in manufacturing products having GSM from 60 to 120 and having BF from 25 to 40 with virgin pulp as well as recycled fiber.
PM: Since you have recently onboarded Mr. J.P. Narain as Business Transformation Partner – please share the vision behind this move.
KCA: Mr. JP Narain is a seasoned business professional in the paper industry and he displayed his strategic and execution skills by making a big impact in turning around the business in his previous assignment. He is good in implementation as well as in the execution of all sets of systems and processes of the paper industry, which includes people processes, manufacturing processes, new product development, customer centricity, and sustainability processes.
Since we are expanding our horizons and looking for our business expansion, it is of utmost importance that implementation of all strategic as well as operational processes in our organisation take place so that our business touches the next orbit. Mr. JP Narain would be leading this transformation at Genus.
PM: Tell us about your energy and water conservation practices and other sustainability efforts.
KCA: Environment is extremely important to us. Both units strongly drive sustainability processes and we are quite efficient in energy and water usage in out both units. Our Moradabad unit has zero water discharge and not even a single drop of water releasing out. We have a captive generation power plant in both units and use the majority of agro residual fuel to generate energy. In terms of raw materials, we are using recycled paper and paper products for our production and it is the driving circular economy that is essential to drive sustainability in any business. Our Muzzafarnagar unit is getting stabilise and we are implementing water as well as energy conservation processes to make it more viable and efficient.
PM: How do you look at this current scenario of the packaging sector and where do you see the market going in the coming times?
KCA: The current scenario is not very promising for any type of industry because we are facing a global recession. Due to inflation, all the economies – bigger as well as smaller – are in trouble. The Russia-Ukraine war is another big challenge.
If any of the industries are affected, the packaging sector will surely face the consequences. However, I am hopeful that the situation will improve in a couple of months. The government is totally focused on the removal of single-use plastic, and that will certainly increase the volumes of packaging. India is a growing country – we talk about a 7-8 percent CAGR growth level. If that type of growth comes, packaging will certainly have a huge requirement.
PM: What is your outlook on the Indian pulp & paper industry?
KCA: The Indian pulp & paper industry has seen a roller coaster ride journey in the last three years. At present, it is difficult to comment on the percentage, the industry is growing, because the last two years were badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If we speak about recycle kraft and board segments, the industry is passing through a tough phase due to low demand in the market. Other segments especially in the white category are doing well and expected to do well in the future, considering the international pulp prices. This segment especially brown can do well, if we innovate a new product line, as a substitute for single-use plastic in the market.