Nostalgic reminiscences of Berga, an old favourite of digital printers changes to rejoicing among the fraternity, as the brand returns to India.
In the last week of May 09, Paper Mart attended the re-launch of Stora Enso’s brand ‘Berga Image’, organized by Shree Paper Co. Pvt. Ltd. The Berga range had become unavailable in India sometime back, and this re-launch represents a committed comeback, as well as an international trend of enhancing the presence on Indian shores. With newer insight into the Indian economic climate and a fresher and extensive product palette, Stora Enso plans to energetically market this resurrected brand. Paper Mart interacted with management team from Stora Enso India and Shree Paper. Here are the excerpts of this interaction.
Talking about Berga’s re-launch, Sanjeev Khandelwal, Sales Manager, Stora Enso India commented on Berga’s product range and it’s applications – We were previously supplying the Berga range in India from our Berghuizer Mill, in the Netherlands. However, due to the closure of the mill we were left with small capacity for such premium office paper grades, we were not able to export. Now we aim to increase our presence outside Europe, which is why we have restarted the Berga range here. We are determined to ensure adequate and constant supply to our customers.
The range includes Berga Image, Superior, 4CC. Berga Image and Superior can be used for presentations, letterheads, or high-end stationery etc, while 4CC is meant for digital printing. We plan to initially focus on Berga Image in India.
On deeming Berga’s re-launch in India a promising venture and Berga’s USP Mr. Khandelwal said – It’s a great opportunity to have an appearance in a country like India, a vast market for these kinds of products. Our huge printing fraternity was looking for premium products for office and digital printing, whose alternate options are being imported from Indonesia or China till recently but the there is a distinct quality differentiation between our products vis a vis others. Thus, I think Berga’s re-launch will give impetus to other European companies to venture into Indian market with similar products. The product range invariably gives great printing results with high gloss, and runs well on digital and Inkjet printing machines.
On the effect of the safeguard duty investigations on Stora Enso’s operations in India, Sanjeev Khandelwal commented – a premium product, which has to be imported due to lack of indigenous alternative, will get expensive by 20% if the safeguard duty is imposed. However, this will ultimately affect the end consumer and not our business, as consumers will continue buying our papers because of its unmatched quality and brand value. Moreover, there is not much of uncoated wood free paper imports, of comparable indigenous quality. Any such sanction would increase prices and affect consumers by narrowing down the product palette.
On Shree Paper’s marketing strategy for Berga, Mr. Mahesh Jain observed – we are preparing for an aggressive marketing campaign. To serve our customers better we will keep good stocks of Berga range. Highlighting the importance of an efficient distribution plan, he elaborated – “We will be corroborating Berga’s brand image with an equally robust distribution network that spans across market India, excluding markets in West India.”
Speaking about the commitment towards Indian customers, Mr. Matti Naakka, General Manager, Stora Enso India, stated – decades of operations, as well as the set-up of infrastructure of our own people, legal entity and an office symbolize our promise to the Indian market. Stora Enso had been working in India for many years with Shree Paper, but a decade ago we realized the market’s potential and started our Indian subsidiary. We have an extremely wide product palette, including newsprint, magazine papers, fine papers, packaging board, pulp, and timber etc. Moreover, not only do we intend on supplying our products, but also maintaining a consistent and committed level of service.
About the possibility of setting up a production plant in India, Matti Naakka explained, “We have been expanding our presence in Latin America, China and other emerging markets and are always open to new business opportunities, same is true for India as well. As per the market perspective, a comparison with mature economies like Europe and North America show that India is set to rapidly grow. On the other hand, many products have a small market in India. All this plays an important role in deciding industrial investment.”