An exclusive interview with Mr.Kulbhushan Malik, Global Business Head – Cosmo Films.
Paper Market : Could you let us know the history of Cosmo Films?
Kulbhushan Malik : Cosmo Films was founded in 1981 and comes under the umbrella of Cosmo First. As pioneers in the field of BOPP Films, we have since expanded our offerings to include a range of value-added products in BOPP, CPP Films and Polyester films. In recent years, we have continued growing and diversifying our business and rebranded as Cosmo First Ltd. Cosmo Films specializes in producing specialty films for flexible packaging, lamination, labelling, and industrial applications.
We are proud to offer the widest range of films under one roof, including speciality films such as high barrier films, velvet thermal lamination films, PSA label face stock films, direct thermal printable films, synthetic paper, and others.
PM : What are your company’s mission, vision and working culture of your company?
KM : Our vision at Cosmo Films is to strengthen our global leadership position in specialty films through innovative and sustainable solutions. We aim to achieve this by continuously exploring new and innovative ways of enhancing our product offerings and improving our manufacturing processes while remaining committed to sustainable practices that minimize our impact on the environment.
To fulfil our vision, we have a clear mission: to deliver lasting value for all our stakeholders through innovation, excellence, collaboration, integrity, and customer-centricity. We believe that by prioritizing these values, we can establish long-term relationships with our customers, employees, shareholders, and the communities we serve.
At Cosmo, we place a strong emphasis on our core values, which guide our actions and behaviour every day. Our first value is “People First”, which means that we prioritize the well-being of our employees, customers, and communities above all else. We also champion innovation as a means of staying ahead of the competition and constantly improving our products and services. Trust is also a fundamental value for us, as we believe that building strong relationships with our stakeholders is essential for our long-term success. Unity is another core value, and we strive to foster a collaborative and inclusive work environment where all employees feel valued and supported.
Finally, we act with integrity in all our business dealings, no matter what challenges we may face. Overall, our mission, vision, and values are all centred around our commitment to excellence, innovation, sustainability, and ethical business practices. We believe that by staying true to these principles, we can achieve our goals and contribute to a better future for our company and the world at large.
PM : What are all the products you manufacture for the paper & packaging industry?
KM : Cosmo Films is proud to manufacture a range of high-quality products for the paper and
packaging industry. Our signature product is Cosmo Synthetic Paper, a co-extruded, white opaque, polypropylene-based film that resembles paper in appearance. This version of synthetic paper is non-tearable and boasts excellent resistance to moisture and chemicals, making it a durable and reliable option for a variety of applications.
Our synthetic paper is compatible with most existing printing technologies and can be easily written on with oil-based pens. We offer six different types of synthetic paper, including Synthetic Paper Uncoated, Coated Paper – Top Coated Synthetic Paper, Both Side Coated Synthetic Paper, Matte White Both Side Coated Non-Tearable Paper, Laser Printable Paper, and Tear Resistance Synthetic Paper.
PM : What is synthetic paper and how it is manufactured?
KM : Synthetic paper is manufactured employing synthetic resin derived from petroleum as the main material. Hence it has properties analogous to the plastic film. Its look is close to that of paper produced from wood pulp. Also, several synthetic papers have properties just like those of regular paper. Synthetic papers were engineered to be durable like plastic. However, they appear, feel and print like traditional paper. Resin-based synthetic papers are classified into 2 types as per their manufacturing process namely fiber synthetic paper and film synthetic paper.
PM : May we know the advantages of your synthetic papers?
KM : Our synthetic paper offers several advantages including non-tearability, excellent printability, water and chemical resistance, and security benefits. The synthetic paper’s non-tearable nature is a significant advantage as it offers increased durability.
Companies can use synthetic paper for a variety of applications including product tags, children’s books, menu cards, plant tags and medical charts. In addition to its durability, synthetic paper is also highly printable, offering excellent colour replication with multiple printing technologies like offset printing or digital technologies like laser and thermal.
Water resistance is another significant advantage of synthetic paper as it can withstand water and remain unaffected by moisture. This makes it ideal for food labels, garden tags, marine applications, and even labeling products that are stored in freezers. Moreover, the synthetic paper offers chemical resistance, making it an excellent choice for drum labels and chemical tags. Another significant advantage of synthetic paper is its security benefits. Synthetic paper can be used to print certificates, identity cards, unique labels, and certificates, and can also be built with security features like QR codes, serial numbering, and prismatic printing between its layers.
PM : How do you describe the product versatility of these synthetic papers?
KM : The versatility of synthetic paper is evidenced by the broad spectrum of applications in which it can be employed. These include commercial printing, tags & labels, retail & packaging, identification & credentials, and outdoors. In commercial printing, the exceptional printability and durability of synthetic paper make it a preferred choice for printing marketing collaterals, books, manuals, and menu cards. The paper’s high moisture and chemical resistance, along with superior colour reproducibility and ink adhesion, make it stand out.
When it comes to tags and labels, synthetic paper is suitable for multiple applications such as food labels, apparel tags, and caution labels. This non-tearable paper offers a higher yield, ease of convertibility, excellent printability, and compatibility with various types of PS adhesives.
In identification and credentials, Cosmo Synthetic Paper is ideal for printing visiting cards, national ID cards, certificates, and mark sheets. The paper’s moisture, tear, and chemical resistance make it durable and compatible with various security features and variable data. One can also write on this non-tearable paper with a pen or pencil. In outdoor applications, Cosmo Synthetic Paper is suitable for billboards, horticulture ID tags, bus shelter displays, etc. The paper offers moisture and chemical resistance, maintains print colour consistency against UV exposure and different weather conditions, and provides superior strength and excellent printability with diverse printing techniques.
PM : Synthetic papers have sustainability?
KM : Synthetic paper is considered a sustainable solution because it is produced without the use of wood pulp, making it a 100% tree-free product. Furthermore, BOPP synthetic paper is recyclable, which sets it apart from other types of synthetic paper that are difficult to recycle. The homogeneous structure of BOPP synthetic paper makes it easier to recycle and supports the
principles of the circular economy. By using BOPP synthetic paper, businesses can reduce their environmental impact and promote sustainable practices.
PM : How do you assure that your product will enhance the retail and packaging experiences?
KM : For retail and packaging, the paper brings out superior print vibrancy while offering excellent durability for indoor banners, billboards, and POP displays. The company’s synthetic paper is designed to enhance the visual appeal of products while ensuring exceptional durability.
PM : What is the capacity of your production site?
KM : Cosmo Films operates multiple production sites across India and South Korea, with two facilities located in Aurangabad (Shendra and Waluj), one in Karjan (Vadodara) and one in Asan, South Korea. Cosmo Films has nine BOPP lines with an installed capacity of 200,000 TPA, two cast PP (CPP) lines with an installed capacity of 9,000 TPA, and one BOPET line with an installed capacity of 30,000 TPA. Furthermore, it operates eight thermal lamination lines with an installed capacity of 40,000 TPA, six coating lines with an installed capacity of 25,000 TPA, and Six metallising lines with an installed capacity of 40,000 TPA.
PM : How important are QC and R&D for a speciality films manufacturer and how do you assure the performance quality of your products?
KM : At Cosmo Films, we consider QC and R&D to be of utmost importance in ensuring the
quality and performance of our products. Our state-of-the-art R&D centre is located in Aurangabad and staffed with over 30 scientists, many of whom hold advanced degrees such as doctorates and post-doctorates. We have made substantial investments in both equipment and knowledge base to support our research efforts. We also have state of the art R&D equipments which help us to both develop and test our wide range of speciality products.
PM : Any Industry barriers, you have in Indian Market?
KM : Recently, the speciality film manufacturers in India faced challenges, however, Cosmo Films was not entirely immune to them. For instance, geopolitical developments in Ukraine had a significant impact on demand last year, while global end-users of packaging films stockpiled in anticipation of a price increase, creating a surplus situation. In addition, regulatory compliance in the packaging industry is becoming increasingly complex, and companies must navigate various regulations related to materials, labelling, and product safety. To address these challenges, Cosmo Films is working closely with its partners to ensure compliance with national and international regulations.
Furthermore, the rising costs of raw materials due to economic uncertainty have forced consumers to rethink budgets. To walk through this situation, we are continuously offering packaging that represents financial value propositions while maintaining quality, convenience, freshness, safety, and environmental responsibility. Our speciality films portfolio also helps us to navigate this situation better as compared to our competitors.
PM : Could you explain us about your environment management policies?
KM : Cosmo Films is committed to protecting the environment and has implemented several policies to manage its impact on the ecosystem. Our initiatives include a continuous effort to reduce water usage, waste generation, and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we are constantly innovating our product portfolio to include eco-friendly options, such as oxo-biodegradable films, water-based coatings, and supporting water-based printing, as well as down gauging. We actively monitor and manage plant environment parameters such as noise, illumination, ventilation, and air quality, ensuring a safe and healthy workplace for our employees by providing them with the necessary safety gear, well-defined evacuation procedures, and up-to-date safety equipment. Furthermore, we have a state-of-the-art Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) to ensure ZERO effluent discharge and uphold our commitment to sustainability.
PM : How do you see the growth of synthetic paper industry in future?
KM : The synthetic paper industry is poised for significant growth worldwide in the coming years. The growth of the synthetic paper industry is fueled by the increasing demand from various sectors, including food and beverage, cosmetics, and retail. The food and beverage industry, in particular, is a significant contributor to the growth of synthetic paper, given the material’s suitability for food packaging and labelling. Additionally, the continuous innovation in paper technology, coupled with increasing awareness of the benefits of synthetic paper, is driving the adoption of synthetic paper across different applications in Asia Pacific.
PM : Do you have any plan in making of new innovative products for the paper industry in near future?
KM : We have made a special synthetic paper which will work for HP Indigo machines. This is to cater the photo album segment. We have also made a Paper like non-tearable synthetic paper which will work on all the laser jet Desktop printers. Now non-tearable paper can be printed at the convenience of your home for uses like marksheets, vaccination certificate, insurance copy, etc.
PM : What are your other group companies?
KM : In addition to our films business, Cosmo First has diversified into speciality chemicals with Cosmo Speciality Chemicals and pet care through Zigly, our direct-to-consumer brand. Our goal is to develop sustainable, scalable, and profitable high-growth businesses. In the next five years, we plan to focus primarily on our speciality films business, with a target of achieving high double-digit returns on capital equipment.
We currently export to over 100 countries and aim to further strengthen our brand visibility to expand our presence in Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Asian countries such as Vietnam and South Korea. We are confident in our robust production capacities and strong sales team to achieve these goals.
PM : Forgot to ask another important question “what about your laser printable papers?”
KM : Our laser printable papers are coated on both sides with bi-axially oriented polypropylene film, which comes in a variety of thicknesses as low as 80um. The laser printable papers are highly versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications across various industries. In commercial printing, they can be used for printing attendance sheets, academic books, patient sheets, and table mats. For tags and labels, they are suitable for printing price tags, luggage tags, footwear tags, and chemical drum labels. In retail and packaging, they can be used for printing shelf talkers, price lists, product labels, and warranty tags. They are also ideal for printing doctor visiting cards, driver’s licenses, journalist ID cards, and library cards, among others, for identification and credential purposes. Finally, these papers can be used for outdoor applications such as store name boards, outdoor banners, public transport displays, and product handouts.
PM : How does your company involve in CSR activities?
KM : Cosmo First Limited is committed to promoting the growth and development of the communities we serve by prioritizing the improvement of the living standards and welfare of our employees and stakeholders. Our social and environmental programs are aimed at supporting
sanitation, safety, education, and nature conservation initiatives, and we have broadened our efforts to enhance the human development index.
The Cosmo Foundation, established in 2008 as our community outreach initiative, works closely with underdeveloped communities around our manufacturing units to implement various development programs aimed at English and computer literacy, life skills development, hygiene initiatives, and environmental awareness.