Interviews

KPL International Limited (KPL) : Leading Chemical Marketing & Distribution Company in India

An Interview with its General Manager – Marketing Mr. Amar Deep Khera & Mr.Rahul Ambardar – GBU Head (Global Business Unit Head).

Paper Market : Could you explain us about KPL International?

Amar Deep Khera : KPL International Limited (KPL), established about three decades ago, specializes in the marketing of quality products in India, mainly in the field of chemicals, polymers, paper and paper chemicals, sourced from globally acclaimed manufacturers. With its ISO 9001 quality certification and its process specialization in marketing, distribution and sourcing, KPL represents 50 global giants and over 5,000 customers that includes many of the finest Indian business houses. It provides a basket of services and end-to-end solutions to customers.

KPL draws roots from Group Company, Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Limited (KCI), a diversified company and an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified leading manufacturer of chemical intermediates in India with six decades of experience. KCI has three chemicals manufacturing facilities, i.e., at Ankleshwar, Visakhapatnam and Naidupta where Methanol based chemical intermediates are being manufactured. The other interests of the company are in renewable energy (India), Jute (India),  Automotive & industrial electronics (Europe & Canada) and Textiles (Ethiopia).

PMK : What are all the products you supply for the current paper industry?

Rahul Ambardar : KPL specializes in marketing of quality products from Kamin, BYK, Daikin, BASF, S.A Reverte, INEOS, Sasol Wax, Solvay & Nippon Papers. Paper, Chemicals and Polymers are sourced from these globally acclaimed manufacturers such as Kaolins, GCC, Soy Polymer, Additives for Surface Treatment, Waxes, H2O2, Sodium Chlorate, Sodium Sulphate, Hydrogen Peroxide, LDPE Ext. Coating, Gum Rosin and Paper – Glassine, Thermal, Carbonless, Coated, Woodfree & M.G Poster, etc.

PMK : Do you deal with Pulp Moulding Products & how do you look at the future market for this?

ADK : Pulp Moulding Products : An environmentally sustainable solutions which is here to stay Packaging came to recuse of our changing lifestyle needs where quick fix solutions were required to meet the pace and convenience of the large urban population. Solutions offered by various Polymers were fast adopted across industries and before we could even realize we become totally dependent on these solutions for the convenience it offered.

Now as awareness about the environment grows globally, the stakeholders including the industry, governments and people in general remain keen to adapt solutions that are more environmentally sustainable, while still retaining the convenience value. Bio-polymers and natural fibre based packaging solutions have come out as strong alternative to conventional products and continue to make in-roads in various industry segments.

Disposable Food packaging and Tableware remain a big segment of market where conventional polymer based solutions had been popular and introduction of natural fibre or pulp based alternatives is proving to be a game changer in the region.

The changing economic situation, rise in personal disposable income, environmental awareness and legislature requirements is propelling the demand of pulp based packaging the tableware solutions. By industry estimates this segment is set to grow at a CAGR ~ 7 – 8% for next 5 years.

PMK : May we know the popular Segments of Pulp Moulded based packaging products?

RA : Pulp moulded based packaging solutions have penetrated and are gaining popularity in the following segments:

  • Plates, platters, trays
  • Cups
  • Bowls
  • Straws
  • QSR Packaging

Most of the pulp for disposable pulp is sourced from agricultural residue and can be sourced from bagasse, corn-starch, sugarcane and bamboo.

Today we can easily find above pulp moulded products available over the counter in major Brick & Mortar stores and on online E-commerce platforms. Commercial establishments including: Hotels, Restaurants, Party Caterers have been quick to adopt this solutions.

PMK : What is the competitive Landscape of Pulp Moulded Tableware?

ADK : The supply side of disposable Pulp Moulded Tableware is highly fragmented by both size and number of players. There are number of small, medium and large suppliers that remain present across India and increasing penetrating into regional markets. Smaller players are more focussed on design innovations and customized solutions to establish them in this segment.

Developed markets across North America and Europe having much deeper penetration of Pulp Moulded Tableware also present opportunities for Medium and Large Indian manufacturers to showcase their products in export markets. 

PMK : How about Intrinsic requirement of Indian Pulp Mould market?

RA : As Indian cuisine remains unique so does its requirements to pack and serve its food. With most of Indian food being high in oil & water content and served hot it becomes imperative for Pulp moulded solutions to provide resistant on account of Oil, grease & moisture, failing which, it may be more suitable for dry food contents.

FDA approved Fluoro-chemistry based additives come to rescue here and are able to inculcate oil and water resistance properties in moulded pulp in food packing items making them more apt for Indian market needs.

We have already witnessed growing adoption of such additives by Indian moulded pulp packaging and food consumption item manufacturers for fast few years now, however still ample scope in the non-regulated market remains to shift to more environmentally friendly alternatives.

With adoption of legislature at various State government level to discouragesingle use plastics usage market for moulded pulp products is set to grow exponentially.

PMK : What is your idea on new generation offering of Non-Fluro based solutions and Phasing out of PFAS?

ADK : As Indian market continues to witness greater penetration of Fluro-Chemistry based additives for pulp moulded tableware and food consumption items; more mature markets of the West have lately introduced alternatives to PFAS (Per and Poly Fluroalkyl Substances) and looking to adopt these new generation offering to achieve required oil, grease and moisture barrier properties.

Lately, large scale manufacturers of pulp moulded tableware, packaging and food consuming items in India have been introduced to these new generation offerings as it generates keen interest from the industry considering PFAS production phase out timeline of December 2023. The said production phase out timeline has been voluntarily decided and committed collectively by leading global PFAS producers (for Food contact application).

DAIKIN Inc, USA and KPL International Ltd, India have been collaborating to provide unique and proven solutions for the growing requirement of Pulp Moulded Tableware and packaging Industry segment helping the domestic industry achieve specific requirement to make their product worthwhile and compliant to Indian & Global customer needs. Daikin is global leader.

PMK : What kind of papers you supply to market?

RA : We supply the coated papers (NCR Papers) of Appvion (USA) who offers a broad range of papers optimized for different types of multipart forms and printing setups, which has helped them become the No. 1 carbonless paper brand in the world.

Application :- Multipart forms such as: production orders, expense reports, packing slips, credit applications, purchase requisitions, medical forms, delivery receipts and parking tickets.​

Thermal & Carbonless Papers : Thermal papers and films from Appvion (USA) are engineered to provide rich, legible images at all print speeds for excellent readability. They offer a wide range of thermal products for applications including point-of-sale (POS) receipts and coupons; entertainment, transit and parking tickets; lottery, tote and gaming tickets; luggage tags; medical charts; and labels for RFID, warehousing, inventory tracking, pharmacy and retail.​

PMK : Any new project is being initiated by KPL?

RA : KPL is Initiating with Daikin – Oil & water repellent for Fiber Mould and food packaging paper. In Fibber Mould / Speciality Paper – Solution for Oil & water repellent for bio degradable disposable and food wrapping and greaseproof paper for QSR.

“The practical partnership approach has enabled KPL to significantly add to its customer base”

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