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How Packaging Market In India Will Showcase Positive Impact During 2020-24

Manufacturing sectors, such as pharmaceuticals or FMCG sectors such as packaged food and beverages, functional food and hygienic products have observed a considerable growth, raising the demand of packaging.

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Throughout history, the spread of infectious diseases has not only caused the painful demise of millions, but also threatened trillions of dollars of global gross domestic product (GDP). Like others before it, the Covid-19 Pandemic affected the health and wellbeing of the global community, in addition to leaving the global economy stricken. The pandemic induced changes across various industries—such as retail, media and banking, to name a few—at an unprecedented pace.

Valued at USD 31.7 billion in 2015, the Indian packaging industry was pegged to touch USD 72.6 billion by 2020, as per the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India. The spread of Coronavirus side-tracked the forecasts considerably. However, the impact of the pandemic has varied, largely dependant on the end-user industry. Even with the ongoing- pandemic, the industry has continued to steadily rise—though not at the same scale as pre- Covid times—with the emergence of online retail and e-commerce brand.

As a direct result of the pandemic-led loquacious lockdowns, consumers in India have shifted towards e-retail and e-commerce for necessities and luxuries alike—a trend that is believed to continue post-Covid as well. The internet economy in India is expected to reach USD 250 billion by 2020, primarily skewed by the upsurge in E-commerce. As per the Indian Ecommerce Industry report, e-commerce in India is anticipated to jump from USD 39 billion in 2017 to USD 120 billion in 2020, exhibiting an annual growth of 51 percent—the highest in the world. With such an increase, the packaging industry in India is set to follow, specifically due to the rising demand for high quality, safe and hygienic packaging. Additionally, e-commerce and e-retail will also hasten the rise of transit packaging and omni- channel packaging—a somewhat ignored segment in India.

Likewise, manufacturing sectors, such as pharmaceuticals or FMCG sectors such as packaged food and beverages, functional food and hygienic products have observed a considerable growth, raising the demand of packaging. While nation-wide closures led to the fall for disposable packaging in the food packaging industry, the focus has shifted elsewhere. With the consumption patterns shifting towards food delivery, sustainable disposable takeaway packaging has seen a surge, warranting new packaging requirements across the country. Similarly, the pharmaceutical industry, another key user of packaging, has also expanded with the spread of Covid-19, with pharmaceutical packaging becoming an important component of drug delivery in India. 

Pre-Covid China was the leader in the packaging sector globally, being the largest consumer, manufacturer and exporter of packaged materials and goods. The pandemic-led lockdown and controversy have impacted China’s packaging sector exponentially. The subsequent isolation of China has led to countries and companies to look for replacements, in order to eliminate their supply chain vulnerabilities, wherein India’s rising packaging industry may benefit in the near future.

India’s packaging industry is set to rise with a CAGR of 26.7 percent during 2020-2025 to USD 204.81 billion by 2025. Changing lifestyle, internet penetration and rising population will fuel the demand of packaging in the country. While challenges for the packaging industry—such as cost, technology, regulations, volatile economic condition—persist, the  industry presents an array of opportunities despite the health crisis. The industry must leverage these opportunities to emerge as a global player. One of the hopeful effects of the pandemic has been the rapid digitisation of allied industries. From tele-medication to telecommuting, digitisation has been the dark horse in successfully navigating the arduous lockdowns. A critical understanding accentuated by Covid-19 is that digitalization has the propensity to address the obstacles faced by existing businesses, increasing productivity and long-term sustainability by effective utilisation of data. Using new digital architectures, the packaging industry must strengthen its potential in terms of technology, efficacy, skill and global competitiveness. As the country rises from the Covid-19 downturn, the package manufacturing and service industries will play a key role in establishing India’s future growth, both inshore and outshore.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Hitesh B Rao

Co-founder, RR Group

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