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"Change The World Through Better Packaging Solutions" Ved Krishna, Strategy Head at Yash Pakka Ltd

In a conversation with BWBusinessworld, Ved Krishna talks about sustainable, better packaging solutions and packaging industry Excerpts -

Photo Credit :

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1) Tell us about the company in detail. How did the idea come up back then and how has the company evolved over the last 4 decades?

The market journey for Yash Pakka Limited began way back in 1981. Founded by my father KK Jhunjhunwala as Yash Papers Limited (former name), we started with the manufacturing of low-grammage kraft grades of paper. In 1991, we tripled the paper-making capacity and established dominance in the low grammage kraft market. In 1995, we set up a 2.5 MW Power Plant with Extraction-cum-Condensation Turbine while boosting production to 16,000 MT per annum. The company further doubled its manufacturing capacity in 2007 by deploying an integrated plant with a pulp mill, a chemical recovery unit, bleached MG grades of papers, and a 6 MW power plant.

Today, Yash Pakka has an installed manufacturing capacity of 39100 MT paper per annum and 1 million pieces of tableware per day with 8.5 MW electricity plant that runs on biomass. We are a 40-year-old brand. Over these years, we have evolved from being a global manufacturer of machine-glazed varieties of paper to a sustainable packaging solutions provider. We have further diversified into categories that are Paper, Moulded products and Value added products

2) What problem does YPL solve in the packaging market?

At Yash Pakka, our vision is to change the world through better packaging solutions. We aim to replace single-use plastics by providing innovative packaging solutions that are eco-friendly and contribute towards a cleaner planet.

3) Who is your major target audience? Tell us more about your clients

Yash Pakka offers innovative compostable packaging solutions to leading players in the food and pharmaceutical Industry like McDonalds and CCD.

Under the brand name CHUK, we offer compostable products to Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) such as Haldirams, Lite Bite Foods, HMS Host, and Chai Point. In the coming years, our plan is to expand our reach by adding customers, especially in the QSR segment, along with its partners in the food packaging industries.

4) What challenges did you face while helping brands transition to sustainable packaging model?

There has been times when brands have come themselves to us looking for sustainable packaging solutions. They are really the pioneers of their industry. Sometimes it takes a little bit of convincing in terms of the price aspect. But once they understand the long term benefits of using compostable over plastics such as the amount of water & labor saved and money saved on medical expenses later on, they are ready to switch.

5) How has the company grown and expanded over the years? Can we have a growth trajectory that showcases the growth?

From being a global manufacturer of machine-glazed varieties of paper to a sustainable packaging solutions provider, the journey so far has been prolific. As mentioned above, we started with the manufacturing of low-grammage kraft grades of paper and gradually expanded over the years. At

present, we have an installed manufacturing capacity of 39100 MT paper per annum and 1 million pieces of tableware per day with 8.5 MW electricity plant that runs on biomass. We took a big leap in 2019 when Yash Papers rebranded as Yash Pakka and transformed from a pulp and paper company to being a sustainable packaging company. We offer compostable products to leading players of the food and pharmaceutical industry having an annual turnover of Rs. 202.95 crores.

6) Do you see a shift in people’s behaviour with sustainable packaging? How do you see market receptiveness growing?

With the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in people making a conscious choice towards sustainable options. Many brands have also recently made the switch to compostables as they are much safer to eat from. This wave is here to stay and will continue to grow.

7) What are your key markets – Indian and global both?

As already mentioned, we offer innovative compostable packaging solutions to leading players in the food industry. Besides India, Yash Pakka has a strong business presence across 43 countries accounting to 17.39% of the total revenue in FY19-20.

8) Tell us more about the transformation from Yash Papers to Yash Pakka? What was the idea behind rebranding?

In 2019, we rebranded Yash Papers as Yash Pakka, transitioning from paper manufacturing to creating sustainable packaging solutions. As part of our new identity, Yash Pakka has retained ‘YASH’ from its predecessor Yash Papers. ‘PAKKA’, on the other hand, is an invented word based on the new brand identity. While ‘PAK’ reflects ‘packaging’, ‘KA’ refers to the soul or the spiritual aspect of the body. ‘KK’ from the founder’s initials is subtly integrated in between to connect the brand back to its origin. Pakka is an embodiment of the brand’s tagline ‘Packaging with a Soul’

Our aim has always been at the cutting-edge of innovation and sustainability. Today, the packaging sector generates $900 billion in annual revenues worldwide. We believe in providing sustainable packaging solutions that will contribute towards a cleaner planet. Therefore, most of our products are manufactured from agri-residue bagasse (sugarcane pulp). We also recover 95% of cooking chemicals used to manufacture the pulp, thereby making it even more environment-friendly.

9) How has the pandemic impacted the packaging industry? What is your take on this?

Yes, of course packaging has been impacted greatly both positively and negatively.

  • People are buying a lot more plastic packaged food.
  • There is a lot more delivery and online shopping mostly packaged in plastics
  • There is a lot more fear and hence usage of PPE, masks etc mostly made of plastic materials
  • All airlines etc are serving packaged foods again based on plastics

Hence, there is a lot more usage of packaging but it is mostly plastics which will have deep longer term impacts and needs to be corrected.

10) What has been your revenue turnover during the last financial year?

FY 19-20 - INR 26,111 lacs

11) How scalable is the model and what are your future plans?

Yash Pakka has been delivering a broad-based growth in revenue. The production capacity of our moulded products has increased by 15%. We further plan to double it by 2023. The brand is pitted towards the global food packaging industry and aims to emerge as a global leader by 2025. Our target is to achieve Rs 1400 crore turnover by 2025.


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