Of late, Pune-based Nichrome India Ltd has been in the news. For one thing, it has announced a plan to set up a research and development centre with an investment of Rs 5 crore. Secondly, it has been conferred the Pacmachine 2010 Award by the Indian Institute of Packaging for the development of the Penta seal pouch machine. In an interview with Huned Contractor, the company's managing director Mr Harish Joshi highlights the company's activities and future plans.
Nichrome India is best known as the pioneer of VFFS machines in India and has revolu-tionised the packing and distribution of milk by introducing pouch packing in dairies. It has been a leading manufacturer and exporter of packaging systems for over 34 years and has to its credit over 5,000 installations for liquid, viscous and solid applications together in 40 countries globally. Nichrome has ISO 9001: 2000 quality certification and is also certified under ISO 22000:2005 for food safety management system - making it the first machinery manufacturing company from India to exceed the requirements of HACCP.
The company offers various form-fill-seal, high-speed multilane and bulk packing solutions for the primary packing of solid, liquids and viscous products in food as well non-food category. It also offers pre and post-packaging equipment, packaging automation solutions like baling systems, or turnkey packaging automation solutions. Acquiring the latest international technologies, Nichrome now caters to the whole gamut of cosmetics, personal care and pharmaceutical sectors. Excerpts from the interview:
What have been Nichrome's most recent products?
Nichrome has been the pioneer and leader in the vertical form fill seal machines segment in India. Having a machine installation base of over 5,000, we have now diversified into two new technologies with the help of foreign partners.
One, we have entered into a technology transfer licensing agreement with Prodopack Corp, USA, to manufacture and sell high-speed multilane VFFS machines and with Totpack, Spain to manufacture and sell horizontal form fill and seal machines.
Could you elaborate about your R&D centre?
We have set up a dedicated product development/R&D centre for the development of technology, new products and new applications. It has a DSIR-approved R&D centre status and employs a group of mechanical, electrical and software engineers as also packaging technologists. The centre has a controlled atmosphere demonstration/R&D machine lab for conducting trials on real life products. It uses state-of-the-art 3D modelling facility for the mechanical designs.
Which sectors of the Indian industry is Nichrome focusing on right now?
Nichrome is a clear leader in the food and agriculture industry. With its new product lines of multilane VFFS and horizontal form fill seal machines, Nichrome is focusing on the cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceutical and neutraceutical sectors.
What are the company's capex plans for 2011-12?
We are investing on a new R&D centre and office building measuring 12,000 sq.ft at our Shrimal plant at Shirwal off the Pune-Bangalore highway with an investment of Rs 5 crore. The facility is expected to be completed by March 2012. This will provide an integrated work place for product designing. The facility has a 50-seater training hall and a modern 'pouch gallery'.
What is the company's targeted growth for 2011-12?
Nichrome is targeting 30-40 per cent growth in 2011-12.
What are Nichrome's plans for exports?
Nichrome has an extensive sales and service network in developing regions like SAARC, Africa, the Middle East, CIS and ASEAN. Nichrome is also participating in industry-specific exhibitions in some of these countries to boost exports.
Is any strategy being employed by the company to strengthen the Nichrome brand?
Nichrome's customer base is in excess of 1,500. The 'Nichrome' brand is built on innovation, appropriate technology, reliability and customer support. We are adding new front line technologies under this brand to expand the solution base. We are also spending on societal and social causes through our CSR projects.
(Nichrome India Ltd, Pune. Tel: 020-66011001. Fax: 91-20-66011010, Email: email@example.com)
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