Exclusive interview with Mr. Khushal Patel, Director- Sales & Marketing, BST eltromat India Pvt. Ltd
As a market leader in the packaging / converting sector what’s your strategy on make in India and serve the world?
One can only be a market leader if he is able to serve his market and cater to their needs and requirements in the best way possible. Our strategy is based on this fundamental notion. The Indian market being so vast and dynamic in itself lends itself to so many challenges which only we can understand and meet as we are in the thick of it. Hence we have decided to serve our customers by locally manufacturing web guides, video inspection, adhesive mixers/dispensers and various process automation products that are truly innovative in function and world-class in performance and quality. This is just the beginning and there are many more concepts and products in the pipeline. Our objective is to make BST eltromat India "Aatma Nirbhar" or self-reliant and supply Indian made and designed systems not only to our customers India but also to customers in our international territory.
Which markets to you foresee to offer more growth once the post the covid-19 situation improves. How will buyers in India respond to expansion and investments in your technology?
The FMCG segment growth is only going to continue and now with a more vigour due to the pandemic as Hygiene and zero to minimal direct contact will become essential for consumers buying their day to day food and other consumables. As our Government is taking steps to ensure that we become more self-reliant and less dependent on China, we see a huge potential in new energy and the non-woven sectors.
What were some of the important measures you took to get back from lockdown and how did you serve you clients despite challenges of the lockdown?
Our manufacturing unit based out of Anand, Gujarat has always followed the norms and rules set out by the local GIDC committee. Our unit only started on the day the Committee allowed the opening of factories.
And even then we ensured a complete sanitization of the entire premises keeping with the norms set by the local municipal authorities. Post that, all employees across the departments were made to come on alternate days to ensure safe distancing and no outbreak.
During the lockdown period, our sales and service engineers extend their services to our customers on the phone and online. Many of our products are equipped with remote assistance where our engineer can take the system online and diagnose and solve the issue online. During the lockdown we have conducted numerous webinars where we have had master classes and sessions to help our customers to better understand their systems, functions, ease of use, upgrade benefits, maintenance, etc. As a team, we all were committed to support our customers and ensure that their operations remain unaffected.
Covid has thrown multiple challenges to manufacturers. What are some of the new innovations that has made this challenge into an opportunity?
The disruption on manufacturing caused by COVID-19 has severe operational, social and financial consequences. It is forcing manufacturers to rethink risk management and contingency plans, workforce safety protocols, manufacturing operations and new ways of working opportunities, all at the same time.
However, we took this challenge to strengthen our portfolio and improvise on the same. We added some new products which were not in our product line, so a new segment will opened for us post lockdown. Our specialist engineers, business associates and customers have played critical roles to make this thing possible in a very short period of time. We are hopeful and looking forward to the overall situation getting normal.
How do you compare B2B exhibitions in India and abroad especially with events in Germany and China? Do you see India emerging as the go to destinations of Converting / Packaging event?
So far India or India based exhibitions are solely relying on the strength of its numbers and attracts exhibitors and visitors by using the volume game. This needs to change and we need to make huge strides in infrastructure to be even considered on par with other Asian countries. Any major exhibition has to have an holistic approach and the convenience factor of the exhibitors and visitors have to be considered from every angle, be it logistics, parking, ease of access to the venue, lodging and boarding nearby the venue along with the facilities provided by the show organisers, the list goes on and on.. I feel we are way behind exhibitions even in Dubai and Thailand. Forget Germany and China.