Plastindia to showcase the clout of the Indian plastic industry

Ajay Shah, chairman of Plastindia Foundation shares insights and what to expect about the upcoming Plastindia 2023 exhibition, held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, from 1 February to 5 February.

13 Jan 2023 | By WhatPackaging? Team

Ajay Shah, chairman of the National Executive Council at Plastindia 2023 said, “The show has grown into a global experience, covering the entire gamut of plastics producers and processors."

WhatPackaging?: The Plastindia show is transpiring after a gap of five years. What can we anticipate from the Plastindia show?
Ajay Shah:
Most of the professionals in the industry are aware that Plastindia is a leading brand, and the Plastindia 2023 exhibition will cover the entire plastic industry value chain. This is the 11th edition of our flagship exhibition. Plastindia contributes significantly to the Indian plastic industry. There would be a large number of foreign exhibitors and delegates at the expo. Plus it will be a great education about the latest technology and innovations on display. 

WhatPackaging?: In what way will PlastIndia provide opportunities for the future of business?
Ajay Shah:
We are expecting participation from 1,800 exhibitors. The exhibitors are from 45 different countries across the globe. The expected footfalls will be more than two lakh visitors during the period. 

WhatPackaging?: What are the themes at Plastindia?
Ajay Shah:
The exhibition will be seen in terms of raw materials, and machineries as well as mould-making. Visitors can look forward to applications in the health, hygiene, medical, agriculture and automobile sectors. Recycling and sustainability themes are expected to evoke interest. At Plastindia, we believe that recycling will show significant and rapid growth going forward.

WhatPackaging?: What kind of conversations are we going to hear during Plastindia?
Ajay Shah:
There are going to be three major events. The first one is a buyer-seller meet. Over 300 buyers from overseas are looking for products and they can source from India. In the second type of knowledge session, the Indian Centre for Polymers and Environment (ICPE) will conduct seminars on sustainability and recycling. The third set is a symposium during which a group of CEOs will confabulate, debate and interact during a CEOs Conclave. 

WhatPackaging?: Please share a bit about your themes around sustainability and circular economy?
Ajay Shah:
Our theme is: Innovate, sustain and grow. This is also the theme of the show. We are going to host sustainable and recycling activities with products and knowledge-sharing from independent bodies like ICPE. The International Alliance to End plastic waste will be present as well.

WhatPackaging?: What kind of messaging are you hoping that the show ends up projecting? 
Ajay Shah:
We’re trying to showcase the powers of the Indian plastic industry. I think there's a huge potential for this industry to grow, and become a sourcing hub for the world. There is keen interest from overseas suppliers and companies. Today, India is seen as a prime candidate for the China plus one strategy to diversify manufacturing. This would support the vision of our Prime Minister to march towards a USD 10 trillion economy and ensure significant employment. The plastic industry in India has the power to employ a large number of people. The industry provides jobs to over four million people and comprises over 35,000 processing units, 80% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises. This sector is predicted to achieve 9.1 lakh crores by 2025.

WhatPackaging?: What has been the trajectory for the plastic industry in India during the past year? 
Ajay Shah
: We are seeing growth in every polymer. PE, PP, PVC, or thermoset plastics and other speciality thermoplastics are seeing a good size of growth. The growth for all the polymers is between 5% and 10%. It is a healthy growth as compared to the year before. 

WhatPackaging?: What is the status of PP capacity? 
Ajay Shah
: We are looking at exporting finished products. The other parts of plastic such as resins are currently being imported. I feel, the Indian focus would be to ensure the value-added products  on our polymers within this country and export it rather than exporting PP or PP.

WhatPackaging?: What is the scenario in terms of capacity?
Ajay Shah
: In terms of capacity, a new plant is on the verge of starting up even as we speak. This can result in a large inflow of PE coming up and a significant volume of PP. On an overall basis, we will be close to being balanced in terms of overall capacity and demand supply. After this large capacity comes on stream, we have a few more capacities that are likely to come up later this year.

WhatPackaging?: When you say finished products, are there specific products where India has  an advantage as compared to other nations?
Ajay Shah
: Any finished product, which is not consuming a lot of volume. Today, even flexible packaging is being exported abroad. There are multiple products that we can export and in terms of a product-line. I think creativity is infinite. People are seeking alternatives to China, and India can provide an alternative. Today, it is easy to do business with India.

WhatPackaging?: In terms of sourcing hubs for the global plastics industry, is there any tangible step in that direction? Is there a plastic city on the anvil?
Ajay Shah
: There have been lots of states who have announced plastic parks and served the purpose. I think, once they get going, they will reach a critical mass. Today, it is not happening at the central level, but at the state level. We have four or five states who have announced their plastic park projects. This should provide a good opportunity to become the backbone of plastic sourcing.

WhatPackaging?: The Plastics Industry Status Report 2021-22 highlights the role that plastics can play in further accelerating economic growth. It says, consumption in India has grown 23 percent since 1990 - stood at 20.8 million mt in 2021-22 and is estimated to reach 22 million mt in 2022-23. Looking ahead, can you highlight one important message about plastics?
Ajay Shah:
When we look at our Jal Jeevan mission, you realise the importance of clean water and transporting of clean water. Plastic pipes are one of the most efficient ways of achieving this. Same thing applies for our city gas distribution; wherein LPG pipes play an important role. If we want to save water and ensure crop yields are improved, it can be done through flexible packaging and drip irrigation.


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