Spotlight on Gita Bajaj, director of Vinsak

Gita Bajaj speaks to WhatPackaging? team about how the year (2023) was; what the learnings were; and how the packaging industry should march forward in 2024

04 Dec 2023 | By WhatPackaging? Team

One good thing from 2023 which you would like to carry forward to 2024?
Commitment to  Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. For me personally, sustainable HR practices are a key goal and passion.

Looking at 2023, what is the one thing that you think the packaging industry should abandon?
Greenwashing. ESG concerns are real and serious. The greatest disservice one can do is to offer lip service or promote one’s brand position without tangible actions. According to the recent RepRisk report, one in every four climate-related ESG risk incidents during September 2022 – 2023, was tied to greenwashing, an increase from one in five from their previous report. The packaging industry must decide to abandon greenwashing. If every player in the packaging industry decides to become truthful and transparent then even small concrete steps will begin to contribute to a true picture and hence a more clear corrective path.  

Has the traditional learning curve become an extreme learning curve? As an organisation, how do you disseminate knowledge; both within and without?
Lifelong learning is now a norm, here to stay. But learning has to be continuous, stress free and enjoyable. Only those who enjoy this process will survive and also have the opportunity to reminisce about the fast-evolving world around them. We believe in following two guiding principles: Sharing (knowledge) is caring and learning goals are shared goals - of the company and the individual. As a company we have an active learning and development division that provides continuous opportunity to employees to learn. Our engagement with the customer is also to keep them posted with the latest global developments. Our global presence helps us keep track of the evolving landscape internationally and enables us to bring those possibilities at the doorsteps of our printing and converting partners. 

What is your customer's topmost priority?
Post Covid the sentiment was positive but recent international political events have made some more careful, for the moment at least.

Everyone is pushing the sustainability agenda. What does it really mean?
All and more. Reimagining everything, we do. In my view, not just efficient recycling but also reuse and reduce remain equally important. Infact, reducing waste could be the simplest way forward. But it calls upon leaders and trend setters to make it look cool, especially in the packaging world. Expensive brands communicate their luxury through extravagant packaging. Packaging of perfumes or watches are an obvious example. I applaud the decision of the liquor companies who have discarded the mono carton packaging for a better planet. When the fashion setters will make it the goal, much of it can get a boost. Companies and researchers must develop new management models to enable breakthrough in processes. governments can help by making technology accessible and affordable. And consumers can choose to consume sustainable products over the traditional ego massagers. 

What is the most important conversation you are having with a customer in order to be prepared for the next 12 months?
Many international political events have had a grim effect on the economy. It is important for companies to find their niche and work on the bottom line. The next year could be tough on margins.

How do we maximise the clout of our industry? One input for the FM which could benefit our industry?
Technology that promotes affordable green packaging products must be made affordable for Indian printers and convertors. The Make in India initiative of the government is laudable. Government must help enterprises in the print and packaging industry develop such indigenous technology by providing funds for research and development. Even supporting machine manufacturing companies to buy technology and make it affordable for Indian printers and convertors would go a long way in giving this sector a boost. 
 

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

22.22%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

11.11%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

16.67%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

50.0%

Total Votes : 18

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