Packaging solutions provider Uflex, which is venturing into aseptic liquid packaging, today launched its brand 'Asepto' and is aiming to corner around one-third market in the segment in the next 2-3 years.
The company is investing Rs 1,500 crore in its greenfield plant at Sanand in Gujarat to manufacture aseptic liquid packaging and it would be commercially operational by April 2017.
"We are expecting that in the next 2-3 years, we should have 100 per cent capacity utilisation. We are building around 7 billion packs capacity and we should be able to block this capacity," Uflex Group President R K Jain told PTI.
"We would have around 35 to 40 per cent of the market which would be around 17-18 billion packs in next 2-3 years."
Present size of aseptic liquid packaging is around 10 billion packs as of now, which is valued around Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 3,000 crore, Jain added.
"The market is growing very fast now. Presently, it is growing between 18 to 20 per cent and the way business and consumption of liquid is growing... The demand is growing to 25 per cent or so," Jain said.
Presently, aseptic liquid packaging segment is dominated by the Swiss firm Tetra Pak here and the company expects to challenge in its turf.
"Till now Tetra Pak has monopoly as there was no second product in the market. We have a better chance to penetrate in the market as most of the customers, who are buying liquid packs from Tetra Pak, they would like to derisk themselves," Jain said.
According to Uflex President & CEO New Business Initiative Ashwani Sharma, the company is already in talks with its existing customers of flexible packing business, which are in liquid business.
"There are companies as Coke, Pepsi, Amul, Nestle and many more with whom we are already dealing with them in flexible packing business and they also have products as dairy, juices. We are already dealing with them and we would be starting a new product segment with them," he said adding "we are familiar with the markets and customers."
The company has so far invested Rs 580 crore and has plans to invest around Rs 1,500 crore in phases.
"The first phase would focus more on domestic market. We are looking to sell around 90 per cent of our product within India and the domestic market is growing rapidly," Sharma added.
On being asked whether the demonetisation has impacted the October-December quarter of Uflex, he said: "We are not facing that kind of situation as our business runs on preorders and 50 per cent of our revenue comes from export."
Asepto is derived from the word aseptic which means sterile. Aseptic packaging, made by laminating Poly-ethylene with paperboard and aluminum foil ensures that food remains free from bacteria and other harmful microorganisms for a period of at least 8 months under room temperature.
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