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When Saket Kanoria’s father conceptualized TCPL Packaging (TCPL) in 1990, it started as a small company with a small investment.
“Since our inception we’ve listed more than 120 quarters, and only three times we didn’t grow over the previous year’s quarter – which is a remarkable record because these three quarters were affected by demonetization, GST change and COVID-19. All of these were unique and unprecedented,” Saket, now the business’s Managing Director, tells The CEO Magazine.
TCPL’s sustained growth is rare to come across, but a lot of credit goes to the family’s eye for opportunities and timely pivots. When the Indian economy was liberalized in the early 90s, the Kanorias sensed an influx of new businesses and consumers requiring more packaging. The company responded to that gap first by exporting tobacco packages and later expanding into other industries.
“We saw the opportunity to get into packaging as a whole in India, and we could upgrade the quality of packaging with our unique technology,” Saket recalls. “We took advantage of both offset printing and gravure printing, so the quality was far superior to what was prevalent back then.”
TCPL has grown up alongside the Kanoria family. In 2014 Akshay, Saket’s son, came onboard as Executive Director to help the company expand into sustainable packaging. “The reason I was attracted to the business was that I saw the packaging industry as a sunrise sector. And it’s a fairly perpetual sunrise sector for India because India is ever-growing,” Akshay says.
TCPL is taking giant strides in sustainable packaging and even pioneering biodegradable packaging laminates. The company has teamed up with Alma Solutions to manufacture paper cups, where it sees big export potential.
As well as that, the Kanorias recently launched a subsidiary called TCPL Innofilms, with the aim of providing multilayer packaging containing revolutionary plastic film.
“The reason I was attracted to the business was that I saw the packaging industry as a sunrise sector. And it’s a fairly perpetual sunrise sector for India because India is ever-growing.”
- Akshay Kanoria
“The kind of packaging customers can make with films manufactured by TCPL Innofilms will be 100 percent recyclable. Therefore it’ll be a big step forward as far as most companies’ sustainable packaging requirements are concerned,” an optimistic Akshay says. The decision might prove another win for TCPL, as the Indian government recently banned single-use plastic in the country.
TCPL’s near-term expansion goals also include mobile covers for manufacturers and electronics companies. “We were traditionally folding cartons based on paperboard and laminate. On top of those two originals, we now have three new categories, which are all at early stages and they have a long way to go,” Saket explains.
Improving paper cup production, investing in TCPL Innofilms research and development and growing the new segment of laminates will be the primary targets for the Kanorias in the next few months. But the people at the helm are also aware of the challenges involved.
First, they want to sustain the double-digit compound annual growth rate the company has been reaching year after year. Second, they want to insulate the business from inflation and dwindling demand by expanding into different categories. And third, they plan to improve marketing to reach underserved businesses.
TCPL has already succeeded on some fronts by obsessing over quality. “We have a unique one-line operation,” Saket reveals. “We taught ourselves that if we don’t focus on minute details, we cannot produce efficiently. There was a big focus on excellence from day one.”
The emphasis on machine efficiency, low waste and high product quality helped TCPL grow over the years, while keeping operational costs low. Credit also goes to the suppliers that have aligned with TCPL’s motto.
Saket groups his suppliers into three categories: stock suppliers for raw materials such as paper and board; machinery suppliers to upgrade technologies and train employees; and consumables suppliers for ink and other materials.
“The kind of packaging customers can make with films manufactured by TCPL Innofilms will be 100 percent recyclable. Therefore it’ll be a big step forward as far as most companies’ sustainable packaging requirements are concerned.”
- Akshay Kanoria
TCPL has long-term relationships with stock suppliers where both parties share a constant feedback loop, which the machinery suppliers can use as a basis to implement changes. The business prioritized a select group of suppliers from the beginning, and today it deals with 10 key vendors for the majority of materials.
The family-run business found its groove and has stuck to it ever since. “We work with a great deal of transparency with our customers. We like to take advantage of new opportunities when they present themselves – and whatever we do, we try to do the best we can,” Saket concludes.