Well cut down on logistical expenses for more growth

Written by Sajan C Kumar | Updated: Mar 8 2010, 05:45am hrs
Hindustan Tin Works Ltd (HTWL), can manufacturer and provider of packing solutions, is one of the largest manufacturers of lithographed metal containers in India. With most sophisticated machinery from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Taiwan, Italy and Japan, HTWL exports tin cans to 21 countries. Corporates like Nestle, Heinz, Reckitt Benckiser (I), Hindustan Lever, Wockhardt, Britannia, Tata Coffee, Vadilal, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and others have all chosen to market their products in HTWL cans. In a free-wheeling interview with FEs Sajan C Kumar, HTWL managing director Sanjay Bhatia spoke about his companys journey so far and the road ahead. Excerpts:

Having completed 50-odd years in the food can segment, what are your companys future plans, taking into consideration the demand for high-quality cans from major FMCGs

HTWL is planning to expand its footprint with augmenting its capacity as well as exports. It is evaluating plans to set up more manufacturing facilities, especially near ports to drastically cut logistical expenses. The company was in the lookout for suitable locations in all the states, including Tamil Nadu. The concentration of a large number of mango pulp export units in places like Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Salem and Hosur was the key advantage favouring Tamil Nadu. The company, which has facilities in Haryana and Mumbai, has been catering to the food and non-food industry in terms of supplying cans, besides offering quality packing solutions to those associated with dairy products, processed foods, marine products, edible oils, tea, coffee, juices, motor oils, medicines, pesticides, chemical and paint manufacturing.

Your overall view about the food can manufacturing sector What is your companys contribution in terms of market share

The sector has always kept pace with the evolving technological and environmental aspects. It has been constantly upgrading its product baskets with inputs from global peers. As far as HTWLs contribution is concerned, the production capacity at Haryana unit stood at 260 million cans per annum and the unit at Mumbai produced 400 million cans per annum. The total consumption of tin plates in India stood at 4 lakh tonne per annum, 50% of it being used for manufacturing 15-kg big containers and the rest for making small packs used in food and non-food units. The company has a market share of around 20% in food can segment.

What are your companys initiatives in terms of maintaining the status of an ecologically inclined company

HTWL has also been into manufacturing of lithographed metal containers, considered to be environmental-friendly and an alternative to other forms of packing because of their recyclable nature. The company takes a leading role in ensuring proper responsibility by offering fully-recyclable green cans that adhere to internationally accepted norms. Besides, the company has its own quality labs at its plants to ensure the quality of cans because most of the can are either food or beverage cans.

Besides food can manufacturing, you have also been into beverage can production. How has been the going in that segment

The company also entered into a joint venture with Rexam HTW Beverage Can (India) Ltd to manufacture cans for beverages, soft drinks, etc. It is the major suppliers to many of the prominent liquor manufactures, including United Breweries. The company, which exported tin containers to 21 countries, recorded export revenue of around Rs 45 crore last year, which might go up to Rs 50 crore this year. While the annual turnover of the company stood at Rs 250 crore last year, it might touch Rs 275 crore this year. The company employs close to 500 people at its two facilities. HTWL has the proven technology along with infrastructure to produce ergonomic cans. The companys expertise in round, irregular tin cans and especially OTS cans is really unmatched in terms of design and quality. It is noteworthy to say that the presence in the can making industry over the years has enabled it to earn and enjoy a good reputation with customers. Besides, professional management, result oriented objective, quality conscious approach and strategic marketing have resulted in building up a good customer base all over the country and overseas.