SIES-SOP’s endeavour is to groom professionals dedicated to the cause of developing packaging that is functionally efficient with quality parameters conforming to international standards, besides being cost effective and environment friendly. PV Narayanan, Chairman, SIES School of Packaging, talks more about the institute in a chat with Sachin Jagdale
What was the rationale behind laying the foundation of SIES School of Packaging?
SIES, an organisation fully devoted to education and skill development, is over a century old now. The centre constantly reviews and identifies areas of potential opportunities that will develop employment opportunities and entrepreneurship-oriented subjects. Packaging science, technology and engineering was not given adequate importance despite its scope, high growth and new avenues. Interestingly, the SIES School of Packaging/Packaging Technology Centre (SIES SOP/PTC) under the apex body of SIES, is a first of its kind institute in the country, in the private sector, which have started packaging programmes and have received overwhelming support from the industry.
How many students have been trained till now at the school?
There are more than 1,000 post graduate students who have undertaken the distance education programme, part time and short-term courses. An equal number of qualified engineers from the engineering branch have also joined the brand of packaging specialists, numbering over 500.
Which courses do you offer? How do you manage to keep these courses in sync with global packaging requirements?
We offer two-year post graduate diploma, which is a full-time course, and one-year graduation in technology, a part time and correspondence course The two-year post graduate diploma has three semesters, which covers technical sessions, laboratory work, practical classes, field and industrial visits, workshop training, besides dissertations, seminars and projects. The fourth semester is on industrial training. Also, there are short-term courses, which highlights on products/ materials, those which are in demand in the industry, like package design and development, quality parameters and quality assessment.
We also conduct exclusive industry need-based programmes. Such programmes have been designed based on pre-visits, discussions and drawing up of course contents. These endeavours have been well received by the industries based in India and abroad.
SIES SOP/ PTC also provides training to Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) (GoI) to update their skill and information. It thus benefits micro, small and medium industries, which eventually helps package converters, package users and new entrepreneurs. The centre also organises technology-oriented programmes.
SIES SOP PTC was affiliated to overseas institutions like Belgium Packaging Institute and Australian packaging institute and is currently affiliated with Rutgers, USA. Dialogues are in progress with similar other overseas universities/ institutions.
Do you have any tie-ups with the packaging companies? If yes, please explain the nature of these tie-ups.
The SIES SOP/PTC since its inception has evolved a lot and we have tie ups with various leading packaging companies in India and overseas. To name a few, the list includes: M/s. Avery Dennison, M/s Esko Graphics, M/s DuPont India, M/s Essel Propack, M/s Positive Packaging Industries, M/s Wraptech Machines, M/s ITC, M/s Mespack India, M/s IMA- PG India, M/s. Bosch, M/s Safal Flexibond, M/s USP Packaging Solutions, M/s Pacific Plastic Industries, M/s Alia Diadeis etc.
Most of the companies have contributed towards educational infrastructure, scholarship and awards, performance medals, group project recognitions etc. Nearly 12 companies have provided financial support to best performing students, students from the economically backward section and awards for the best female students.
Do you get sponsors for expensive equipment/ machinery, required during the course?
Quite a few industries have contributed towards infrastructure facilities and also for laboratory equipment. Most of the financial inputs have come from the SIES trust. The industry also avails testing and quality control facilities established at the centre on a regular basis. SIES/SOP/PTC is an ISO 9001:2008 certified institute and Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation recognised by the Department of Scientific, Industrial and Research (DSIR) under Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. The SOP/PTC has earned reputation and recognition as a premier institute for testing, quality assessments, design and developments, training and education as well as R&D in the field of packaging.
Do you provide placement assistance to students? Till now how many students have got placement offers and in which companies?
Student placement is our top priority. Industry-sponsored scholarships and projects enable students to bag internship. The centre also helps in overseas placements. SOP/PTC’s alumni provides impetus and opportunities for new pass outs. Increasing activities at the centre itself is a source of opportunity for the experienced and new ones.
Tell us about your expansion plans?
As a new initiative, SIES SOP/PTC is in the process to set up a Corporate Industry Advisory Body. It will help to bring in an intensive industry affiliation and will guide its activities and programmes. Actions have been initiated towards affiliations with institutions and universities both from India and abroad. New programmes of industry interest and of direct relevance are being identified and implemented. The process to expand the infrastructure includes updating the laboratory and research facilities. State-wise industry association have been planned to expand market for services offered by the SOP/PTC.