Sep. 8, 2021


Seema Mathur

UAE

Seema Mathur

Managing Director, Packtech Plastic

“The outlook for the plastic industry is positive.”

BIO

Seema Mathur is the Managing Director of Packtech Plastic.


What have been some of the highlights of Packtech Plastic's journey, and what has been its main contribution to the industrial landscape of Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE?

Because of its location in Ras Al Khaimah and the government's support of the industry, Packtech Plastic has made productive use of its facilities, transportation and infrastructure. The Plastic Packaging industry has seen a tremendous increase in the past, and is now on a steady rise. With the current Covid situation, there has been an increasing demand of hygienic packaging leading to more demand of plastic products. Ras Al Khaimah has prepared itself and adapted to this changing environment. We have learned to deal with COVID-19 and live with new regulations. We have also adapted by making necessary changes in our operations, manufacturing, and marketing. Since this is a major industrial belt, the government of Ras Al Khaimah has greatly encouraged all industries around us, leading to higher contribution to the economy. Plastic Production is an extremely important segment to the development of the UAE's economy.

How do you collaborate with other industrial sectors in the UAE?

The industry is closely linked to other industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, or perfume to name a few. All industries have to package their products for transportation, better shelf life, sharing important information such as nutrition facts/ingredients and marketing. Today packaging is not only about appeal or presentation but also the necessity for safety during Covid due to its disposable nature. There is a trend moving away from plastic that began a few years ago, and we focus on specialized packaging that gives products a longer shelf life and better hygiene. For example, in the food industry, we manufacture printed products in films and bags for long-distance transportation, which protects against movements and damage to the product while simultaneously increasing its shelf life.

What changes have you seen in terms of demand over the past few years?

In the past year, we have seen a number of positive changes. However, we have to work very hard to better prepare ourselves to meet the changes which are bound to come our way in the future. We are developing our IT infrastructure in tandem, mainly so people can work from home easily. Although the operations of manufacturing cannot be done at home, other departments were able to work from home. We also engaged in marketing our products via video calls.

How do you adapt your work to each client, especially taking into account the wide range of industries you work for?

This goes hand-in-hand with the customers' requirement. Our first priority is to understand what the customer needs. No industry can progress if its products fail to meet the requirements of the customer. Today packaging is an art. We look for various solutions and the best possible options available within their budget. In 2020, we saw strict budgeting in all industries. Keeping that in mind, we developed specialized products wherein we get a better-quality product with better pricing. We have an advantage because our entire production is in house; we do not depend on any other industry for our raw material or part of our production. For example, we produce and print films, develop it so that it has better shelf life, and suitably adapt it to the market, whether in retail or wholesale. We are able to cater to all aspects of marketing the product. To an extent, we source our raw material locally as well, though we import most of the raw material from Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

What is the company's approach to exports?

We cater heavily to the export market. We cater to Saudi Arabia, the African subcontinent, and other countries such as Bahrain and Oman. In the past and starting from the lockdown to date, there has been a tremendous surge in hygiene products such as sanitizers and masks. The packaging needs to be taken care of, and we have been able to market and export solutions that are flexible.

How is the industry adapting to ecological trends and the market starting to reject the use of plastic?

We are conscious of our social responsibility toward the environment and society in general and have moved on with developing biodegradable plastics. We cater to a market segment wherein the film is biodegradable and recyclable, and the life of the product is not changed, depending on the customer. Separating waste from recycling can be an issue for many clients, so even if they are not able to segregate the plastic, it will still biodegrade over time. These films are more sustainable, last longer, and these solutions have been adapted with changing technology and demands. Thus, we are able to provide a solution that can also improve their commitment to social responsibility. The industry has provided great support for these initiatives, and we have also invested in research and technology to cater to this segment. We look forward to turning this challenge into an opportunity.

How do you see demand evolving in the short term, and what trends can you foresee in the plastic industry?

The outlook for the plastic industry is positive. In this particular segment of the Plastic Industry, we see a great deal of development and new types of films catering to various needs in the market, such as films with better oxygen permeability, a better glossy finish, or the latest developments now that are in tandem with partners that provide even more technological advancements. These can cater to even greater demand for high-tech products in the coming.

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