Bluecraft Agro secures dominant position in starch industry with 2,000 metric tons daily production capacity, captures 10% market share


“Our operations and supply chain management processes are unparalleled in the country”
“We ensure our products meet customer expectations and specifications by applying best practices and standard testing methodologies”

Bluecraft Agro manufactures a range of specialty starches and modified starches, derived from maize, potato, and tapioca. Its wide range of modified starches are used for surface sizing, bonding, wet-end applications, coating and adhesives, thereby providing enhanced properties to paper. The Pulp and Paper Times met Mr. Siddharth Chowdhary, Executive Director, Bluecraft AgroPvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, and spoke with him about the numerous facets of the Indian starch industry and its expanding significance for diverse applications in the paper industry. This is what he thinks: 

Q: Give us a small Introduction to Bluecraft Agro Pvt. Ltd (BAPL) and its emergence in Pulp and Paper Industry?

Bluecraft AgroPvt. Ltd.with over 30 years of experience in the starch industry began its journey in 1993 with the commencement of a Corn Wet Milling plant at Viramgam, Ahmedabad (Riddhi Siddhi GlucoBiols Ltd.). Thereafter, we grew by leaps and bounds and were the leading manufacturers of starch and its derivatives in India.

Bluecraft Agro manufactures a range of specialty starches andmodified starches, derived from maize, potato, and tapioca. We cater to the leading companies in the Paper & Board industry offering solutions for various kinds of paper such as writing & printing, duplex, kraft, newsprint, board and corrugation. Our wide range of modified starches are used for surface sizing, bonding, wet-end applications, coating and adhesives, thereby providing enhanced properties to paper. 

Q: Starch is a critical ingredient in most of the paper grades and its consumption ranks third in the process of making paper. How does starch improve life of paper and board?

Bluecraft Agro manufactures a range of specialty and modified starches, derived from agro commodities such as maize for the paper industry. Starch is a vital ingredient for producing paper and ranks third in the process of making paper. Our starches contribute to the increased stiffness of paper, acts as a bonding agent for surface sizing, used as binder for coatings, acts as emulsifying agent and provides adhesive properties for producing various corrugation boxes. Starch improves paper strength and appearance, restrains ink penetration, reduces cracking, thus creating a firm surface for better writing and printing and enhances its life. 

We offer a wide range of over 15 types of modified starches for the Paper & Board industry and are the largest producer of paper grade starches in India. 

Q: What does one understand with BluecraftAgro’s motto of providing ‘Ingredients for a Happy Life’?

Bluecraft Agro’s motto is providing ‘Ingredients for a Happy Life’ as it strives to improve the well-being of all the stakeholders in the agro-processing ecosystem and the lives of the people it touches. From the procurement of agro-based raw material to the final production of specialty starches and its derivatives, we engage with and impact millions of lives in the process. We firmly believe that we are part of a bigger ecosystem, which comprises farmers, suppliers, distributors, employees, regulators, community members, customers, and consumers, and it is our duty to spread happiness to all of them through our work and efforts.

We are among the largest buyers of agricultural produce in India, procuring >6,50,000 metric tonnes annually while supporting the farming community in producing good quality and yield.

Being passionate about the environment and sustainable practices, the promoter group has also significantly invested in renewable energy such as Wind energy and Agro-based fuels for boilers and power plants, making it a net-green company. In the process, we have laid a strong foundation for sustained growth for the future – through our patience, perspective, and above all, perseverance.

Q: Post-COVID pandemic, the Paper Industry has faced drastic changes like raw material crisis, an increase in otherinput costs and demand; what is BAPL’s quick review about the present condition of the Indian Paper Industry?

The impact of the pandemic has softened for the current year as the paper industry has seen strong demand from packaging segment, rise in production, and growth in sales revenue. Although raw material procurement was a challenge, supply-demand imbalance led to higher realization.

Besides this, as an outcome of the pandemic, the industry has seen a dramatic shift in demand from printing & writing paper segment to packaging paper segment since it gave rise to eCommerce business, primarily in the food, FMCG, and the pharmaceutical sectors. While these market dynamics changed, our focus also shifted toward ingredients for the packaging and corrugated paper segment. 

The paper packaging industry in India is expected to grow by around 6-7%in the next two years while the long-term demand is expected to remain stable. We have seen growing investments in the paper packaging segment post-pandemic, which gives us further scope to innovate and cater to this emerging business. 

Q: Please shed some light on BAPL’s product offering for the pulp and paper industry and its manufacturing facilities.

We offer a wide range of modified starches such as surface sizing, cationic, oxidized, coating and bonding to the paper industry. Most of our products are economical and offer a significant improvement in the final quality of the paper. We also work closely with our customers to understand their needs and customise solutions accordingly. 
Some of our products for different applications include: 

Sizing / Oxidized Starches - Amyloplast®, Amylokraft™, Amylosize™ and Amylotap™: Sizing starches fill the cavities and capillaries in paper and board to reduce water penetration. They come with a range of viscosity and fluidity to suit the requirement of paper processing. These starches improve the strength properties of the paper such as breaking length, burst factor, dimensional property, printability, stiffness, and runs smoothly on machines with no degradation of properties.

Cationic Starches – Amylofloc® and Fiberloc™:These starches are used as wet-end additives in the paper industry. They enable improved mechanical strength, retention of fillers, faster drainage and reduced wastewater pollution.

Coating Starches- Amylogum™,Amylokote™: These starches enable better binding of coating mix/colour. Coating colour, consisting of pigments, binders and water, enhances the appearance of the finished paper. Starches act as natural binders forthe same.

Adhesive Starches - Amylogum™ and Amylodon™: Enables better binding and also serves as partial replacement for synthetic fibre. Faster drying properties of adhesive starches can enable corrugators to improve productivity.

Headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the company has three manufacturing facilities in the states of Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, with an aggregate capacity of 2,000 metric tonnes per day. With a cohesive workforce of 2,500+ people, we dynamically cater to the needs of several businesses. We are also in process of further expanding our capacities and introducing a new range of products in the near future. 

Q: How do Bluecraft Agro’s products improve the paper-making efficiency, reduce the manufacturing cost, and guarantee the competitive strength of enterprise?

All our plants are equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and modern technology, and an extensive Research & Development centre with a highly qualified and experienced team of engineers and scientists to develop and deliver superior performance products and continually seek its application in new products. We ensure delivering high-quality products by harnessing manufacturing excellence and best practices in the industry, ensuring cost efficiency and sustainability. 

Our products undergo stringent quality checks, and we have a dedicated laboratory with high-end equipment for testing purposes. We ensure our products meet customer expectations and specifications by applying best practices and standard testing methodologies. Our Research & Development facility is continually working to develop new products and properties that are demanded by our customers.

Q: Please explain the growth of the starch market in India, future growth and market share that BAPL holds.

Starch is a versatile, natural, renewable and biodegradable polymer and has wide ranging applications in various industries, Paper& Board being one of them. The starch industry in India has been growing consistently over the years with demand for native maize starch anticipated to growth at a rate of ~5 to 7% CAGR upto 2027. BAPL is among the market leaders with combined production capacity of 2,000 Metric Tons per day, holding about 10% of the market share. 

Furthermore, as per market intelligence, the paper industry is poised to growth double digit at ~13% CAGR upto 2028, owing to rising income and urbanization, widening spread of education and increase in literacy rate leading to rising readership of newspaper and magazines. Besides this, increasing focus and shift from plastics to paper packaging due to environment consciousness also signifies growing opportunity for starch as an additive in the paper & board industry for the multitude of properties it provides. 

Q: Odour in Paper is a major hurdle in making food-grade paper. Does starch play a role in controlling the Odorous compounds from the packaging material?

Odour in the food grade paper is caused mainly due to waste water, hygiene conditions, and chemical or microbiological factors. Inadequate storage, exposure to moisture and improper recycling process can also lead to odour in paper. As various additives are used in paper production, it is essential to ensure that these additives meet the specifications defined. Starch acts as an additive in the paper making process rendering various properties. BAPL’s modified starches particularly control the odour and improve the quality of food-grade papers. Besides this, paper manufacturers must ensure proper biocide treatment to control bacteria for reducing the odour in food-grade paper. 

At BAPL, we ensure that our starches comply to the required specifications of our customers in the paper segment through our robust quality testing measures and appropriate processes. Our operations and supply chain management processes are unparalleled in the country. It is one of our major pillars of strength and we strategically plan our maize procurement activity, ensuring the right quality and moisture levels for producing modified paper-grade starches.  

Q: Any expansion plan for BluecraftAgro or adding new products in its portfolio like chemicals?

Bluecraft Agro is growing consistently over the last five years and we plan to further expand our capacities in the country. We are looking forward to enriching our product portfolio with more value-added products that cater to the unique needs of existing and prospective customers. 

As demand for different paper applications is rising, we are continually researching and developing modified products along with our customers that enable functional improvement of the finished products. 

Web Title: Bluecraft Agro secures dominant position in starch industry with 2,000 metric tons daily production capacity, captures 10% market share

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