Surge in Paper prices anticipated from the NCERT's new syllabus and subsequent textbook printing requirements, says Ms. Ruchica G Kumar of Ruchira Papers

Embark on a journey into the heart of paper manufacturing with Ruchira Papers, a pioneering agro-based company nestled in the serene landscapes of Kalam, Himachal Pradesh. With a diverse portfolio encompassing craft, packaging, tube-grade, copier, and writing printing paper, Ruchira Papers stands as a beacon of excellence in the industry. Their vibrant colored paper has earned acclaim both domestically and internationally, sparking interest from global markets. Join us as we delve into the visionary strategies, market perspectives, and future outlook with Ms. Ruchica G Kumar, VP-Marketing, Ruchira Papers Ltd. Here are her views:

Q: Please give us the introduction of your company

Ruchira Papers is an agro -based company, we are based in Kalam in Himachal and we manufacture a wide range of paper from craft, packaging, tube grade paper, then copier paper and writing printing paper. So, we have a large range paper our color paper is very well known in the industry. We have exporting queries for it.

Q: Please share the scenario of the writing printing paper. 

The market has been stable, we were expecting that the market will pick up more but it has been good. There have been a good vibe for and so I think there is a lot of good future, there have been lot new capacities that have added in the markets so that's why there's enough supply. 

Q: What new product you have launched recently? 

We have launched in craft range, we are getting more into industrial range, our paper bags for that we make paper for in the craft range that has been widely accepted in the market. it is doing very well. 

Q: What about the writing printing? 

Writing printing we keep improving, our paper is known for a lot of places because of our raw material. It's more sustainable. It is more environment friendly than wood -based paper, So a Lot of MNCs and Arabic companies want to be attached to us. The concentration in the writing printing for us is always to make our quality better.

Q: Do you think that the export has become the nightmare for the paper industry member? What do you thing about the export scenario? 

More than Export, I feel import has become a nightmare for Indian paper industry because there has been a lot of dumping happening in the industry so export of course we have to compete with the mills from all over the world so it gets very competitive. 

Q: Your plant is 100% agro based or do you use imported waste paper also?

For some products we need to use a small percentage of imported pulp but otherwise it is imported pulp.

Q: Many new capacities are coming up in the Europe segment and we foresee that waste paper procurement will be more difficult for Indian Mills as far as concern to the availability of fibre 

Well, it has you know there was a time when price of waste paper was very high then it comes down so it's a again a cycle so lot of mills are closing down also in the European segment 

Q: India is a fiber deficient country in long fiber segment. Can India collectively manufacture the long fibre ? 

I can tell you about our raw material and our production that's the most sustainable one and suppliers are very close by to our paper unit 

Q: any new expansion you are planning, please share the details

It’s in the pipeline will be announcing it very soon, it be somewhere in Punjab again very close to farmers where who are raw materials but we'll be making an announcement soon.

Q: Please share pricing scenario for writing and printing paper in coming time

Price should increase now. For sometime we've been talking about the NCERT’s new syllabus coming up so new textbooks have to be printed so the minute that comes into play prices should increase. 

Q: Imports of paper are coming in to India and hampering the small paper mill, Traders says they are just filling the demand and supply vacuum. What do you think?

Import is highly affecting the paper industry the market here right now. Their supply from import has been quite regular. Earlier they used to be scared to take from because they were not sure whether the import will be on time but now they found a way that it will if it's on -time or there they have commitments from the overseas paper mills, they are preferring that. So we do suffer on that.

Q: There has been overcapacity in the craft segment.  All over India, paper mills are suffering from sluggish demand and they are operating on around 50-60% of their capacity. So do you think that this overcapacity issue will be set off in the next year? Or how will paper mills tackle this situation? How do you see the overcapacity issue? 

See, if you are talking about the corrugation industry, then there is a huge amount of oversupply. there is going to be a little weeding off which has happened, which is very sad.  But as the export picks up, then the factories which are closer to the port, they start concentrating on that. For example, the Sri Lankan market has shut down. Mills have opened in Bangladesh. So you know, all those markets became less.

Q: Export is already declined and the paper mills are not able to export. How do you see the situation in three to four months?

The only way that I think the Indian mills can survive this is to get into industrial products. Make your product better and get into more packaging, food packaging, because there is a shift from the plastic packaging to paper packaging. So that's the only way that I think forward. 

Q: Any diversification in product basket? 

We are also getting into more of industrial packaging and food packaging. For retail segment, planning to introduce paper bags

Q: How do you compare the quality of agro-waste and wood based paper? 

There is a slight difference of course. But, day by day, the quality is improving in any agro-based company. There has been efficiency. wood is long fibre, right? So there is a slight difference. But we have replaced in a lot of places wherever the wood-based paper was used to agro-based paper because they are finding the quality as good.

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