Be the First to Know: Dive into The World of Cosmo First

Mr. Pankaj Poddar

Be the First to Know: Dive into The World of Cosmo First

An Exclusive Interview With Mr. Pankaj Poddar, Group CEO, Cosmo First Ltd With Mr. Satnam Singh, Associate Editor, Modern Plastics India (MPI) Magazine A Part of Modern Plastics Global Network

What is the strategy behind launching a new business division Cosmo Plastech?

For the past four decades, Cosmo First has proudly pioneered industry-first solutions. As the demand for FMCG items grows, so does the desire for new packaging solutions. With the establishment of Cosmo Plastech, we want to provide cutting-edge rigid packaging solutions to our clients and consumers while maintaining our steadfast commitment to sustainability. The strategic decision to develop Cosmo Plastech is ideally aligned with our aim of delivering a comprehensive variety of packaging solutions and sheets to our valued partners for a wide range of FMCG, electronic, and other industries, hence improving supply chain efficiency. This is a huge step forward in our quest for a greener future since positive changes in the packaging sector pave the way for circular economy.

Is there any specific hi-end product range to be introduced under the new business division?

Cosmo Plastech looks forward to catering to the industry’s changing expectations in an environmentally conscientious manner. Currently, our packaging containers are made from high-quality materials to ensure durability and reliability using injection moulding and thermoforming techniques. Our expertise in rigid packaging solutions combined with state-of-the-art machinery ensures that the products are moisture resistant and tamper-proof. This makes the solutions of Cosmo Plastech an alternative to traditional packaging practices. Our containers are round, rectangle, oval square, and many other shapes with special anti counterfeiting solutions box containers which are the products with most demand.

Other Cosmo Plastech’s products are:

• TF Cups, available for storing beverages, dairy items, ice cream, jams, sauces, etc.
• TF Trays used for sweets and food packaging.
• Thinwall for food packaging containers
• Sheets for freezer grade, antistatic, ESD (Electrostatic discharge), hot film
• Other electronic industry packaging etc. Going forward, as per industry demand and expectations, we may look at introducing more products and ranges.

What revenue the new business division expected to add in the next three years?

We are targeting INR 100-150 crores (US$ 12 Mn – 18 Mn) in the next three years.

When did the company rebranded as Cosmo First?

We rebranded from Cosmo Films to Cosmo First in July 2022. The company aspire to be the first choice for all its stakeholders and will strive hard to always stay ahead of the curve to industry-first solutions.

What are the objectives of the rebranding and how it impacted the Cosmo profile in the Indian and international market in positive manner?

Over the last few decades, we have established ourselves as the most sought after global brand for value-added films. The strategic choice to rename stems from our company’s expansion of business operations beyond films into specialty chemicals, coating, adhesive, masterbatches, and D2C Pet care. The rebranding reinforces Cosmo’s value and strengthens our emphasis on creating a better life for people, the globe, and the society we live in, based on trust,empathy, compassion, and our core practice of putting people, employees, and our customers first. Today, we are a four-decade old Indian corporate conglomerate widely known for our reliance on innovation to create value in a variety of emerging areas as polymer. Further, we have also into BOPET, shrink films, and CPP lines, and have introduced new business verticals and products like Cosmo Sunshield (window films) and Cosmo Plastech (rigid packaging).

Share the details of the various sites, location along with production in terms of volumes

Our manufacturing sites in India are in Waluj (Aurangabad), Shendra (Aurangabad), and Karjan (Vadodara). We also have sales and distribution centres in Canada, the US, Korea, Japan, Germany, and the UK.

PRODUCTS EXISTING UPCOMING

BOPP Films 2,00,000 TPA 15,000 TPA
CPP Films 9,000 TPA
Thermal Films 30,000 TPA
Coated Films 20,000 TPA
Metalized Films 30,000 TPA 8000 TPA
Rigid Packaging 10,000 TPA
BOPET 30,000 TPA
CSP 10,000 TPA
PET-G 14,000 TPA
Sheets 4000 TPA 10,000 TPA

Cosmo First has been consistently introducing new products in the film vertical, share details of the products launched recently and in the pipeline in the near future?

We have launched several new specialty films including shrink for packaging and non packaging applications. A few other specialty films from non-packaging applications are also in the pipeline and should hit the market i n t h e c o m i n g q u a r t e r s . H a v i n g commercialised our specialised BOPET line in September 2022, we are in the process of launching several new specialty products including window film, security film, and PETG film. While our new companies are still in their infant stages, we are increasing our capacity for speciality films. Some of the recent products that we have introduced in the market are susceptor films, scuff free lamination films, polyester-based thermal lamination films, ID card map & match films.

We have successfully developed a new transparent printable biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film named “TeploR” which has higher heat resistance as compared to conventional BOPP films. The film has been engineered to work as a printing layer replacing BOPET film in multi layer laminates for various packaging applications in both food and non-food segments. The thermally stable films have excellent s lip properties and good machinability and have good performance on high-speed VFFS and HFFS machines. This film has good thermal stability (no shrinkage) upto 185˚ C as compared to conventional BOPP films of 145-155˚ C.

To stimulate expansion in specialty chemicals, we plan to introduce label adhesives, and coating chemicals for our existing B2C customer base this year. Alongside, as part of our product expansion strategy and to cater to industry demands, we have also introduced.

Any new site planned or expansion planned, if yes, share details

Yes, we have our expansion plans for our film business in line. We look forward to commissioning our 10th BOPP line by 2025 & 3rd CPP line by 2024. Further, we are planning one more site in Maharashtra. We will be focussing on our sheets for the rigid packaging business as well.

What is the company turnover in 2022, annual growth rate despite challenging business scenario and growth target for fiscal 2023?

The BOPP & BOPET business had an excess supply in FY23 due to the bunching of numerous new manufacturing lines. Although demand continues to rise, the bunching of supply reduced margins and impacted the whole sector. Cosmo First, with more than two-thirds of our sales from specialised films, resisted margin pressure and outperformed the industry substantially.

Our consolidated revenue increased marginally to INR 3,065 crores (USD 368 Mn) in FY’23 from INR 3,038 crores (US$ 364 Mn) in FY’22, after expanding at a CAGR of more than 13.3% from FY18 to FY22 (speciality film sales increased at a CAGR of 18% over three years). Despite a hard economic situation, our EBITDA for the year stood at INR 434 crores (US$ 60.76 Mn) demonstrating the resilience of speciality films. ROCE (Return on Capital Employed) and ROE (Return on Equity) were 16% and 20%, respectively. We are aiming for a top line of roughly INR 5,000 crores (US$ 600 Mn) in the next 3-4 years, with new businesses accounting for 15-20% of sales.

Do Cosmo introduce any new products in the US market?

In the US, we have multiple sales and distribution centres at different locations and carry slitting for local needs. For the products, in the US market, we have introduced the thermal lamination films which is one of our flagship products. We are strategizing for the high-margin films in the US market. All our products are available in the US market.

Comments on the evolving Indian market and how Cosmo aspired to achieve its goals and objectives?

The Indian market has been steadily growing in recent years. The demand for film and  packaging solutions has been on the rise, driven by various factors, including increased consumerism, e-commerce expansion, and a growing middle-class population. We have recognised this growth and have strategically positioned ourselves to leverage the opportunities presented by this upward trajectory.

In recent years, India has well positioned itself as a global market hub and Cosmo has emerged as one of the leading players within the Indian market. We have not only catered to domestic demand but also successfully penetrated international markets. Our ability to provide high-quality film and packaging solutions has made us a preferred choice for clients not only in India but also across the world. This expansion reflects our ambition to be a key player in the global supply chain.

Further, with ongoing changes and uncertainties in the China market, many businesses are actively seeking alternatives. We have ensured to keep our supply chains running and stand as a strong and reliable alternative to the Chinese market for our customers. Our commitment to quality, competitive pricing, and a customer-centric approach have attracted businesses looking for dependable sourcing options. This strategic positioning aligns with our long term goals to become a leading player in the global film and packaging industry.

We plan to raise our entire film capacity by approximately 50% by FY’26, at a cost of around INR 500 crore (USD 70 Mn), and our film income will increase by approximately 50% by FY’27. Our diversification into new industries including specialty chemicals and pet care has progressed as planned. Bothsegments are growing and contributing to the company’s long-term wealth generation potential. Future goals in the pet care area include expanding the experience centres to 100+ in a few years and pushing the online business.

What are the flagship products of the Cosmo?

Year-on-year we have introduced several industry-first solutions for our valued customers and partners, susceptor films, face stock films, and heat resistance films are some of the flagship products that we have introduced in recent years. Cosmo synthetic paper is a direct replacement for pulp-based paper in situations where durability is required. It is a white opaque co-extruded polypropylene-based synthetic film that resembles ordinary paper.

A few other flagship products that we manufacture are:
• Self-adhesive/ Face stock film
• Lidding film
• Thermal lamination films
• Heat resistance films for printing
• Shrink Films
• In mould label films
• Packaging adhesives
• Think wall containers
• Metalized container Films

www.cosmofirst.com

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