Anshuman Jain believes one of the reasons that India’s exports were not reaching their potential was lack of proper packaging practices. The 38-year-old, who holds a masters degree in packaging technology from the Indian Institute of Packaging, thus decided to start his own packaging consultancy firm - Mindbox Packaging Solutions - in 2014.
Before he started Mindbox Packaging, Anshuman was a packaging consultant in Jaipur.
He says, “Effective packaging and labelling makes the product look attractive, helps reduce handling costs, builds an emotional connect, enhances sales, and communicates details, therefore, giving it an edge, both in the domestic as well as the international market.”
According to Anshuman, most manufacturers in India are not aware of the importance of packaging, and, therefore, given the increasingly stringent global standards required for exports, many lag behind - and not because their products are of a poor quality, but because of the poor packaging.
Anshuman says working for global companies for around 10 years, he realised they invest a lot in packaging to stay ahead of the competition, while in India, per capita consumption for packaging within the domestic market was minuscule.
Tapping into this lacuna, Anshuman started his own packaging consultancy firm with an investment of Rs 2.5 lakh in 2014. The company now sees a turnover of Rs 12 lakh and has given work on a contractual basis to around 40 people over a span of four years. At present, Anshuman is working for Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar in Rajasthan, a famous sweet shop, to develop their packaging.
“Packaging is a significant arm of marketing and branding of a product. Apart from that, it significantly seeks to enhance a product’s experience, reduce wastage and environmental impact through improved design and the use of alternative materials.”
According to Anshuman, good packaging not only creates a great impression, but it can also, in fact, help many manufacturers and retailers from the unorganised sector get into the mainstream. He recalls how he got some local manufacturers a barcode when they were extremely reluctant to have one, but it helped them sell their products in big retail stores like Big Bazaar.
Talking about his achievements so far, he says, “I was hired as a packaging consultant by the Rajasthan government for one of its projects in a joint venture with Israel to make virgin olive oil for exports. ”Further counting his achievements, he says his packaging played a role in helping a GPS device manufacturer win a government award.
Anshuman sees a lot of scope in the packaging sector and believes the establishment of a dedicated information body by the government would guide the industry on the importance of packaging and can go a long way in improving the industry-wide adoption of global packaging practices and standards.
On talking about his challenges, Anshuman says the biggest one has been the prevalence of ignorance about consultancy as a service, especially in the unorganised sector. He says, “People usually think that they know better and think of hiring a consultant unnecessary.” The biggest challenge for Anshuman, thus, has been to convince them of why they should hire a consultant, and how they could benefit from it.
(This story is published in partnership with the MSME Ministry to showcase success stories of SMEs)