Started in 1980, Chemco Group is a leading manufacturer of all kinds of PET preforms, plastic pet bottles, plastic water bottles, and so on. The company has six manufacturing facilities in India and a few other units around the world.
Mommy & Baby Times interviewed Mr. Gaurav Saraogi, Managing Director of Chemco Group of Companies, wherein he shared his perspective on the Make in India initiative and the implications and how this program is a promising one with regard to strengthening the manufacturing sector of the country.
September 23, 2020
MBT: What are your thoughts on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’- this strongly expressed call by our PM to propel the country on the path of resilience and self-sustenance?
Gaurav Saraogi: Every country needs to be self-reliant, especially in the new normal. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a rude awakening for many countries that have relied on imports for even their essentials. Whatever the motivation is, whether it is a deadly virus or political boycott with trade restrictions, we need to ensure that as a nation we stay prepared to support our people and do not need the support of other nations to survive and grow.
MBT: Kindly elaborate on the manufacturing capabilities of your company.
GS: Chemco Group will touch the INR 1000 crore mark in sales/revenue very soon. Our baby care division accounts for a small part of this number, but in many respects, it remains one of our priorities. We have six manufacturing facilities in India and a few more in the rest of the world. In the baby care division, we manufacture various products like baby feeding bottles, teats/nipples, breast shields, hand sanitizers, breast pumps, etc. In the healthcare/ personal care segments, we also manufacture menstrual cups and a few other products like loofahs, mosquito nets, etc. Since the customers are the most important stakeholders for the business, we ensure that each of our production units has a well-stocked and equipped modern laboratory so that we may institute a diligent and strict quality control.
“Chemco Group will touch INR 1000 crore mark in sales/revenue very soon… In the baby care division, we manufacture various products like baby feeding bottles, teats/ nipples, breast shields, hand sanitizers, breast pumps, etc.”
MBT: What are your views on the level of preparedness of the country to be Self- Reliant and to reduce the dependency on other nations, within the Maternity, Kids, and Baby Care sector? What are the factors on which the successes of these initiatives depend upon?
GS: With the baby care segment, especially in feeding, we manufacture products for international brands and compete with countries like China, Thailand, Taiwan, and others who have previously been leaders in the segment. However, due to our adoption of large-scale production and automation, we have been able to carve out India’s market share in the world market. In India, we are still not allowed to advertise to educate the general public about our product range which makes it difficult to sell without having an established brand name. However, with our private label/contract manufacturing arm, we can supply various brands who want international quality at an affordable price for the Indian or global market.
With regard to the goal of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, if we truly want to reduce our dependence on other nations, we should be allowed to enlighten new parents and expectant parents as they rely on online reviews, pharmacy salespeople, and others who might not be completely aware of the availability of innovative domestically made products. Taking all factors into consideration, we are undoubtedly ready with our high-quality products, and we also have more than enough production capabilities to meet the demand.
“Taking all factors into consideration, we are undoubtedly ready with our high-quality products, and we also have more than enough production capabilities to meet the demand.”
MBT: How do you plan to bolster up your manufacturing capabilities in view of the ‘Atma Nirbhar’ initiative?
GS: Since we supply our products to the global market and not only in India, we are pretty much already set with our manufacturing capabilities to meet demand. On the other hand, local brands that are importing from countries such as China, Taiwan, and Thailand, have taken a long time to move their requirement from those countries to India. Moreover, most of these brands chose to work with smaller trading companies. They did not immediately approach the more prominent and more experienced players like us, so in my view, it will still take time for them to gain confidence in our ability, but it will happen.
Also, we have imminent plans of expanding our business by entering into different segments as different international brands are planning to move their production to India and to our facilities.
MBT: With the twin objectives of reviving our manufacturing industries and protecting our country’s economy from any kind of future global economic downturn, the initiative seems to be a promising move for the manufacturing industry. Please outline how the industry could become self-reliant and be globally competitive to make the Indian economy robust in the long run.
GS: Even though India has done a great job in supporting the manufacturing industry in the past few years; however, in contrast, in countries such as China, the government provides tremendous support for local manufacturers who create jobs in the community. In India, we still have too much red tape to get the benefits that have been offered to manufacturers.
The swift growth of our company has been achievable majorly because we have focused on exports and our presence in the global market, thus, we have opened offices in the UAE, Bahrain, Canada, etc. Also, it is essential to note that with manufacturing sectors, vigorous and dynamic growth will be possible only if the government supports both the established as well as new companies who have the expertise to sustain their business. Needless to say, our government is playing a commendable and active role in bolstering up the local manufacturing industry in the past few years. These actions are helping us move in the right direction of being self-reliant, and the positive effects of the efforts can be seen.