Business Opportunity – Compostable Plastic Bags

Compostable plastic bags are plastic bags that decompose into natural components such as carbon, water and biomass upon their contact with soil. As per DS6400, the most widely recognised international standard for compostable plastics, such plastics should completely disintegrate into natural components within 180 days in composting environment.

India generates huge amount of plastic waste (nearly 15,000 tonnes per day). It is estimated that only around 60 per cent of this waste is recycled and remaining gets dumped in the landfills and other places. Prominent among non-recyclable plastics are poly bags made from Polyethylene (PE), which can take up to 100 years to disintegrate.

Plastic bags have been completely banned in Maharashtra[1] (except for milk packets and some specific applications). Further, 17 States and Union Territories in the country have imposed partial ban on these bags with restriction on the thickness of the bags to minimum 50 microns. Increasing awareness about environmentally sustainable products along with restrictions on the usage of plastic bags have improved the prospects of compostable bags.

What are compostable Plastics?

Compostable plastics can be made out of bio based or petroleum based compounds (Resins) as shown below.

Figure1: Types of compostable plastics

Currently, the market for compostable resins is small, at around 1 million tonnes[2] (less than 0.5% of world’s annual plastic consumption of 320 million tonnes). These resins are patented by large multinationals such as BASF, NOVAMONT and have to be purchased from them or their dealers, thus resulting in higher price and limited availability. However, their consumption is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 20% over the next five years[3], and with the rise in demand, the availability of such plastics is likely to increase and their prices would become competitive.

How do compostable bags compare with conventional bags?

Compostable resins’ tensile strength, printability and weight bearing capacities are similar to that of conventional polymers such as Polyethylene (PE). In fact, in some specific applications, compostable resin may offer higher density and tensile strength as compared to  PE, thus resulting in requirement of less tonnage of the resin vis-à-vis PE.

However, currently, the compostable plastic resin is 2-3 times costlier than the conventional resins. Further, the costs of processing these resins into products such as bags are also higher due to smaller size of the processing capacities. As a result, these bags are 3 times as costly as conventional bags. For example, a medium size compostable garbage bags is currently priced at Rs. 220 (for a pack of 30 bags) as compared to a price of Rs. 70-80 for similar conventional bags.

What are the international and domestic standards for compostable Plastics?

There are a number of standards for compostable plastics including ASM D6400 (USA) and EN 13432 (Europe) and ISO 17088.

An Indian manufacturer of compostable plastic bags has to obtain a certification from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for selling compostable bags and related products. The certification process requires the product to be tested in a government authorised lab to check its compliance to ISO 17088.

Table 1. International Standards for compostable bags
S.NoStandardization BodyStandard
1ASTM – American Society for Testing and MaterialsASTM D6400
2European StandardsEN 13432, EN 14995
3ISO – International Organization for StandardizationISO 17088

Is manufacturing compostable bags complex?

No, the manufacturing is very simple and is a two-step process; first the resin is processed into a film through a blown film manufacturing machine, the film is then cut, printed and sliced as per the bag sizes. Currently most Indian manufacturers use conventional LDPE blown film machinery for sheet extrusion. The resin is either directly imported from the manufacturers (list of bioplastic resin manufacturers is available in Table.2), or their dealers.

Table 2. Bio Resin manufacturers
S.NoCompanyCountry
1BASFGermany
2Bio-FedGermany
3CarbioliceFrance
4FKuR KunststofGermany
5NatureWorksNetherland
6NovamontItaly

Is there a market for compostable bags?

The demand for compostable bags is rising driven by growing concern about the environment and changing regulatory landscape. The waste management regulations in India are getting more stringent about handling and disposal of all types of waste including plastic. Therefore, specific segment of the market such as trash bags, bags for nurseries are witnessing a lot of interest from supermarkets, retail chains etc.

Given the demand, a number of new manufacturers have entered the market in past two years. The number of CBCB registered manufacturers of compostable bags has increased to 12 from just 2/3 a couple of years back ( a list of CPCB approved vendors is available here ).

The usage of other biodegradable/environmentally sustainable products is also increasing. Recently McDonald’s India has proposed to replace its plastic cutlery with a combination of wooden and biodegradable plastic cutlery ( available in this link: McDonald’s India kicks out plastics )

How much capital is required and what will be the profitability?

The capital requirements would depend on the machinery and the scale of operations. For example, a blown film machine of a capacity of 15-20 tonnes a month available for around Rs. 30 lakhs. However a European machinery (smallest capacity of 400 kg per hour) specifically made to handle bioplastics can cost more than Rs. 3 crores.

The minimum capital requirement including working capital is likely to be over Rs. 60 lakhs. The overall profitability and return on investment would be contingent on the manufacturer’s ability to secure regular orders and keep processing costs under control.

What are the key challenges?

  • Most states do not have a policy on regulation of usage of compostable plastic bags currently. The guidelines on allowing such bags in retail market would be critical for the growth of the industry.
  • The processing machinery is designed for conventional plastic, which can withstand higher temperature as compared to compostable plastics. Therefore getting the right product requires a number of trials.
  • The certification process for compostable bags is time consuming and can take up to 6-8 months.

[1] As per the circular, dated 10th July 2018 of Maharashtra Environment department, the compostable plastic bags are allowed for horticulture, agriculture, and handling of solid waste.
[2] Source: Global production of bioplastics, a publication by European bioplastics
[3] Source: European-bioplastics.org

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We can help you start a compostable plastic bags manufacturing unit through a number of services including viability assessment, market landscaping and technical consultation

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Business opportunity : Natural gums and Resins

Introduction

Natural gums are plant products, formed by the disintegration of plant cellulose. These are typically extracted from seeds of plants like Guar, Tamarind, Cassia tora, etc. These are polysaccharides that increase the viscosity of solutions even when added in very small quantities. Natural gums are preferred over synthetic gums in food applications.

The natural resins, gums, gum-resins (NRG) and balsam’s global market are estimated to be about 1358.44 million USD. India is the second largest supplier of natural resins & gums in international market, with a share of 16.8%, next to France, which has a market share of 26%[1]. In India, the Guar gum has a lion’s share in total NRG production as well as in exports. Therefore, the focus of this blog is on guar gum.

Guar gum-Industry at a Glance

India enjoys monopoly in the Guar gum industry with a market share of over 80%, as it has the most suitable climate for Guar gum cultivation. The Guar industry is driven by the export market, as more than 70% of domestic production is exported. The major export destinations are USA, China, Canada, Germany & Russia. Rajasthan is the largest guar producing state followed by Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab. Rajasthan alone accounts for 70% of the total production in India.

Guar Seed Cross – section and Process flow

The guar seed has 3 parts – Germ (40-45% of the weight), Endosperm (38-45%) and Husk (14-16%), as shown in figure – 1. The gum powder is produced from endosperm in a two stage process. In the first stage, the guar splits are produced and the by-product is Guar Meal (67%) (Korma – 37% & Churi – 30%). The splits are then pulverized into gum powder, and the powder is further processed into various derivatives.

Figure 1: Guar gum seed break up

Derivatives of Guar Gum & Industry specific application

Guar gum has wide range of applications in Food Industry, Textiles, Oil well drilling, Cosmetics & Pharmaceuticals, Paper, Mining, Construction and Explosives. The derivatives of guar gum powder are grouped into Non-ionic, Anionic and Cationic.

Figure 2: Derivatives of Guar gum

The applications in various industries are listed in Table1.

Table 1: Applications of Guar Gum
IndustryUses
FoodThickening, gelling, emulsifying agent and stabilizer
TextileSizing & Finishing agent
Oil well drillingFluid loss controlling agent, additives in fracturing fluids. Fast Hydration Grade is used
Pharmaceuticalstablet binders, disintegrants, emulsifier, suspending agent, gelling agent, stabilizing agent, thickening agent, film forming agent, sustaining agent and coating agent
CosmeticsConditioner and viscosifier, thickener in toothpastes & shampoos
PaperTo get better finish, improved sheet formation, increased bursting & fold strength and denser surface for printing

Demand & Supply

Guar consumption was been around 22.7 lakh tonnes in the year 2016-17. The consumption is volatile and varies depending on the export market, which accounts for more than 70% of the domestic production. The graph depicts the trends in consumption of guar seed in the past decade.

Chart 1: Consumption of Guar seed in export and domestic markets from India

Globally, oil and gas industry is the biggest user and domestically food industry is the largest consumer of Guar gum. (See chart 2&3). The sector wise demand of guar gum powder in international & domestic market is shown below in Chart 2 & 3.

Chart 2 & 3: % application across industries in Domestic & International markets

On the supply side, there are more than 600 guar processing units in India with an installed capacity of around 10 lakh tonnes. The present capacity utilization of the industry is less than 50%, due to weak demand from the export markets. However, the demand is expected to increase due to increasing oil prices, which result in higher capital expenditure on oil exploration related activities.

Price Volatility of Guar Gum

The prices of guar gum powder is highly volatile (see chart 4) and are a function of factors such as crop cultivation, shale oil and gas exploration, availability and price of substitutes, etc. The users shift to the substitutes based on price competitiveness. But guar gum has its own advantages, for example: Guar gum is soluble in both hot and cold water as against Tamarind Kernel Powder (TKP), which is soluble only in hot water. The various substitutes to guar gum are discussed in Table 2,

Table 2: Substitutes to Guar gum
IndustryUses
TextileCMS (Carboxy Methyl Starch), CMTKP (Carboxy Methyl Tamarind Kernel Powder) and Sodium Alginate
PaperTKP, Potato Starch, etc
FoodXanthan Gum, Agar , CMC (Carboxy Methyl Cellouse)
CosmeticsTKP
Shale Oil& Gas ExplorationSynthetic Polymers

Chart No.4: Per kg [2] variation of Guar gum prices over a period of years

 

Guar Gum v/s TKP

Among natural gum, Guar gum faces competition from TKP. TKP is derived from the tamarind seed. It has excellent water absorption property and high viscosity as well. The application includes, thickening agent in sizing process of textile & printing industry and binding agent in pharmaceutical industry. The detailed comparison of Guar Gum & TKP is shown in Table No.3,

Investment

The minimum viable capacity is 6TPD (6 tonne per day) and the investment required to setup guar gum powder from Guar splits is INR 4 Cr, including the civil structure, machinery and working capital. The capital cost would increase by INR 2-3 Cr, if one is manufacturing the powder directly from the seed due to the additional investment in plant & machinery and working capital. The Breakeven period is more than 5 years.

Profitability & Governing factors

The profitability depends on the conversion margins, or the spread[3] between the guar gum and guar seed price. The spread has been volatile and has ranged between 1.4 times to 3 times over the past decade.  The profit margin can be increased by having control over the seed price, by engaging with farmers in contract farming. The profits/high returns can also be improved by making value added products for specific industry such as dairy/oil.

Why Guar Gum is an interesting opportunity?

The international demand for Guar Gum from oil and gas sector is likely to increase following higher oil prices.  The demand from food sector from both domestic and international markets is likely to remain strong.

Given the availability of idle domestic capacity, one could look at purchasing or leasing existing units, thereby reducing the initial capital investment. Instead, the investment could be made towards research and development to develop new derivatives for food and other applications.

How Can We Help?

If you are interested in starting up natural gum manufacturing unit, we can assist you in the following:

  • Identifying potential markets including domestic as well as international.
  • Detailed project report preparation – Financial analysis, Profit & Loss statements for a period of 7 years, calculation of ROI, etc.
  • Identifying existing units that are available for sale and in valuation of such units

[1]As per ICAR – Indian Institute of Natural Resins & Gums report

[2] In the year 2012-13, the price of guar gum hit all time high, this is due to the huge demand from the oil exploration companies.

[3] Spread is the ratio of guar gum to guar seed prices

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Change in MSME definition: Does it help the sector?

The union cabinet recently approved a change in the definition (see Table 1) of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSME), to base it on their turnover as against investment in fixed assets. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 will be amended accordingly to reflect the new definition. A change in definition of MSME assumes significance as it is used to provide a number of incentives such as capital, interest and technology/market promotion subsidy by the central and state governments.

Table 1: MSME definition
EnterpriseEarlier definitionNew definition
MicroManufacturing enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery< INR 25 lakhs
Service enterprises: Investment in equipment/machinery<INR 10 lakh
Annual Turnover< INR 5 crore
SmallManufacturing enterprises:Investment in plant and machinery between INR 25 lakhs and INR 5 crore
Service enterprises:Investment in equipment between INR10 lakhs and INR 2 crore
Annual turnover between INR 5 crore and INR75 crore
MediumManufacturing enterprise: investment in plant and machinery between INR 5 crores and 10 crore
Service enterprises: investment in equipment between INR  2 crores and 5 crores
Annual Turnover between INR 75 croreand 250 crore
Note: Turnover of enterprises is likely to be calculated based on GST returns

The new classification may result in many medium enterprises being classified as small enterprises (or small getting classified as micro) based on their turnover. Such reclassification would be positive for enterprises in sectors such as engineering, machine fabrication, apparel, construction contractors etc, where a large number of MSMEs are vendors to public sector enterprises (PSUs). These PSUs reserve 20 per cent of their procurement requirements for micro and small enterprises.

Further, a turnover based definition coupled with incentives for filing GST will encourage MSMEs to file taxes and transact through bank accounts, resulting in improved information availability on the sector for the policy makers. The GST filings of 2017-18, already show an increase of almost 50 per cent in the number of unique indirect tax payers.

The most significant impact though would be on state governments who would now have to revise their industrial policies that currently offer incentives to new enterprises based on their investment in plant and machinery. These policies could broadly be divided into two categories:

  • Capital investment subsidies (subsidies on machinery, building); and
  • Interest related subsidies where loans given to micro and small enterprises attract lower interest rates.

For example Government of Telangana offers Interest subsidy under Pavala vaddi on the term loan taken for fixed asset by new micro and small enterprises. The amount of loan is currently governed by the investment guidelines as defined by the MSME Development Act, 2006. This scheme may have to beredesigned to reflect the new MSME definition. Similarly, central government schemes such as PMEGP (Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme) that provide subsidy to micro and small enterprises will also have to be revised accordingly.

As such, the change to a more transparent mechanism based on turnover is a welcome step as it would make it easier for MSMEs to grow and transition from micro to small and medium enterprises. Further, unlike earlier definition which incentivised enterprises to remain small (as the incentive decreased with the increase in fixed assets), the new definition would likelystimulate investment in the sector.

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ECONOMICS OF DAIRY FARMING

India is world’s largest producer of milk, with a production of around 155 million tonnes per annum, contributing to 20 per cent of the world’s milk output. The dairy sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in India, growing at a CAGR of over 15-20 percent, largely driven by the growth of value added products such as yogurt, cheese, ice-cream etc.

The demand growth in dairy industry has also spurred an interest in dairy farming by entrepreneurs from rural as well as urban India. This blog discusses factors that influence profitability and sustainability of a dairy farm.  These include macro factors such as international and domestic prices of milk, and farm level factors such as size of the dairy farm,its cattle management practices and its marketing strategies.

How are local milk prices linked to international milk prices?

While milk is a perishable commodity mostly sold locally, Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) is traded in the global market and international prices of SMP influence India’s SMP exports. SMP is a large end user of milk, asalmost 11 tonnes of milk is needed to make 1 tonne of milk powder.  Since SMP has a long shelf life as compared to milk, dairy companies keep their surplus milk stock as SMP, and also use it to manufacture milk based products such as ice-cream and yogurt. Adecline in international prices of SMP reduces the export of SMP from India and therefore increases domestic milk availability. Increased domestic availability can sometimes impact the prices at which dairies procure milk from farmers.

For example, India’s SMP exports declined to 15,930 tonnes (INR 293.01 crore) in 2015-16 from a peak of 1.3 lakh tonnes (valued at INR 2,717.56 crore) in 2013-14 due to a steep decline in global SMP prices. During the same time, milk procurement prices declined by as much as INR 10 per litre in North India and Maharashtra.

As can be seen from Figure 1, the prices of SMP tend to fluctuate, which can lead to volatility in the domestic milk prices as well.

Source: https://www.globaldairytrade.info/en/product-results/skim-milk-powder/

Why is marketing strategy for milk so crucial to the profitability of my milk farm?

Dairy farmerstypically sell their milk to a number of customers including public and private sector dairies milk traders, milk processors and directly to consumers. Dairies are the largest bulk buyers accounting for over 20 per cent of milk procurement. They currentlyprocure the milk at around INR 25-35 per litre across the country and the product is sold at a retail price of INR 35-45 per litre.  However, the retail prices for branded, farm fresh milk are higherINR 60-70 per litre.Over the past decade, there has been a spurt in dairy farms that sell their milk as farm fresh milk, desi cow milk, chemical free milk or A2 milk etc. directly to the customers. Some of these players are shown in Table 1

Table 1: Dairy farms selling branded fresh milk
Company nameProductValue proposition
Vrindavan Milk, BangalorePure Natural cow milk, Desi A2 milkDelivered directly from farm, no chemicals used to inject cows.
Klimom, HyderabadCow milk, A2 milkDelivered in eco-friendly glass bottles within a few hours of milking
Astra Dairy, ChennaiCow milk and dairy productsFrom farm to your home in 12 hours
Pride of cows, Pune (aventure of Parag Milk Products)Pasteurized cow milkFarm to home fresh milk, completely untouched by human hands

As a dairy farmer, you have many choices; you can choose to find an assured market  in a large dairy or milk processing companies, sell  fresh milk under your brand name or sell value added products such as flavoured milk, yogurt etc.Therefore, market related choices should be made first and then you can work backwards to make decisions related to animals, location, investment and farm automation.

What are other profitability drivers?

The success of a dairy farm is aligned with the productivity of its animals and the following elements play an important role in determining a farms profitability:

  1. Milk yield: Milk production over the productive life of the dairy animals is one of the most important drivers of the profitability of a dairy farm. It depends on many factors such as animal’s age at first calving, number of lactations and yield per lactation. Further, milk production can be enhanced by providing adequate amount of green fodder and keeping animals disease free.
  2. Self-sufficiency in Fodder:The cost of feed accounts for majority (about 70%) of the costof running a dairy farm. The fodder can broadly be divided into three parts: Green fodder, Dry Fodder and Concentrated Feed. Of the three, Green fodder, which is needed in large quantities, remains most scarce, due to gradual reduction in the green cover of our landscapes. Further, the fodder prices can be volatile and do not move in line with the milk prices. Therefore, in order to be sustainable, a dairy farm must be self-sufficient to meet its green fodder needs. The fodder requirements for a farm with 20 cows are illustrated in Figure 2.

 

Figure 2: Fodder Requirements of a dairy farm

Since fodder cultivation requires a lot of space, several dairy farmers have now shifted to silage, which refers to green fodder preserved under anaerobic conditions. Silage provides benefits similar to that of fodder but is needed in lesser quantities.  Feeding your animal silage, lowers the area needed for fodder cultivation and frees up the land, which can be used to generate income through cultivation of grain/horticulture crops.

  1. Best practices in animal management: Good farm management practices that improve animal productivity are shown.
Figure 3: Best Dairy management practices

How much investment is required for a dairy farm?

A dairy farm requires investment towards land, construction of shed, milking equipment and purchase of animals.Land and animals are the two largest investment heads.

  • Land: The land is needed for the cattle shed and milking operations and also for growing fodder. Minimum 2-3 acres of land would be required for a 20 animal farm.
  • Animal: The cost of animal depends on its age, milk yield, breed etc. As per NABARD’s dairy entrepreneurship development scheme (DEDS), the cost of 10 animals of desi cows is INR 6 lakh.
  • Civil construction: Shed for animals to provide them protection from heat/rain etc. and storage room for feed and housing for labour if needed
  • Equipment:Milking machines, chaff cutter, tipper for cutting the crop.

As such, the investment in animals should be about INR 12 lakhs for a 20 cow dairy farm. Assuming that investment in animals is about 50% of the cost of the farm (excluding land), the investment in the dairy farm with 20 animals should be about INR 25 lakh.

Why is dairy farming an attractive opportunity?

The Indian dairy market is expected to continue  grow at a rate of over 15%, over the next five years, mostlydue to a growth in the consumption of value added products such as cheese, curd, flavoured milk etc. Anticipating the growth, Indian dairy companies have planned significant investments in capacity expansion as given below in table 2.

Table 2: Capacity expansion plans of Indian Dairy majors
CompanyCapital expenditure plansBrandBudget(INR crore)
Heritage Foods Ltd.Addition in the existing capacities in curd and whey products segmentHeritage70 – 75(for FY18)
Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMFL)Additional capacities in cheese and chocolatesAmul3000(Upto 2020)
Kwality Ltd.Additional capacities in value-added product categories like Cheese, Paneer, UHT Milk, Flavoured Milk and Table ButterDairy Best520(forFY18 and up to mid FY19)
Parag Milk Foods Ltd.Expansion and modernization of existing plants and improvement in marketing and distribution infrastructureGo, Gowardhan, Topp Up64.5(for FY18)
Prabhat Dairy Ltd.Upgradation of plant and machineryPrabhat40
Source: Indian Dairy Industry – driven by value added products, a report by CARE Ratings

Also, there have been a number of acquisitions in the dairy sector by large private equity companies, and multinationals   who are acquiring local dairy companies to strengthen their operations in India.

Table 3:Acquisitions in the dairy sector
Acquired CompanyInvesting CompanyYear
Kwality LimitedKKR India(a private equity firm)2016
Tirumala MilkLactalis , a France based multinational dairy corporation2014
Anik IndustriesLactalis2016
Creamline DairyGodrej Agrovet Limited2015
Dairy business of Reliance RetailHeritage foods2017
Source:Indian Dairy Industry – driven by value added products, a report by CARE Ratings and FineTrain research

In order to meet the demand growth of the dairy industry, a strong and sustainable dairy farming sector needs to be developed. Dairy farming is currently dominated by a small farmer who has two animals and uses dairy income to supplement his/her agriculture income.  Given the bright prospects of dairy sector and lack of professionally run dairy farms, there is an opportunity for entrepreneurs who can set up dairy farms with scientific feed management practices. These farms can also forward integrate into manufacturing of milk based products.

How can we help?

We can help you set up a dairy farm or a milk product business through a number of services including:

  • Market feasibility assessment
  • Development of project proposal for loans/credits
  • Technical consultation
  • Project execution support

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Call us: 800 888 4932

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[1] Source: India’s milk production in 2015-16,

[2] Source: Indian Dairy Industry-driven by value added products-by Care Ratings, June 30, 2017

[3] Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news- india/global-dairy- price-recovery- to-benefit- indian-
farmers-3019391/

[4] Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news- india/why-milk- prices-have- fallen-by- rs-10litre- for-
farmers/

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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY – FLAVOURING ADDITIVES

Flavouring additives are used in Ready-to-eat, Ready-to-cook products and beverages to enhance or modify their taste. Broadly, there are two types of flavouring agents:

Powdered flavouring additives that are extracted from vegetables, fruits and meat. These are used across a number of products such as instant noodles, pizza, snacks, etc. They are low in moisture and thus are more stable and have greater shelf life. The common process of manufacturing these additives involves roasting, extracting, blending, drying, pulverizing, and sieving followed by packaging. Some of the examples of powdered flavours include noodle masala mix, dried vegetable powder, chicken extract powder.

Liquid flavouring additives that are typically extracted from plants and herbs. The process of extraction involves solvent extraction, distillation, filtration, sterilization, and concentration followed by packaging. Oleoresins, Aloe Vera extract etc. come under this category.

Products that typically use flavouring additives include bakery, dairy, fruit juices & other fruit based beverages, soups, salads and dressings (see Figure 1).

Industry

The Indian food flavour market is estimated at around INR 15.5 billion and has been growing at around 10 per cent per annum . The market has about 100 players , including large international and domestic players as well as many small and medium enterprises. Top international players and large domestic players account for around 70 % of the market share – these comprise Givaudan (Switzerland), International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF, US), Firmenich (Switzerland), Symrise (Germany), Takasago International Corporation (Japan) and MANE (France) and SH Kelkar (Pune), Sachee Aromatics (New Delhi), Oriental Flavours & Fragrances (Valsad, Gujarat). The main customers of these are large FMCG companies, tobacco manufacturers, ice cream manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.

Why is flavour manufacturing an attractive opportunity?

The expenditure on food accounts for 43 per cent of house hold expenditure and is growing at an annual rate of 12-13 per cent . A steady rise in consumer spend on eating out and groceries is helping packaged food (ready to eat products, biscuits, and beverages) and the food service market (quick service restaurants, home delivery of food) , which are also experiencing growth in double digits . All these factors point to a growing demand for flavour additives.

Also, flavour manufacturing is a niche business, with entry barriers such as sustained R&D efforts, long customer acquisition time and access to raw materials.

Such businesses are likely to enjoy higher profitability vis-à-vis typical food processing businesses (juice extraction, snacks manufacturing etc), where bulk volumes are needed to generate profits.

Where are the domestic flavour manufacturers located?

Most of the flavour manufacturing units are located in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala as these states offer proximity to end users and easy access to raw materials such as aroma chemicals and spices/herbs.

Down south, Post bifurcation, both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been focussing on developing food processing sector by offering financial incentives to food processing industry and developing industrial infrastructure. Although, these two states together account for almost 20 per cent of food processing factories in the country, they don’t have many flavour manufacturing units (see Table 1), thus making it an attractive opportunity to set up a flavour manufacturing units here.

Table 1: Flavour Manufacturers from South India
S. No.Company NameProduct RangeLocation
1Aromatic Chemical & Oil CompanyFlavours, Powder & Liquid Colours, Fragrances, Emulsions, Essential Oils.Visakhapatnam, A.P
2BOS Natural Flavours.Crystals, Dehydrated Products, Essential Oils, Floral Extracts, Fruit Extracts, Spice extracts.Kochi, Kerala
3Flavours IndiaFlavours for Beverages, Dairy & Tea, Ice Creams, PharmaceuticalsPondicherry
4Florale (India)Food Flavours & Additives, FragrancesBangalore, Karnataka
5Food Ingredient SpecialitiesFlavouring essences & essential oils for biscuits & other bakery products, Ice Creams, Aerated Water, Liquors & Beverages, Flavours for pharmaceutical Products.Chennai, Tamilnadu
6Kancor IngredientsOleo Resins, Essential Oils & Isolates, Mint, Menthol & Isolates, Floral Extracts, Speciality Ingredients, Organic Ingredients.Ernakulam, Kerala
7Lux FlavoursFlavours for Dairy & Bakery products, Essential Oils, Beverages and Flavoured Water, Confectionery, Savoury, Pharmaceuticals, Alcohol, Animal Feed and Meat Industry.Chennai, Tamilnadu
8Oror Flavours & ChemicalsFlavours & Seasonings in Bakery, Confectionery, Pharma, Milk & Milk products, Beverages & Snack Foods.Madurai, Tamilnadu
9Symega Flavours IndiaFlavours for Dairy and Bakery, Beverages, Confectionery, Pharmaceuticals & Savoury.Cochin, Kerala
10Plant Lipids.Spices and other Essential Oils.Cochin, Kerala
Source: From Fragrance and Flavour Association of India

Typical operating requirements

The cost of machinery and working capital needs for an entry level capacity of around 1 tonne per day would be around INR 2 crore. The machinery depends on whether the extract is in powder or liquid form. For extracting a powder, solvent extraction method is used, whereas for extracting a liquid (oil), apart from solvent extraction, distillation or super critical fluid extraction methods are also used. Table 2 shows the typical machinery required for an entry level plant.

Key success factors

Critical success factors for this business include:

  • Nimbleness in identifying new segments such as ready-to-eat foods, branded snacks, fruit-based/energy drinks for growth
  • Good relationships with exiting suppliers and customers
  • Building up a niche segment
  • A strong R&D team that can develop new products
  • Compliance with any changing regulatory requirements
Table 2: Typical machinery needs for a Flavour Manufacturing Plant
S. No.MachineryCapacityValue (Lakh INR)
1Solvent extractor / distillation unit/super critical fluid extraction unit5 ton/ day30
2Extract mixing tank2 ton3.5
3Automatic filling and packaging machine for powder3.2
4Pulveriser1 ton per hour1.5
5Liquid extractor10
6Recovery Unit5 ton per day5
7Spray drier50
8Shaking sieve1 ton per day0.8
9Powder mixer2 ton per day5
10Automatic filling & packaging machine for liquids5.5
TOTAL114.5

How we can help you

If you are interested in setting up a flavour manufacturing unit, we can assist you in the following:

  • Competitive landscape
  • Financial viability
  • Location analysis
  • Market entry strategy
  • Regulatory issues and government incentives
  • Detailed project report preparation
  • Support in project execution

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Business Opportunity: Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizer is a mixture of decayed organic matter. It is usually made by gathering plant material such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peels and animal waste into a pile or bin and letting it decompose with the help of earthworms, fungi or bacteria. Organic compost contains essential macro and micro nutrients for plants, often absent in synthetic fertilizers. Compost releases nutrients slowly over the cultivation period, which helps plants soak those nutrients better and make a healthy food in our plates.

The demand for organic fertilizers is rising in India as well as internationally due to increasing awareness of organic farming and sustainable agricultural practices. The market size for organic fertilizers in India stands at 2547 lakh metric tonnes as of FY 2015-16.[1]

The major consumers of organic fertilizers are horticulture farmers, farmers of export oriented crops, farmers of crops such as ginger and turmeric and urban households that use compost for their home gardens.

What are different types of organic Fertilizers?

As per the Fertiliser Control order, 1985, the organic fertilisers can be divided into three categories:

Vermin compost: Most popular form of organic fertiliser, made by decomposing the organic material with the help of Vermi, FCO has specified guideline in terms of nutrient percentage, moisture levels etc

City compost: The compost made from city waste, including household waste, municipal waste etc.

Organic manure: Compost made from animal and plant waste (including the vermi and city compost). Manure typically has higher organic content vis a vis other organic fertilisers.

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What is the market?

The market has two segments:

Horticulture farmers: Farmers growing fruits and vegetable crops use compost to reduce chemicals residue from their crops. Further, these crops are relatively more profitable vis a vis traditional field crops such as paddy, cotton and hence can afford to purchase organic compost. This segment is dominated by large fertiliser companies who have the dealer network and sales force required to reach the farmers. Below are the large players in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

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Nurseries: This segment has a lot of small and medium enterprises. Here the product packaging is important. Some of the players in this segment also sell only through online network.

How to get started with manufacturing of organic compost?

One needs to have a detailed understanding of the processes involved in manufacturing, marketing and selling the compost.

It’s not a very capital intensive business and hence capital requirements are not very large. One does not need many plants and equipment’s except for pits /wilgrows to dump the waste, shredder and a palletising machine. The main cost of establishing will be land and labour. A unit of capacity to process 20-30 tonnes of waste per day can be set up within a budget of INR 50 Lakhs.

The compost is also made as a by-product of a biogas plant. The biogas plant converts the organic waste into bio gas through anaerobic digestion and produces a slurry, which can be dried and used as compost.

Government incentives

There are a number of incentives available to manufacturers and farmers. It can broadly be categorized as incentives for farmers and incentives for entrepreneurs as given below.

Farmers are offered organic fertilizers at a subsidized cost

Entrepreneurs are offered incentives to set up compost manufacturing facility. For example, under National Program for organic farming, manufacturers of compost from vegetable waste are offered a subsidy of 33% of the cost of project.

Challenges
  • The market is still in its formative stage and awareness of the benefits of organic compost has just begun to spread across farmers and farmer groups.
  • Reliable Data on organic input market is not present.
  • Organic system of farming is far more expensive than doing farming using chemical fertilisers
  • The economics depend on the waste procurement cost, so those have to be tightly controlled

How can we help?

We can help you set up a compost manufacturing unit through a number of services including

  • Market viability assessment
  • Technical consultation and
  • Project execution support.

[1] Source: National Centre for Organic Farming

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Business Opportunity: Injection Moulded Products

The injection moulding technology is used for mass production of plastic products. Plastic material, in the form of granules, is melted and injected under pressure to fill a mould to create different types of rigid shapes.

Injection moulding is a popular way of manufacturing both industrial as well as household products. The most common examples of injection moulded products include PET bottle caps, plastic containers, parts of washing machine, cooler and agricultural pipe fittings.

The table below enlists a number of products that can be made through injection moulding.

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Markets

The PET preforms and bottles/container segment is more crowded as compared to industrial/agri components. The quality specifications of industrial components are more stringent vis-a-vis household segment and therefore require more investment in machinery and experience in plastic technology.

The players in the injection moulding market can be divided into the following categories –
  1. Manufacturers who also market their products: For example, Plast-O-Pack India, Mumbai manufactures and markets various designer house hold products such as microwave containers, pencil boxes, fridge bottles, containers and corporate gift items.  Bangaru Irrigation systems, Telangana manufactures and markets the sprinklers and drips and other irrigation system components.
  2. Contract manufacturers: These players manufacture goods or rigid packaging material for others. In contract manufacturing, there are two models: A) complete job work price model, and B) conversion only price model.

Under the conversion price model, the clients provide the raw material (resins/pellets) and they are billed only for conversions of resins to products, thus protecting injection/blow moulding companies from price fluctuations of the raw material. The clients in such cases usually demand stringent quality standards. However, this consumer segment is difficult to enter for a new injection moulding company as the clients specifically look for imported machinery, in house testing facility and large operational capacity.

Some of the Hyderabad based contract manufacturers include Baba Group of companies (clientele includes Asian paints, Berger paints).  Innocorp Ltd. (clientele includes furniture brands such as Neelkamal and Polyset). Nano polymers (clientele includes Neelkamal, Wipro, HBL, Acme, Asian paints).

PROCESS & TECHNOLOGY

Figure 1: Process flowchart

injection molding process
Injection machine is the heart of the whole process, as it is responsible for turning resins into melted free-flowing liquid and injecting the same into mould cavities.  The capacity of the machine is measured in terms of the pressure it exerts to inject the melted material into the mould and it is measured in either Tonnes or KiloNewton. The capacity of the machine may also be referred to as “shot weight”. Basically, Shot weight/ Injection rate of any machine is the grams of the melted raw material injected to the mould at one shot of pressure. The popular injection moulding machinery suppliers in India include Windsor Machines Ltd., Ferromatik Milacron India Pvt. Ltd., Haitian Huayuan Machinery (India) Pvt Ltd, etc.

Moulds are the most critical part of the process, apart from the injection machine. Mould designs are critical for the shape and texture of the output and also for ascertaining the required injection rate and consequently the capacity of the machine.  Mould designs are typically mentioned in terms of cavities. As such, higher the cavity, higher the production speeds.

BUDGET

While   minimum budget to start an injection moulding unit would be more than Rs 3 Crores, including land, building, and working capital, the overall cost of plant would depend on the quality standards and complexity of the final product. The cost of an injection moulding unit has four components: injection moulding machine, blow moulding machine, auxiliary equipment and working capital. Moulds are the costliest part of the plant, more so because for each different shape, a different mould will be required and the moulds are priced based on the number and complexity in design of the cavities.

The table below depicts a sample plant cost for making containers, the process involves injection moulding as well as blow moulding.

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How Can We Help You?

If you are interested in setting up an injection moulding unit, we can assist you in starting one. Our services include

  1. Market & Financial viability assessment
  2. Technical consultancy
  3. Detailed project report preparation
  4. Support in project execution

Reach Us

Call us @ 800 888 4932,

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HOW TO SELECT RIGHT PACKAGING FOR YOUR READY TO EAT PRODUCTS

For ready to eat products, packaging plays a vital role in preserving the quality of food, extending its shelf life and making it look attractive. With the upsurge in demand for ready to eat foods, the packaging technology is continuously evolving to facilitate customer convenience, minimize processing and keeping the product as natural as possible. This blog discusses different packaging technologies and their suitability to your product as well as budget.

Packaging Technology:

The choice of packaging technology depends on the nature of food (Acidity level, moisture content), expected shelf life (few weeks, months, years) and the conditions in which it would be stored (Room temperature, frozen).  As such the packaging technology for ready to eat foods can broadly be divided into three categories.

Thermal Heating: Food is packed in pouches/containers and heated to high temperature. The thermal heating can be done through different technologies including Retort, MATS and Hot fill & pasteurization.

MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging):  Filled and packaged product is exposed to UV and then MAP sealed. MAP sealing refers to removing the air from the pack and replacing it with a combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide that can extend the shelf life of the food.

ASEPTIC: The product and package/container are sterilized separately first and then product is packed and sealed in sterile conditions.

More details on the packaging technology are available in picture 1.

Picture: 1 
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Source: Printpack Packaging Supplies (India) Pvt Ltd.

Costs

The cost of packaging   has two elements; fixed cost of the equipment and cost of the packaging material (cups/pouches). The fixed cost varies significantly across technologies as can be seen below.

Pic 2: Cost of packaging Technology

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The cost of packaging material depends on the shape and weight of the packaging container. As such the cost of packaging material does not depend on the technology that is being used for packaging.

How can we help?

Are you looking to set up a ready to eat/convenience food unit, we can

  1. Help you understand the market, technology, capital and operating costs
  2. Prepare the project proposal and assist you in obtaining bank funding
  3. Technical consultation to assist you identify right machinery, packaging material providers

Reach Us

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Business Opportunity: PET Sheets

PET sheets provide a convenient way of packaging product across a number of industries – consumer products, pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, etc. PET sheets are increasingly getting popular as a preferred option for packaging of food and pharma products, due to their visual appeal, their ability to keep the product safe from moisture and easy thermoform-ability.

The table below depicts various types and forms of packaging made out of PET sheets:

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Types of PET Sheets

Various PET sheets, based on their properties, are used in different applications. For example, CPET which has a very high working heat resistance (can withstand a temperature of up to 220 degree Celsius for more than 25 minutes) is used for microwaveable containers. The table below depicts the application of various types of PET Sheets.

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Market

PET sheet market is currently small, comprising just 1.5% of PET resin consumption in India. However, this market is rapidly growing and the resin consumed by PET sheet industry has nearly doubled from 6,400 tonnes/year in FY-14 to 11,150 tonnes/ year[1] in the FY 17.

Presently most of the PET sheet is manufactured by companies that make different kinds of packaging material. Two of the Hyderabad based players include Nirmala Pet A Pack Pvt Ltd and Spear Pet Pvt Ltd.

Process &Technology

Process
The process of PET sheet making broadly involves: Raw material pre-treatment, Extrusion and Drying & Winding/ Cutting the finished sheet

Fig1: Process flow

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Sometimes, the final product requires one more layer of PET or coatings, in such cases a co extruder will be required.

Single Versus Double Screw Extrusion

Screw is the most important part of any extruder. The screw is divided into three equal zones; feeding, transition, and metering. The primary functions of the three zones are:

  • Feed – taking in the resins and feeding it forward in the screw
  • Transition – compressing and melting the resin
  • Metering/ Pumping– homogenizing/ blending the melted resins and pumping out through the extruder at a constant rate.

There are mainly two types of extruders; Single screw and Twin screw.The single screw extruders typically cost less than twin screw, however they offer less operational flexibility.

Budget

The overall budget for starting a PET sheet extrusion unit with a minimum viable capacity i.e. 300 KG/hr would be Rs. 5 Crores. The machinery cost of twin screw and single screw alone would approximately be Rs. 3 Crores and Rs. 2 Crores respectively[2].

How Can We Help You?

If you are interested in setting up a PET sheet manufacturing unit, we can assist you in starting a processing unit. Our services include

  1. Market & Financial viability assessment
  2. Technical consultancy
  3. Detailed project report preparation
  4. Support in project execution

Reach Us

Call us @ 800 888 4932,

Write to us- bchhatre@finetrain.com

Visit us- www.finetrain.com

 

[1]Source: PRESENTATION OF RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LTD. – March1,2016

 

[2] Source: Based on discussion with extrusion machinery suppliers

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Business Opportunity in Ginger Processing

Ginger, one of the most important spice crops in India, is known for its aromatic and medicinal properties. Ginger is used as a flavouring agent in many food items.  Ginger powder and oil are extensively used in herbal medicines.

India is the largest ginger producer in the world, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of world’s production. In India, Assam is the largest cultivator, followed by Gujarat and Karnataka.  In Telangana, ginger grows in Medak district. India produces 3.85 Lakh tonnes[1] of ginger per annum and most of which is domestically consumed.

Pic 1: State wise breakup for ginger production in India 
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NOTE: Other states include Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Orissa, Mizoram, West Bengal, Uttaranchal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Ginger Processing Technology

Ginger can be processed into three products; ginger powder, paste and ginger oil. The ginger oil manufacturing is typically not taken up by small businesses as it requires large capital investment towards oil distillation and oleoresin extraction plant. The ginger processing machinery is explained below.

Pic 2: Ginger processing Machinery 

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Key Players in Telangana

Ginger paste and powder: There are a number of manufacturers including national players such as Priya, Aachi, Mother’s, Smith & Jones, Hommade, and Eastern as well as local manufacturers. Some of the local brands include Capital, Red Boss, Mega Rose, Mayuri, MSR, Surya etc. These products are available in packing sizes of 50 grams to 1 kg.

Ginger oil: There are not many local players. Ginger oil manufacturers are largely based in Kerala. 

Budget

The capital requirements for ginger processing plants is discussed below.

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How Can We Help

We can help you start a “Ginger Processing Unit” through a number services including business viability assessment, market landscaping, technical consultation and project execution support.

Reach Us

Call us @ 800 888 4932,

Write to us- bchhatre@finetrain.com

Visit us- www.finetrain.com

[1] http://agriexchange.apeda.gov.in/Market%20Profile/one/GINGER.aspx

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