Making a beginning by taking a sick unit in Bangalore producing around 300kg of disposable paper products per month in 1994, Origami Group has today grown to offer a production capacity of 600 tonnes per month. Manoj Pachisia, CEO discusses his plans for introducing innovative products for kitchen and party usage, exports and washroom hygiene.
Origami has today grown to become the leading producer of paper disposables in India with a presence in the consumer (retail), institutional markets, promotional and export markets
When my wife and I took over a sick unit of tissue paper products, we dealt with it as a side business since professionally, we are both Chartered Accountants. However, we gradually realized its potential and the business started growing. We relocated and expanded our first unit in Bangalore. Gradually, as a group, we started operations in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Baddi near Chandigarh, Haridwar, Mumbai and Nagpur.
In the initial stage, we explored larger markets in different territories but later, we shifted focus to national customers and realized that they want the same quality product available across the country, preferably from the same vendor.
We have our major manufacturing units in Bangalore, Haridwar, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and have acquired a paper mill in Nagpur as well. The company also owns smaller facilities in Baddi, Kolkata & Navi Mumbai and has small logistics set ups in Chennai and Pune.
Is having units in multiple locations advantageous?
Though a Tissue Paper packet hardly weighs 180 to 200gms, it is a bulky product and is expensive to transport. We have, therefore, built up the capacity at different locations to address this issue. Having multiple units not only saves freight, but also ensures proximity to the market.
Besides this, as mentioned earlier, customers prefer a local supplier. The business has paid off because of two factors – freight efficiency and coverage of the local market in a better way by virtue of a local set up. Café Coffee Day, Domino’s, Infosys, Wipro and JLL want supplies across the country. They have identified Origami as a one stop shop for all their needs. Besides this, a lot of companies are concerned about their contingency plan. For that, we ensure consistent supply and hence, having multiple units gives customers the comfort that there is a back up available. For example, we have a small unit in Navi Mumbai and a sales depot in Pune, which gives us a local base.
We have our own sales team, stock points, logistics and planning in place for all institutional supplies and key accounts. Though we have an entire range of tissue products, hotel managers may ask us where they can get a dispenser from and we try to complete the package by supplying them that item; but it is a bought out item. Some customers to whom we supply washroom consumables also require garbage bags and hand wash liquids. To accomplish this, we have strategic tie ups with suppliers for offering a complete solution to the customer.
We cater right from a small kirana shop to big airlines. We have divided the retail market into Modern Trade and General Trade. General Trade is handled exclusively through distributors and Modern Trade is dealt with by us directly.
What are your strategies for expansion, marketing, exports and brand promotion?
We are currently producing 600 tonnes of products. We want to take this up to 900 to 1000 tonnes per month over the next two to three years and also increase our geographical coverage. We believe that there is a lot of business potential in non-metros like Trivandram, Ahmedabad, Indore and Nagpur. We are planning to widen our distribution network to reach this market.
We are also looking at expansion to double exports in the next two years, as the rupee-dollar exchange rate is quite favourable currently. Around 15% of our turnover comes from exports. We export to the UK, Australia, UAE and Singapore, which are our four biggest markets. We supply to super markets in these countries. Our own retail brand is under the name of So….soft and Origami.
We also make promotional products. For example, if a car tyre company wants to advertise, we print the tissue paper box with the tyre company name logo and graphics on it.
A major percentage of our business comes from institutional sales in the Facilities management and Food Service sector. Washrooms disposables like hand towels, wipes, toilet rolls etc. too are in great demand, which are supplied by us to a lot of offices and facility management companies. Washroom Hygiene is a very large segment with us. We supply products to big FM companies as well as directly to some companies. In the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering (HORECA) segment, we cater to customers for table top disposables like napkins, paper plates, papercups etc. Our other clients include hospitals, clubs and airlines.
What are the new launches?
We have recently launched a range of wet wipes. We are also in the process of launching a range of party products like paper plates, cups, and napkins which are packed in different designs. The company has a dedicated product design team. Considering the fact that there are a lot of smart dispensers available today which reduce wastage and enhance user experience, we are planning to focus on these offerings to the hotels and office segments.
What are the eco-friendly initiatives adopted by the company?
We are recycling waste paper and using it. By virtue of having modern water recycling and filtering plant, there is zero effluent in the process without any discharge of water. We are able to treat the water and then reuse it. We have also installed an efficient boiler that reduces the consumption of coal and other fossil fuels. In order to reduce energy costs, we conduct energy audits across all our units to suggest and find ways on how power requirement can be optimized.
How is the tissue paper industry evolving?
There is a trend of automated dispensers picking up today. There is a greater level of consciousness about hygiene and customers are increasingly getting sophisticated. They are now demanding more sophisticated products like Make-Up Wipes. With a growth rate of 25%, the tissue paper industry is evolving. Industry people need to develop it responsibly. The challenge is that there is a trend of dilution of product specification to meet pricing targets. We, therefore, need to maintain quality to develop the market. Customer experience is of paramount importance for the industry to grow. The industry has been witnessing an increase in freight cost, chemical and energy costs. Taking these factors into consideration, there is a need to maintain competitive pricing and quality.