AptarGroup Inc. (Aptar) a $2.SBn enterprise is a leading global supplier of broad range of innovative dispensing, sealing and active packaging solutions for beauty, personal care, homecare, prescription drugs, consumer healthcare, injectable, food and beverage market. Its global consumption averages three Aptar products per citizen per day - be it deodorant, facial cleansing, sun care, anti-aging, body moisturizing, sexual wellbeing, beverage closures, connected devices - you name it, they have it.
Aptar entered the India market in the late SO's and since then has become an integral part of the packaging needs of all the major consumer packaging companies in India and SEA - be it global or domestic.
"These are exciting times for India and SEA;' observes Kanwal. "We are working in an environment which has consumers who are well connected, informed and demand global quality. This happens to be an ideal landscape for Aptar which invests over 3% of revenue in innovation with the sole purpose of redefining packaging solutions to improve everyday life of people everywhere".
Aptar has also being leveraging its packaging competencies to partner with corporations to bring about remarkable change in the packaging industry - whether through "Deodorants in No Gas format" or "Honey with SimpliSqueeze Dispensing" or "Body Deo with Dual formulations" or "Small Retail format" that redefined fragrance retail sales in 2 and 5ml packs - thereby improving rural coverage, increased penetration, improved consumer convenience and last but not the least brand differentiation for marketers.
Driven by its purpose, Kanwal believes that Aptar, has carved its niche to be a business partner and not a supplier. With its focus entrenched on market trends, customer demands and consumer insights - he believes in leveraging Aptar's global capabilities to support the regional needs of India and SEA. "Think Local and Leverage Global" is the key to support the value expectation of this market.
With the view of creating region specific innovations, Kanwal administered the design of a local product development team to increase the company innovation pipeline.. The roll out of airless packaging, for instance was achieved in six months- Kanwal explains, and this would not have been possible earlier
While Aptar prides itself in being the world's largest producer of airless, the production of airless packaging in India has been a recent phenomenon for Aptar India - which also happens to be the very first manu- facturer of airless packaging technology in India and SEA. For Aptar, the convic- tion to invest in such a futuristic technol- ogy came from consumer insights. Today's consumer expects product pack- aging to protect the formula, be user friendly, reliable and portable. They desire "value for money" through zero waste, so that they can consume every drop. The concept of Micro Airless by Aptar is perceived to bridge this need gap through an airless mechanism - which delivers the product without air intake, maintains the bulk integrity and helps to ensure zero waste. "Local access to airless is a key expectation of the India pack aging industry and by producing Micro Airless in India, Aptar is empowering the industry to avail the benefits of a globally acclaimed technology at local prices;' says Kanwal.
The other recent accomplishment for Aptar is the launch of the first cooking spray in India.With Aptar's Bag on Valve technology platform (popularly referred as BOV), it enables consumers to use the optimum amount of oil in their cooking. As a result the consumption of oil or ghee is reduced approximately 80%. Each can offers around 700-750 sprays which can cook the same quantity of food for which traditional cooking requires three litres of oil. Aptar's BOV dispensing mechanism allows the spray to be spread on the pan for cooking, giving it complete coverage
Riding on their recent success in the region and with the presence of a local product development team, Aptar is pursuing advanced technologies like - an all plastic fragrance pump called "Click': aerosol accessories for 53mm transfer can called ''Alpine': controlled dispensing for hair oil called "KESH': MiniPackaging called "PACTO': and E-commerce capable pumps called "Imperia'' and many more. "Presence in India and SEA is a strategic intent of Aptar - we are dedicated to the region and our investment plans reflect our approach;' explains Kanwal.
Recent times have seen new opportunities for Aptar Beauty + Home with its drive towards automation, technology advancements and consolidation. While year 2016 saw some leadership changes, 2017 and 2018 were followed with process automation and technology advancements. These events have enabled Aptar Beauty + Home to move towards an environment of improved customer centricity, speed to market and adaptability.
Kanwal clarifies the progression by describing the corporate philosophy, "The term Aptar has been derived from a Latin word ''Aptare" which means to adapt. Our philosophy globally has been to adapt to market reality and needs. Over the last few years, we are trying to strengthen our backend, optimize our resources and empower our front end. The past was challenging, but we are more agile, customer centric and adaptable now': And the industry agrees.
Aptar Beauty + Home has been lauded by the industry for its innovative dispensing solutions and is the proud recipient of the India Star Award for its consecutive biennial series in 2015 and 2017. In 2015, it was awarded the India Star for its Non Aerosol Fine Mist Spray technology - to affix on metal cans (popularly referred as "No Gas Deodorant format"), followed by Easy Spray for Mini Format - a 2ml packaging format which made fragrance accessible for the consumers at an affordable price of Rs.20. In 2017, Aptar Beauty+ Home received three awards, each for Moritz- a twist to lock actuator technology (a hoodless deodorant packaging for Aerosol format), Bag on Valve - a product integrity Barrier Technology (for Cooking Spray) and Aerosol Dispensing Solution for Portable Oxygen Cans (which enabled retail packaging of Oxygen).
Kanwal remarked, "Each of these awards were possible because market believed in our capability of delivering innovative solutions - consistently and with efficiency. So, the Industry has been very generous towards us and we are resolute to bring them the best of innovation, efficiency and service".
Despite the fact that dispensing solutions are the soul of Aptar, its personality is a combination of "Social responsivenessandCustomer Centricity. Aptar is committed to integrate Environment and Social principles into their core business- thereby enhancing long term shareholder value and improving the lives of millions of people. Their "Give Back'' initiatives range from health, education, environment, livelihoods to extending services for differently abled.
Their endeavor's range from spending time with the Kids of Vatsalya Foundation- a pioneer agency working with the street children of Mumbai city through its multi-level approach of Outreach, Child to Child contact, Contact Centers and Shelter homes - to conducting technology session and factory collaborations with the packaging institutes
"There was a very interesting line in the movie "Sea Biscuit" which expresses my emotions about our continued commitment to the present and the future, "It's not about the finishing line, it's about the future': and while these students are our present, the kids are the future of any nation;' emotes Kanwal. So with promise of commitment towards its customers, consumers and society at large, Aptar is determined to live its purpose and go beyond.