Glass is the most natural and healthy material used in the packaging industry. Its superior properties arise from its naturalness i.e. sand, that has made it indispensable for humanity for thousands of years. Glass that increases the trust in the food, and beverages it holds, by not reacting with them, is a packaging material that best deserves to be called a ‘healthy packaging’.
Over the last 47 years AGI glaspac, a leading glass container manufacturer, is engaged in the manufacturing of high-quality glass containers. It efficiently meets the stringent and demanding quality standards for the packaging needs of various industries including Food, Pharmaceuticals, Soft Drinks, Spirits, Beer, Wine, and other industries.
AGI caters to at least 20 percent of the glass container demand in the industry. While its priority is the domestic market, AGI, nevertheless, has its global footprints in areas like North America, Europe, Africa, Canada, and APAC regions as well.
AGI glaspac, the packaging products division of HSIL Limited, was established in 1972 with a capacity of 80 tonnes/day (TPD). In 1981, HSIL Ltd. acquired AGI and upgraded the furnace capacity to 180 TPD. In 1996, AGI achieved its first ISO 9000 certification. In 2000, the first new furnace (F-2) colouring was added, which increased the capacity to 450 TPD. In 2004, the second new furnace (F-3) was added to raise the capacity to 600 TPD.
In 2009, a new greenfield plant was started at Bhongir with the third new furnace (F-4) of capacity 500 TPD, which raised the total capacity to 1100 TPD. In 2011, AGI exported its first consignment. In 2012, the fourth new furnace (F-5) was added, which increased the capacity from 1100 TPD to 1600 TPD with a colouring forehearth.
Remarkably, AGI glaspac is the largest container glass manufacturing facility at a single location in Asia. In 2016, electrostatic precipitators were installed to reduce SOX, NOX, and CO2. In 2017, AGI introduced TPM, LEAN and Six Sigma. In 2019, AGI invested in natural gas to curb carbon emissions. AGI also installed machinery like end-of-the-line packaging for robotic case packers, case palletizers, cullet washing systems, automated dry optical sorting systems etc.
In an interview with Insights Success, Mr. Rajesh Khosla, the President & CEO of AGI glaspac, shares insightful perspectives and opinions about the organization, its key aspects, and how it strives towards a better tomorrow.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
IS: Please tell us about the vision and mission that your organisation follows.
AGI glaspac’s mission and vision is ‘Innovative and eco-friendly glass packaging solution’, and ‘To be the most preferred glass company creating value for the customers and stakeholders,’ respectively.
To be the best company in our category of business, we deliver the best products by following the required best practices. Till date, other commitments of our strategy are environment, sustainability, and digital transformation to deliver social impact.
IS: Give us a detailed description about the services and products of your company?
AGI glaspac produces glass containers in amber, green and flint colours throughout the year in NNPB & BB technologies for almost all the major customers in India and some European customers. AGI glaspac provides glass bottles to some of the best-known brands across India.
Using our professional design capabilities, we can nurture a basic idea or concept through a step-by-step process of product development to realise the final packaging product. Our focus is not only on quality but also on introducing new products to the market, quickly.
AGI glaspac container glasses range from 5ml to 4000ml. We manufacture beer bottles, liquor bottles, wine bottles, pharma bottles, soft drink bottles, food jars/bottles in any size, shape, and colour.
We deliver our products across segments like beer, chemicals, food, coffee, liquor, pharma, soft drinks, beverages, wine, and water bottles, which are our primary target audience. We also have our retail segment, which is only for the B2C segment with a brand called “Greendrop Glassware,” where we sell our bottles to eCommerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc.,
It has two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, one in Hyderabad and the other at Bhongir (Telangana). Both the plants are strategically located in South-central India. The key raw materials are available in abundance and the shipping of finished goods by road, rail, as well as by sea (through ICD), is extremely cost-effective. AGI melts 1600+ tonnes of glass per day. We have R&D, machine-building, and business excellence capabilities to maximize productivity.
Our clients include ABInBev, Bira91, UB Group, Avantor, Thermofisher, Dr. Reddy, GSK, Pfizer, Diageo, and Pepsico.
IS: How did you overcome the downturns on your way.
When I joined AGI glaspac, I tried to understand the business for 2-3 weeks. After that, I saw a great opportunity in this business both on horizontal and vertical scales. There seems to be an opportunity in different parts of India and abroad. In AGI glaspac, we had to introduce a lot of value-added services to revolutionize the glass market.
IS: How has the glass industry progressed in 2019 compared to the past five years?
The glass industry in India is quite old and well established. It remained largely a cottage industry for a long time. In recent years, the industry has transformed from rudimentary mouth-blown and hand-working processes, to adopt modern processes and automation. However, Indian per capita consumption for glass packaging (1.8kg) is much lower compared to other nations.
AGI glaspac currently meets approximately 20 percent of the glass container demand in the country. The company plans to increase its capacity by more than 50 percent in the next three years.
We are present in all the important segments of the glass containers. We are working closely with customers to deliver value in the supply chain and to identify micro opportunities and cater to them. AGI glaspac has invested in resources like R&D, machine-building, machinery, and automation so that the best products can be delivered to our customers with the present infrastructure.
IS: Would you like to give any advice to young and budding entrepreneurs?
I think you have to follow a burning idea or inspiration, and that’s the secret. It probably has been the secret of my career because I was passionate about what I did. And you have to follow it. I’m not saying you have to be reckless, but you need to take risks as well. And don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk. It is part of a person’s development. If it works out, it’s great, but if it doesn’t, it is good for your development as a person. I think the young and budding entrepreneurs should concentrate on innovation and harness all the resources available to them to focus on the target and even beyond.
IS: How different would you say your company is compared to its counterparts in the market? Name some unique features.
AGI stands out from other glass manufacturers with respect to the working environment, tools of manufacturing, vision for the future, expansion plans and passion for value addition. AGI glaspac creates an environment where innovation, research and development, and best practices are an integral part of the working culture. We use manufacturing tools like TPM and employ industry best practices to optimise results. Our customers appreciate us for the following reasons:
- Diverse Product Range: We are equipped to manufacture five ml to 4000 ml of glass bottles in various shapes, sizes, and colours.
- Broad-based Expertise: From mold-making, quartz mining to printing-applied-color labeling, we have a broad range of expertise. We also have in-depth technical knowledge of batch houses, furnaces, production processes, cold-end inspection and product packaging, which enables us to manufacture technologically advanced and quality products.
- Accelerated Response: We consistently offer customized products and rapidly adapt to changing customer preferences.Stringent Quality Control: Our broad canvas of operations revolves around the principles of continual improvement, robust batch planning, minimal wastage, and quality control.
- Robust R&D: Our research and development team is invested in improving our manufacturing process using cost-effective alternative raw materials, developing new products and ensuring the highest quality standards.
- Definite Locational Advantage: The presence of our units close to our customers’ filling locations results in substantial savings in logistical and freight costs.
- Enriching Client Relationships: We have forged meaningful relationships with our institutional clients, and many of them have been associated with us for decades.
IS: Kindly brief us about any significant moment that occurred for the company as well as the recognition it has received.
AGI glaspac believes that business sustainability is closely connected to the sustainable development of the communities we live and work with and the environment in which we operate. Linked with this growth and expansion of production capacity, AGI glaspac has invested heavily in the field of environmental protection. Today, we pride in meeting our legal obligation and making a significant contribution to the environment as a result of our ongoing improvements and innovations.
AGI glaspac is the first organized player in the market to use the eCommerce route to sell its B2C retail offerings, under the brand ‘Greendrop Glassware’. We have started investing and will invest up to ₹130 crores in technology upgrades that will help us in building our capability to produce lighter bottles and work towards reusing glass. We have also done another major investment in setting up ‘Cullet Systems’, a sorting system from an Austrian firm. It helps in separating caps, wrappers, glass, etc, systematically, paving the way for efficient reuse of collected bottles.
About the Leader
Mr. Rajesh Khosla is the President & CEO of AGI glaspac. Mr. Khosla brings to the table a passion for business development that reflects in his stellar work ethics that focus on practical implementation. His end-to-end approach towards business growth, employee development, financial analysis, and debottlenecking and the ability to converge innovation and creativity has helped the PPD business at HSIL to scale newer heights. Mr. Khosla is the current Chairman of EFSI for the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh region.
His ability to induce relevant micro-cultures within departments and align their operations accordingly has catalyzed overall business efficiency for the container glass business at HSIL. He also has rich experience in joint ventures, anti-dumping duty, and market development. Mr. Khosla packs rich corporate experience, with 27 years spread across domains, such as global and international businesses, business strategy, mining operations and marketing. Before joining HSIL, Mr. Khosla served as the President, Director and CEO at PT Jindal Stainless, Indonesia. He is also a visiting faculty at numerous renowned universities, where he shares his visionary expertise with students through insightful and motivating lectures. Mr. Khosla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Metallurgy and an MBA.