Innovation has not traditionally been a hallmark of Indian Packaging companies. Today, though, a new generation of Indian entrepreneurs are working systematically to reverse that perception. They are moving closer to their goal with the brilliant reinvention of products that have remained unchanged for decades while also confronting the challenges presented by a world with ever-diminishing resources.
There are very few companies where this passion for innovation and desire for a greener tomorrow is more palpable than Ficus Pax.
A Commanding Presence
Ficus Pax Pvt. Ltd. is an ISO 9001-certified company that has emerged as one of the world’s foremost manufacturers and distributors of Industrial Packaging solutions. Founded and based in India, it has established itself as a pioneer of innovative and green packaging which can handle products that range in weight from 1 kilograms to 170 tons.
The company has over 400 clients in India and has also built a strong presence in Dubai, from where it caters to large, medium, and SME businesses across the globe. Their client list includes some of the world’s most recognizable brands in aerospace, automotive, defence, engineering, healthcare, logistics, pharmaceutical, and renewable energy sectors.
Ficus Pax’s stellar success and exponential growth have been fueled by a penchant for completely reimagining how products should be packed and transported. Coupled with an inveterate commitment to sustainability and responsible manufacturing, Ficus Pax is proving every day that going Green can actually help clients save money and save the planet at the same time.
When Ficus Pax was founded in 1999 by Ameen Rahaman and Capt. B R Vijayendra, few could have imagined the heights to which the company would climb so rapidly.
Mr. Ameen is a law graduate and seasoned entrepreneur with extensive experience in finance and administration. Capt. Vijayendra retired from the Indian Armed Forces to take up senior executive positions at several manufacturing, technical, and marketing companies.
Their initial focus was on Indian exporters, particularly the niche market of precision packaging of high-value goods. However, they quickly realized that good entrepreneurship lay in truly distinguishing themselves from the competition.
The path they chose was to create products that were green and eco-friendly. That approach appealed to their clients and the company’s capital expanded by an incredible 600 times by 2012.
One of the key planks in their platform is the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ficus Pax has invested in Plant and Machinery to manufacture material in India that previously used to be imported.
Unparalleled Innovation, Unquestionably Green
Ficus Pax has established a formidable reputation in the packaging sector that is unsurpassed by any other Indian company. This is not due solely to the effort they invest in designing the best packaging practices for the products but also due to the deliberate care they take to ensure that every product is an asset to the planet.
AAA Corrugated Board
At the very outset, Ficus Pax set itself the goal of challenging the status quo in terms of engineering innovation. It was very obvious that many of the products that were being used to transport goods the world over had not changed for decades, or even longer.
One especially egregious offender was – and, in the case of other manufacturers, still is – the solid transportation box which is built from slats of wood. A single box with a capacity of one cubic meter (1 m3) weighs 110 kilograms. A Ficus Pax product of equal volume and used for the same purpose is not made of wooden boards but AAA corrugated board. It weighs just 18 kg.
While they are both produced from trees, a single tree can produce 100 Ficus Pax AAA corrugated board boxes. By contrast, a tree of the same size can be used to create just 10 traditional wooden boxes.
Another equally outdated but commonly used transportation device is the traditional wooden pallet, which Ficus Pax is replacing with AAA corrugated board pallets. Wood from one tree is needed to make 50 wooden pallets but the same tree can provide enough material to create 500 AAA corrugated board pallets.
The Ficus Pax pallets are also 70% lighter but have a load-to-weight ratio that is three times greater.
These stark physical differences alone make Ficus Pax AAA corrugated boards the obvious choice for any business seeking a green solution for their packaging and transportation needs. However, the list of benefits is much longer:
- Less weight translates to safer working environments and lower manpower requirements
- The savings in weight of almost 85% translate to a drastic reduction in transportation costs
- The lighter weight means carbon emissions from transportation drop by up to 66%
- Old wooden boxes and pallets have to be burned at the end of their lifecycles whereas AAA corrugated board products are completely recyclable
- AAA boxes and pallets are ISPM-15 compliant and do not need to be fumigated
Thermocol is one of the most common materials used in packaging and transportation. Its evergreen popularity stems from its light weight and excellent cushioning capacity. However, Ficus Pax recommends & manufactures an alternative that not only matches these capabilities but exceeds them. It is the Honeycomb Board made of kraft paper.
In addition to Honeycomb Board having been designed with an equal or better strength-to-weight ratio, improved cushioning ability, and better sound and thermal insulation, clients prefer this Ficus Pax product because:
- It is recyclable as it is made of paper whereas thermocol does not decompose even after 1,000 years
- Thermocol releases toxic fumes when it burns
- The production process for Honeycomb Board requires just 10% of the water needed to manufacture thermocol
Again, it is this combination of excellent physical properties and planet-friendly characteristics that places Ficus Pax’s products in a vastly superior league to traditional alternatives.
A Complete Rethink
Each of these individual Ficus Pax products is revolutionizing how the world transports goods over both long and short distances. Most companies would have been content to have made such deep inroads into an industry where innovation has remained virtually stagnant for decades. However, Ficus Pax is not one to rest on its laurels.
Always pushing the boundaries, they have now launched an initiative to convince clients to do away with single-use packaging altogether in favor of multiuse, returnable products that have a life of approximately 50 trips where possible.
This reduces the carbon footprint per package and Ficus Pax has designed them to be collapsible which allows its clients to save up to 30% in storage space.
100% Compostable and Biodegradable Polymers
‘Plastic’ has become a dirty word and very rightly so – it is a terrifying threat to the biodiversity of the planet. However, our prolonged over-reliance on plastic makes a clean break impossible. Ficus Pax has devised the perfect solution: single use packing made of biodegradable polymers.
Despite possessing the same physical characteristics as plastic, Ficus biodegradable polymers are made of starch. They also burn without emitting toxic fumes and have half the energy and emissions footprint as regular plastic.
Where regular plastic takes over 500 years to degrade, Ficus Pax biodegradable polymers are 100% compostable and decompose into the soil in between 4 to 12 months, when subject to recommended environment or in industrial composting machines.
Diversifying for a Better World
There is absolutely no question that the meteoric rise of Ficus Pax is linked intimately to its in-depth understanding of the packaging and transport industry. The company is now taking the insight gained over the past two decades and applying it to a revolutionary approach to sustainable and affordable housing.
Ficus Pax has developed a concept that creates stronger and lighter homes which can be erected faster using less labor. These structures require 66% less water to build, offer good thermal insulation, and are highly fire retardant.
The prefabricated wall and roof blocks have been created in such a way that 80% of the complete structure may be relocated if needed. This compares to just 10% of a traditionally-constructed structure.
They have also been designed with disaster resistance in mind and have the ability to withstand Level 4 hurricanes as well as earthquakes as strong as 6.5 on the Richter scale. However, if disaster does strike and there is a collapse, the segmented and relatively lighter construction material reduces the possibility of injury and death.
Ficus Pax has been recognized for its contributions to the economy by the government of India, winning the Niryat Shree (Bronze) Award for Outstanding Export Performance in the Residual Products category. It has also been awarded for Corporate Excellence in the Small Enterprises category.
The company’s clients consistently express their satisfaction at the high quality of both the products and the support they receive at every step of the partnership with Ficus Pax.
That satisfaction underscores why projections indicate that the company will earn 60 million USD in annual revenue by 2020 to establish itself firmly as the nation’s premier Industrial Packaging products supplier.
Ficus Pax has made innovation and sustainability the crux of their progress. The company’s innovative solutions have been adopted across the public and private sectors simply because they work as promised and boost revenue for clients.
At Ficus Pax, they believe their success is just the planet smiling back at them.