Unbox: Innovation with Luxury in Packaging

Mr. Sahil Roy | Founder | Unbox
Mr. Sahil Roy | Founder | Unbox

The evolution of the packaging industry is a new phenomenon globally, and since this swing is in the hype, we are looking at different types of packaging solutions. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, these services hyped up and created new opportunities for the packaging industry.

Unbox counts as one of the finest and national awards winning companies. It provides the finest quality and is a foremost manufacturer in premium boxes, consistently improving the quality with a specialty marked as “Handcrafted and unique design”. It is creating innovation in packaging. They are catering their services in sectors like food, pharmacy, cosmetics, electronics, software, automobile, tourism, and many more, expanding their services in industries within India and few in Europe and North American market. Unbox benchmark stands with the significance of four national awards for its exceptional quality in packaging services.

In the following interview, Unbox’s Founder, Mr. Sahil Roy, and Team gave us clear insight into the packaging industry’s current landscape, how Unbox established a strong foothold in the market.

Please brief us about Unbox.

We mainly work with paper and paperboard to produce these boxes. Our focus has always been on quality and innovation in packaging. Unbox is known for its unique packaging designs. Initially, we started producing only handcrafted boxes, but with the focus on improving the quality, we started investing in the latest types of machinery.

Today, we have a dedicated team that works on the structural designs for the packaging. We also have a complete in-house set-up of machinery required to manufacture these premium boxes.

Our passion for quality has been recognized throughout the country and has made us proudly stand here as ‘The National Awards Winning Company’. We have been awarded four National Awards till date for our Innovation in Packaging.

We have been catering to most of the industries within India and a few in the European and North American markets, mainly for food, pharma, cosmetics, gifting, electronics, software, automobile, tourism, and many more.

What made you venture into the packaging industry?

When I was back from Germany, I decided to join my dad’s business of commercial offset printing. For a year, I tried to understand the business, but I started to see the downfall of the commercial print market. The technology was overshadowing the commercial print business. So, I had to take a foot down from my dad’s business and analyzed the industry again.

I started visiting the printing presses in the country and found out that technology will eventually slow down the commercial print business. But packaging is one of the areas that is growing rapidly. So, I started meeting people and understood their views about the industry. I found out a gap in the Packaging industry that needed to be filled. That’s how I decided to enter the packaging industry.

What kind of services do you provide to your clients?

We provide a wide range of services to our clients.

We provide them with premium corrugated packaging, paper cartons, rigid boxes, canisters, and other forms of paper-based packaging from our packaging business. We also offer them graphic design support. Our commercial business offers all kinds of commercial printing like Brochure, Catalogues, Diaries, Calendars, Magazines, Coffee Table Books, etc. We have recently started with a new brand called DoBeDo, where we make origami-inspired table lamps. We mainly sell it for corporate gifting and have an online presence in the B2C market.

What kind of challenges have you faced while entering the packaging industry?

Initially, it was tough since this business was new for me. Whatever knowledge I had gained from my school and our family business was for commercial printing. I thought it was best that I outsource the manufacturing to focus more on creating the brand.

I worked with a few box manufacturers for a year. We had started getting many inquiries, but no job was delivered in time to the clients, and there were constant issues with the quality. Sometimes suppliers can cause you a lot of stress, and it gets challenging to find the right guys.

The only thing I had to do was start the manufacturing in-house. But getting the right skilled people for packaging was very difficult, especially in Pune. I managed to convince a few people to shift to Pune and work with me. They had some fancy demands which I had to fulfill because I wanted things to happen. I got them to Pune and invested in our very first machine to make rigid boxes. A couple of months later, we started getting a grip on creating one of the finest packagings worldwide.

We have attracted more than 500 businesses and have made many lakhs of boxes to date.

How was Unbox affected in these pandemic times, and what were the steps you took to curb the damages while helping your clients and maintaining the safety of your employees?

Just 2-3months before the pandemic, we had signed up with some big clients around India. It felt like the turning point for our business, so we had invested and planned accordingly. But just a few days before the lockdown, most of the orders were cancelled due to the uncertainty of the market. We were shut for almost a month, and it felt like a big financial crisis. After we opened up, the initial 2-3 months were a real struggle for our entire team. Some were stuck in their villages. We had to send some cars from here to get them back.

On the brighter side, the lockdown has taught all of us the ease of ordering things at home just by clicking a button. But to get a parcel delivered at your home with having a great unboxing experience requires a great thought behind the packaging. I thought this was a golden opportunity for us to showcase our expertise in creating that unboxing experience with the best possible service our clients can get. We started catering to those industries that have a great online presence and that values good packaging.

Since the first lockdown, we have grown three times to what we were just by focusing on the right market.

What would you like to advise the young innovators who want to venture into the packaging industry?

Packaging is a great industry, and especially post-pandemic, it has been growing drastically. The only advice I would give is that one should really think twice before starting a manufacturing unit. I think setting up a new plant and investing heavily in the machinery for a newcomer is an old way of doing a business. One should find a smarter way to enter the packaging business without putting down all their savings and investing heavily into it. I think the future is into collaboration rather than trying to rule the industry.

Where do you envision Unbox to be in the long run and what are your future goals, and how do you plan to embrace the changes happening in your industry?

We are seeing a sudden rise in the food industry and have been catering to a lot of clients in this industry. We have started outsourcing many other products to showcase them to our existing clientele. We have begun to export some of our packaging products and are planning to increase it in the future. Due to the uncertainty of the market, we think it is always best to diversify our portfolio. Hence, we have also come up with our brand called DoBeDo, where we sell sustainable products at an attractive price. We plan to grow that vertical simultaneously.

What is the current industrial scenario of the packaging industry?

Currently, there is a lot of competition in FMCG packaging. Since the packaging industry is growing significantly, many commercial printing presses have started investing in packaging machinery. We can see even more competition in the future. To stay in this industry for the long run, one must innovate and find their niche to survive the competition and avoid working on ridiculously low margins.

A Visionary Leader

Unbox started its operations in 2016, but its journey began in 2011 when its founder Sahil Rao started his journey in the print industry.

He studied printmaking from a local family in a small town in Germany called Biberach. It was an old printing press that was converted into a small college. It used to print newsletters for Nazis during World War II, so you can imagine the style and the tradition it carried. After getting hands-on experience with the traditional print techniques, he shifted back to India to take over the family-owned business of commercial offset printing. After working in the commercial printing business for about a year, he thought of exploring new areas to maintain the required growth and innovation of the company. This was when Unbox was founded.

A manufacturer of bespoke luxurious Packaging!

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