Mr. Vijay Shah, Vice Chairman - Piramal Glass & Executive Director - Piramal Enterprises Ltd.

Premium Beauty News - Currently, what is the position of Piramal Glass on the global glass packaging business?

Vijay Shah - We operate four glass manufacturing facilities in India, Sri Lanka and the USA and several decoration plants. Approximately 40 percent of our sales are in the high-end cosmetics and perfumery market, with a turnover of US$140 million approximately. During the 2019 fiscal, we have sold around 2 billion pieces of nail polish bottles, around 550 million pieces of perfume bottle, and around 60 million pieces of skin care jars.

Our Cosmetics & Perfumery business has grown at a CAGR of 12 percent over the last decade and globally we have been working very with 14 of the global top-20 beauty brands.

To further expand, upgrade, and modernize our glass manufacturing and glass decoration facilities in India, we are investing approximately US$98 million. We are planning a substantial greenfield expansion at Jambusar in India, brownfield expansions at both Jambusar and Kosamba - India, and expansion of our decoration facility at Kosamba, India.

Premium Beauty News - PGL is also investing in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment?

Vijay Shah - We are focused on executing our Digital strategy to transform every aspect of our business to become a more agile organization. We have setup a dedicated Digital team and made substantial investments in digital technologies, including Internet-of-Things (IoT), Augmented Reality, Analytics, Cloud and Artificial Intelligence. By pioneering Industry 4.0 (Smart Manufacturing) best practices, we aim to make our production process faster, more efficient and elevate mass customization to new levels. As part of our data-driven approach and overall Digital strategy, we have successfully implemented multiple digital initiatives, including a real-time plant monitoring system to improve production efficiency, voice recognition and video analytics system to enhance productivity, and a real-time transportation tracking system to enable supply-chain visibility.

Premium Beauty News - How does PGL addresses the sustainability challenge?

Vijay Shah - In our glass-container manufacturing and decoration processes, our constant aim is to create value through the three pillars of sustainability - Economic, Social, and Environmental. Glass is a sustainable, fully recyclable material, which provides great environmental benefits. Over the years, we have made significant transformations in strengthening our core infrastructure and processes to accomplish our Sustainability Goals. We not only meet our global regulatory requirements but also make significant contributions towards building a globally sustainable ecosystem by deploying green initiatives. We have successfully reduced energy usage, cut carbon emissions and footprint, increased the amount of recycled glass, and created a safer and greener ecosystem. We are an ISO 14001 organization and we constantly invest in environmental preservation.

As a part of our commitment to contributing to the global environment, we have tied up with ‘Believers in Glass’, the social movement that highlights the benefits of using glass. As part of our sustainability strategy, we have added renewable power sources in our energy consumption portfolio. We have successfully installed a Solar Roof-Top system of 4.4 MW at our India facilities and of 3.0 MW at our Sri Lanka facility. Solar Energy generation is not only contributing to green power generation but also helping us in rationalizing the energy cost. In the near future, we are planning to install more Solar Roof-Top systems and large-scale Solar-Farms. We have also successfully installed four Wind-Power systems generating 8.4 MW in India. All our furnaces are equipped to handle dual fuel systems and designed to create better efficiency and minimum emissions. To make the furnaces more energy efficient, few of them are equipped with an Electric Boosting system along with Natural Gas. Natural gas is preferred for combustion since it has very less content of sulphur, burns more cleanly than other fossil fuels, and emits lower levels of harmful emissions. As a preferred energy source, our furnaces use Natural Gas for more than 90 percent of the time.

We have been recycling glass for more than three decades. Reusing used glass has vastly improved the environmental balance of our glass production. We regularly invest in the right infrastructure and processes to collect, sort, distribute, and recycle used glass, to scale up sustainability. We are maximizing the intake of cullet in our furnaces. For the production of clear and amber glass, we can use up to 60 percent of used glass. To increase the quantity of glass to be recycled, we have launched a Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) glass campaign to support glass recycling by local consumers. Lightweight glass containers also reduce energy and raw material consumption, thereby saving resources. With our new production techniques and in-house expertise, the manufacturing of thin-walled, lightweight glass containers is becoming more feasible.

Premium Beauty News - The Asian continent is on the way to become the world’s main beauty market. As a key Asian producer, how do you intend to seize this opportunity?

Vijay Shah - We have the right infrastructure and capabilities to seize this opportunity. We have one of the largest capacities for glass beauty packaging with the biggest market share in colour cosmetics and serve 14 of the World’s top 20 global beauty brands. In line with our aim to expand our Asian footprint in the Cosmetic & Perfumery market, we have recently invested approximately US$ 38 million to increase our premium Cosmetic & Perfumery glass production and decoration capacity. This will provide additional capacity for 50 million glass bottle pieces for the Cosmetic & Perfumery market and double our current decoration capacity with the addition of new automated printing & colour coating lines.

Today, we offer complete end-to-end glass packaging solutions in over 60 countries. We have a growing presence in all the continents, and most of the Asian major markets. In Asia, we have sales offices in India, China, and Sri Lanka.

Piramal Glass (PGL) - Key figures

Global sales (Apr ’19-Mar’20): approximately US$357 million

 Cosmetics & Perfumery: 40%

 Specialty Spirits market: 37%

 Pharmaceuticals: 23%

4 manufacturing facilities: in India, Sri Lanka and the US
12 furnaces and 1430 tonnes per day of glass-manufacturing capacity

Premium Beauty News - The market share of glass packaging is growing in premium, prestige and luxury skin care and make-up products, how do you address this new challenge?

Vijay Shah - The share of premium, prestige, and luxury glass packaging is growing, especially in the skin-care segment. We have the right infrastructure and capabilities to seize this opportunity. We have different and flexible line configurations to use either blow & blow, press & blow, or press & press manufacturing process to manage different complex profiles and shapes.

We manufacture a wide range of premium skin care glass jars and bottles and have a strong design portfolio on offer for the skin care segment. Some of the most reputed global beauty brands have gained from our skill and design expertise in the field of premium glass packaging.

Premium Beauty News - Last year, Piramal announced its intention to invest in Europe. How is this matter progressing?

Vijay Shah - We are constantly looking and studying the best possibilities and the right opportunities to invest in different geographies, especially in Europe. It will be a kind of assurance to our European customers. We have not finalized any new investments in Europe yet. We have a French office within the Glass Valley, where we also have a storage unit. We are continuously investing in best human resources, modern technology and tools, and in logistics and warehousing which can reduce the time to market and keep us closer to our customers.

Premium Beauty News - What are your main strategic projects and focuses in 2020?

Vijay Shah - The purpose of Piramal Glass is to enhance the value of the product by providing specialty value-added glass packaging to fulfil peoples’ aspirations. In 2020, we would like to expand our global footprint in the high-end Cosmetics & Perfumery segment, especially in the premium, prestige, and luxury glass packaging, high-end specialty Spirits, Water Bottles, and Food & Beverage segment. We would like to have a larger wallet share with top global brands. To expand, upgrade, and modernize our glass manufacturing and glass decoration facilities in India, we have planned an investment of approximately US$98 million during this year. We would also like to continue our journey and strong focus on executing our Digital strategy to transform every aspect of our business.