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India's Rajoo balances customer needs, budget

By: By James Snodgrass
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

October 24, 2013

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — When potential customers visit the K show stand of Rajoo Engineers Ltd. (Hall 15/B58) to ask for prices, they ask twice because they think they've misheard.

"I'm worried whether I've set the right price, whether it's underpriced." said Khushboo Doshi, Rajoo's executive director.

Rajoo, based in the Gujarat province of India, now has 95 percent of the market share in India for thermoforming and sheet lines, thanks to its merger with Wonderpack. But it is blown film extrusion — and the new Multifoil line — that is the centerpiece of Rajoo's stand.

In a bravura demonstration of its technical prowess, and confidence in the reliability of its machinery, Rajoo is producing multilayer barrier film every day of the Düsseldorf show.

"We are the only company at K that is producing barrier films on stand," Doshi explained.

"It's not an easy thing to run a barrier. You can only usually run nylon during commercial production, when you have everything perfect," she said. "You cannot usually switch it on and switch it off. If you are running nylon you have to run for a week or maybe two because it takes time to flush out."

It is a risky endeavor, she said.

"Your extruder gets jammed and then you are not able to run anything, not even a normal material. That is the risk we are running, but I would say that is not a risk because the die has been designed specially. With this die we are able to flush out the nylon within half an hour. And then we switch it off and run it again."

Rajoo's approach to blown film lines is finding a balance between customers' technical needs and their budgets. Machine configurations vary from ones using mostly Indian technology to lines that are almost entirely European.

Rajoo has a technical collaboration with Hosokawa Alpine, a German blown film lines company.

"We offer an economical solution, where customers can get machinery from Rajoo," said Doshi, and "parts, like the die, may come from Hosokawa Alpine."

So, customers with a low budget can go for an economical line made up of mostly Indian parts, while customers wanting to produce something more involved, such as a technical film line, can spend more money and add more European parts. And, of course, if money is no object, a fully European line can be provided by Rajoo's partner Alpine.

"It's the complete package," Doshi said.

In a nutshell, Rajoo's unique selling point is flexibility: it's not about having a range of machines from which the customer can make a choice based on the closest fit, but having machines tailored to specific needs, whether those needs are budgetary or technical.

"It's like a supermarket," said Doshi, "you pick things. If you want to have a die from Germany, you can get only the die and you don't need to pay for the rest of the things from Germany."

Rojoo has supplied customers in 52 countries so far, mostly in African countries and Latin America.

"But now, with this show and the Multifoil machine, we are opening up into the European market as well. We have agents in the UK, Spain and Germany," she said.

But Doshi doesn't think partners like Hosokawa Alpine will worry that Rajoo might eat into their market share.

"If you look at the price range, there is a vast difference between the advanced and the economical version," she said. "Machines made in Germany and machines made in India are different things. We don't see a competitor in the German market or the European market. Our stand itself was inaugurated by the president of Hosokawa Alpine [Oct. 16], so it's just a collaboration. They share the technology and we try to make more affordable solutions for the European market."