A growing Indian middle class now can afford basic health-care items and other products packaged in plastic containers. That's good news for Sunrise Containers Ltd. and blow molders throughout the subcontinent.
Mumbai, India-based Sunrise has been off and running in 2006, adding three blow molding and preform plants to its base of three, said marketing Vice President V. Subramanian. Two of the new plants are in Badarinath, with the other in Haridwar.
The plants primarily will make pharmaceutical bottles and preforms for those bottles, as well as bottles for water and carbonated soft drinks. Subramanian said Sunrise chose the locations to be closer to the filling lines of pharmaceutical firms. Clients include Novartis and Johnson & Johnson.
``There's still a lot of growth in converting from glass to PET,'' he said of the Indian market. ``That makes us walk the extra mile.''
Sunrise added new machinery at each of its existing sites last year and will spend a total of $3 million on upgrades through 2008. Capacity at the existing plants before the upgrades was 3 million pieces per month.
The 17-year-old firm employs 200 and also operates a plant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sunrise sells its products under the Sunpet brand name.
About 20 percent of Sunrise's sales are to the export market. The firm posted 50 percent sales growth in 2005, Subramanian said.
Angel Blowtech PET Pvt. Ltd., an Ahmedabad, India-based injection and blow molder, also has benefited from growth in the pharmaceutical and medical sector. The 32-year-old company is adding injection blow molding and injection molding equipment at its four plants in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Production has increased for PET and high density polyethylene bottles and containers for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food products, as well as for injection molded devices, and components made of PE, polypropylene and engineering resins in medical devices, Managing Director Sohil Kalva said.
``Even if there's a lapse in some products, we expect to grow in others,'' he added.
Angel, which employs more than 200, posted sales growth of 10 percent in 2005 and expects to exceed that in 2006, Kalva said. The firm should begin exporting preforms and bottle caps by the end of the year.
In Surendranagar, India, Parmar Polymers also expects to match its 10 percent 2005 growth rate in 2006, said owner Manu Parmar. The 7-year-old firm employs 100 at a single plant, where it blow molds PET jars and containers, primarily for food markets.
Parmar Polymers also does some work in preforms and derives all of its sales from within India. Manu Parmar said the firm was launched as an extruder of PE sheet before finding success in blow molding.