BST India on business, expansion plans in MENA market
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by Shradha Mishra, deputy editor
Quality assurance systems specialist BST India reports substantial growth in the MENA market across the labels and flexible packaging industries, where it sells print inspection , defect detection, surface inspection, video monitoring and register control systems. Retrofitting for enhanced automation represents a key area of growth for both presses and converting machines in the region.
The company is also promoting its AlphaMix two-component adhesive for solventless lamination and in March installed the system at two converters in Saudi Arabia.
‘Due to the pandemic situation, many converters are reluctant to invest in new presses and for them, we are planning to offer retrofit or upgrade plans for their existing presses,’ says Khushal Patel, director- sales and marketing, BST India.
The Indo-German joint venture company’s Middle East and Africa region business is handled from its India office.
UAE and Saudi Arabia are the crucial markets for the company, accounting for most of its Middle East revenues, mainly due to a high concentration of flexible packaging converters.
BST India also operates in Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt in the Middle East. In Africa, it caters to Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia. Recently, the company completed a major retrofit project in Africa and expects to execute more in upcoming months.
The company now plans to set up a permanent branch office with a dedicated team by the end of this year to take care of sales and service in the Middle East region. ‘For the African region, we have a territory manager who is based in India and caters to enquiries from the African region,’ shares Patel.
Patel states that during lockdown many printing companies either paused their operations or were working on a limited scale. ‘This has been the case across all industries due to which we saw a decline in the overall sales in the region FY' 2019-20.’
However, post October 2020, the situation became better, and BST managed to achieve its sales target in the region, where Patel sees a growing demand particularly for hygienic packaging.
‘Many of our customers are planning to either relaunch their projects or initiate the preparation for the same. Further, exhibitions like Gulf Print and Pack 2021 in the Middle East region should also help to boost the overall conditions,’ shares Patel.