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Pharma packaging leaders congregate at PPL Conclave 2018


Hosted by Express Pharma, the two-day event witnessed meaningful dialogues and discourses on the current and future trends in the pharma packaging industry, as well as the growth drivers and challenges – By Lakshmipriya Nair

Express Pharma hosted the inaugural edition of Pharma Packaging and Labelling (PPL) Conclave, held on March 15 – 16, 2018, at Novotel Airport, Hyderabad. Packaging leaders, experts and veterans came together to discuss, debate and deliberate on current and future trends in the industry, as well as the growth drivers and challenges.

The event got off to an auspicious start with a lamp lighting ceremony, followed by the launch of the PPL Leaders Handbook, which features over 40 notables in pharma packaging industry.

Panelists: Gautama Buddha, Packaging Consultant & Guest Faculty, IIP (Moderator); P V Narayanan, Chairman, SIES School of Packaging; R Chandi Prasad, GM-Packaging Development, Aurobindo Pharma; Santanu Shome, GM – Procurement Direct Materials, Hospira Healthcare India (A Pfizer Company); Jayanti Sawant, Consultant; Ayaz Kagzi, General Manager – Packaging Development, Cavinkare and Prabir Das, VP – Packaging Development, Head, Pkgg. Tech. Services (OSD) – Mylan India

Eminent speakers like Ajit Singh, Chairman, ACG; and Chakravarthi AVPS, Ambassador, World Packaging Organisation, set the stage for further dialogues and discourses with their insightful sessions. As industry veterans and leaders, they spoke on the evolving dynamics of the pharma industry. They also lauded Express Pharma for launching this platform to bring pharma packaging professionals under one roof and spurring progress in this sector. They also advocated the need for effective collaborations to shape policies conducive to the industry’s growth.

Elaborating on the strength of effective collaborations, another speaker Mohan Joshi, International Business Coach for Sales & Leadership gave current examples of how meaningful partnerships have helped incentivise growth and progress.

Panelists: Avinash Kumar Talwar, Director – Supply Chain Management, Head – Global Sourcing (Strategic & Plant), Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. (Moderator); Santanu Chowdhury, Sr General Manager – Packaging Development Sun Pharma; Saravanan TJ, Senior Manager – Packaging Development, Biocon; Harpal Singh, Deputy General Manager – Packaging Development, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals; Prasad Satam, Head- Packaging Development, Aurobindo Pharma ❖ Shankar Gupta, COO, ACG Engineering

Insightful panel discussions which focussed very pertinent topics also marked PPL Conclave 2018. Industry experts addressed issues such as ‘Fostering an ecosystem for pharma packaging innovation’, ‘Putting India on the global map: Pharma packaging and labelling trends in the next decade’, ‘Role of regulations: Assuring quality, safety, compliance and success with pharma packaging’, and ‘Packaging in Parenterals: Challenges and opportunities’ over the two-day conference.

The experts emphasised on the creation of effective systems to deal with the chinks in the life sciences industry. They also underlined the growing importance of packaging in the pharma sector which is striving to strike the right balance between cost, quality and regulatory compliance. Innovation was another buzzword at these discussions. The panelists in these discussions also spoke on the various strategies to create better synergies between departments and professionals to encourage and sustain a culture of innovation in pharma companies. They also explored technological advancements and the essentiality of keeping pace with them to be at par with global standards and meet regulatory requirements.

Panelists: SM Mudda, Director – Global Strategy (Technical) Micro Labs (Moderator); Tripti Nakhare, Senior General Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Packaging Development, FDC; Pradeep Dhargalkar, Head Packaging, Unichem; Rajesh Mishra, Associate Director – Packaging Development; and Saravanan TJ, Senior Manager – Packaging Development, Biocon

Industry relevant topics like Pharma Packaging & Labelling – Importance & Effectiveness, Challenges & Opportunities were addressed by old hands like Prabir Das, Vice President – Packaging Development, Head, Pkgg Tech Services (OSD) – Mylan India. He gave a very informative presentation which demonstrated how packaging is the link between the producer of medicines and the patient. He also explained how packaging connects and communicates to serve manifold purposes that benefits both, the pharma manufacturers and the patients.

Reetika Prashar, Packaging Lead, Merck Consumer Health, spoke on the way forward for pharma packaging professionals to take it to the next level. Her presentation was very engaging as she utilised popular examples to prove her points. For instance, she showed clips from the recent film ‘Padman’ to put forth her point that innovation doesn’t have to be complex or costly.

Panelists: Prof M S Sarveswara Rao, Strategic Advisor, GreatFour Systems & Adjunct Faculty, SVCP (Moderator); Soumyanath Mishra, Head & DGM, Packaging Development-F&D, Mankind Research Centre; Munindra Roy, Head – Packaging Development, Gland Pharma; Santanu Shome, General Manager – Procurement Direct Materials, Hospira Healthcare India (A Pfizer Company); Prasad Satam, Head- Packaging Development, Aurobindo Pharma; Ajay Bapat, Head Packaging, Emcure

The event also provided a platform to display and demonstrate the latest advancements in pharma packaging. Sunil Nirmale, GM, ACG Engineering showcased a high-speed integrated packaging line with 21 CFIR/EBMR, while ‘Packaging Solutions for Generic Injectables to Regulated Markets’ were presented by Alagu Subramaniam AR, MD, West Pharmaceutical Packaging India. Trends in Barrier Packaging were elaborated upon by Neelam Lalwani, Global Quality Head, ACG Films & Foils, ACG while Manoj Mishra, AVP- Sales & Marketing, UNIWORTH Enterprises gave a detailed understanding of various aspects of pharma packaging and his company’s offerings for this sector.


The two day event also comprised the PPL Leadership Awards, an endeavour to honour innovation and excellence in the field of packaging. It sought to recognise the contributions and achievements of packaging and labelling heads of reputed pharma institutions and organisations in furthering progress in the pharma industry.

Over the two-day event, the delegates and participants also had ample opportunities to network and interact with their peers. The inaugural edition of PPL was very well received by all those attended it.

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