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Skanem enters India



The European leader is buying 51% of the shares of Mumbai-based Interlabels.



Published February 21, 2012
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By Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast

The Indian label industry was still wondering how to react to the news of Bangalore-based Wintek having been acquired by ITW, when news came of yet another European multinational label and packaging company, Skanem, investing in Interlabels, one of India's biggest label printers. All this in a span of less then two weeks. Headed by the brothers Bhavin and Gautam Kothari, Interlabels has been on the forefront of the industry. Bhavin Kothari has been one of the founders of LMAI (Label Manufacturers of India) and later the President of this association. They have steadily grown and expanded over the years to acheive success and position of strength in the label industry.

Skanem Group is partnering with the Indian labeling company Interlabels in order to take part in a growing market in South Asia. Skanem is buying 51% of the shares in Interlabels. Owner and CEO of Skanem, Ole Rugland, says, ”India is a market with a great potential and rapid consumption growth. Through this partnership, we get access to this exciting market.” The introduction into India represents a strategically important step forward for Skanem Group. This is Skanem’s first establishment in India, but Skanem already has one factory in Asia, which is located in Bangkok, Thailand. Skanem Bangkok opened its doors in 2007. Ole Rugland adds,  ”Interlabels is today a well run, profitable company. Our aim is to support this profitable growth. We therefore want to build on the existing management and staff on site.”

Rugland further explains that during the process of finding a partner in India, the importance of the company culture was emphasized. He says, ”By partnering with a company that matches Skanem’s corporate culture, we will strengthen the Group’s overall vision and strategy. Interlabels is a professional company with great experience in handling demanding customers and complex orders. They also have competence and a solid knowledge base, which will be extremely useful for the cooperation in India, as well as for Skanem Group worldwide.”

Interlabels already has a leading position in India with two factories, as well as a factory in Nairobi, Kenya and a large customer reach. Bhavin Kothari, managing director for Interlabels,  says, “We believe this alliance with a global leader like Skanem will help ensure a continual strong focus on innovations and leadership in the South Asian region.” Kothari further explains the strong synergies between the two companies: “The product range and customer profiles of both companies are quite similar. We also believe that Skanem’s global presence and expertise combined with Interlabels local experience and coverage will make the venture a formidable force in the Indian label industry.”

About Skanem:
  •    One of Europe’s largest producers of self adhesive labels
  •    Established in Norway in 1905
  •    Ole Rugland, present owner and CEO, took over the company in 1986
  •    HQ is located in Stavanger, Norway, and the Group has 11 label sites in 8 countries   (before the new partnership in India); Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Poland, Russia, Germany, Thailand, as well as a metal can factory in Norway and a PVC film factory in Sweden
  •   Employees: Approximately 1,000
About Interlabels:
  •     Established in 1983 in India
  •     Employees: 200
  •     Leading producer of self adhesive labels and label applicators in India
  •     Exporting into Middle East, East Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
  •     Factories: Mumbai, Baddi (Himachal Pradesh district) and Nairobi, Keny
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Harveer Sahni is the Managing Director of Weldon Celloplast, New Delhi, India. His blog about India and the surrounding region's labeling industry can be found at: http://harveersahni.blogspot.com/


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