KATHMANDU: Two decades ago, a small company was set up to manufacture plastic products. Today, the same enterprise, Bagmati Plastic Industries Pvt Ltd (BPIPL), claims to enjoy 45 per cent of the domestic market share.
With its tagline ‘Super Strong’, Bagmati has grown from strength to strength to successfully convince customers of the quality and durability of products. The company, established in 1990, vastly improved the quality and quantity of products by importing hi-tech German machinery with the support of Cello Group of Mumbai. The company claims to be the market leader of injection moulding category.
Under the brand name Bagmati, the company currently manufactures 300 varieties of products for household use. Dustbins, baskets, buckets, jugs, mugs, tubs, sieves, dustpans, kitchen trays, container boxes, noodle bowls, et cetera are some popular products. The price of its products range from Rs 50 to Rs 1,000, depending upon type and size. “We use cent per cent unused plastic granules to manufacture our products, which has also become our trademark,” says Pankaj Rathi, managing director of BPIPL. Stating that use of virgin plastic granules assures quality product, Rathi says, “Smaller players use reprocessed plastic granules, which might bring down the costs but also hampers quality.” The company imports its raw materials from Saudi Arabia, India and Taiwan.
Revealing that ‘Bagmati’ is named after the holy Bagmati river, Rathi informs, “As there is a belief that it is auspicious to set up a company under a river’s name, my father, Satya Narayan Rathi, chose this name.” Reminiscing about the struggle to establish the brand name during the initial period, he says, “A decade ago, customers were not aware about brand differentiation in plastic brands and bought whatever looked good to them. However, customers are quite market-savvy now and ask for Bagmati products, having understood the brand’s speciality.”
BPIPL reportedly processes 100 tonnes of plastic granules per month from its Biratnagar factory. To ensure quality, the company uses hi-tech technology from Germany, skilled workforce, and unprocessed fine plastic granules. Rathi states that their first
criterion is customers’ choice and their ultimate goal is customer satisfaction. The comp-any has a nationwide distribution channel to assure easy access for customers. According to him, they have eight dealers in Kathmandu valley and 30 dealers and sub-dealers outside the valley, and their main target group are homemakers.
As a part of its promotional activities, BPIPL displays ads on hoarding boards, brochures and shutters, besides airing radio jingles. It also sponsors programmes and provides products at subsidised rates to Red Cross and United Nations. Rathi is aware of the healthy market competition, as he says, “Among the local brands, Gems is our major competitor. Chinese products, priced much lower than ours, are also our competitors. However, customers are aware of the difference and don’t mind
paying a little more for better products like ours.” Rathi’s future plans include increasing the variety of products and exporting to China. The company is facing many hurdles in product expansion and
Rathi says, “Political instability, power cuts, labour unrest and substantial increment in the
US dollar are major challenges.
Besides that, we are also
pressurised and forced to donate for various causes.”
Stating that plastic products have huge market potential
in Nepal, Rathi says, “Due to
the affordability and ease, customers are rapidly shifting to plastic from steel and wood.”
According to him, the demand for plastic ware grows by around 12 per cent every year. “However, the instable political scenario and inappropriate environment for execution of plans are dampening our enthusiasm,” he says.