Ever imagined how your food travels from the farm, still fresh till your fork. How is the packaging decided for various products available in the market – be it consumer goods or sensitive pharma products to chemicals to heavy goods or processed food with a low shelf life? Packaging plays an important role in containing the product and facilitate consumer decisions as it’s also a marketing and communication tool for a business. There are dedicated packaging professionals, engineers, technologists who ensure the packaging is on point. Packaging engineering is an interdisciplinary field integrating science, engineering, technology, and management to protect and identify products for distribution, storage, sale, and use.
Packaging professionals are required in various roles in the industry for eg. They are a part of new product development (NPD) team, in QC for material quality check, for procurement, in packaging consultancy firms, Research, and development of materials and process, similarly, they are also required for handling operations, marketing and sales for packaging materials and machine producing firms. They are part of the value chain that impacts product quality, user satisfaction, and distribution efficiencies. They work with cross-functional teams interacting with research and development, manufacturing, marketing, graphic design, regulatory, purchasing, planning personnel’s, etc, externally they interact with suppliers, manufacturers, and marketers to achieve their tasks.
Students can start a formal education from their graduation stage itself, various universities and government institutes provide B.E, B.Tech programs in printing and packaging. Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs take courses that include both classroom and laboratory components. Postgraduate program options include PG Diploma courses offered by SIES School of Packaging, while full time and part time PGD is provided by Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Diploma students are from a variety of disciplines from science and engineering in their graduation, IIT Roorkee provides M.Tech in Packaging Technology and also Pulp and paper technology, PG students specializing in Packaging have to get a wide knowledge base, Coursework includes study of materials, manufacturing, marketing, mathematics, CAD, automation, economics, supply chain management, and accounting, focused on making students industry ready.
Ravi Kumar did his PGDM from Indian Institute of Packaging, Mumbai. He is Assistant Manager at Future Consumer Ltd.