Pankaj Poddar on Cosmo First's vision to drive sustainable growth in 2023
Pankaj Poddar is the Group CEO of Cosmo First, a global conglomerate in speciality films. Pankaj heads multiple trade verticals including Cosmo Films, Labeling and Packaging, Cosmo Specialty Chemicals, Cosmo Ferrites, Cosmo Masterbatches and Cosmo Textile Chemicals. Pankaj joined Cosmo Films in 2011 as CFO, and worked his way up to become CEO in 2013.
In an exlcusive interview, Pankaj outlined the company's strategic plans for driving business growth in 2023 and beyond, emphasizing the importance of staying ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving market.
Here are the edited excerpts.
As a leader, how do you envision your role evolving through times of uncertainty and crisis in 2023 and beyond?
As a leader, my focus will remain on listening to the needs of our customers and stakeholders, and responding with innovative solutions and effective communication. It's also crucial to stay current with emerging trends and explore new opportunities for growth and expansion. I see my role as guiding, encouraging, and empowering others to reach their full potential, while continuing to strengthen our organisation for the long-term.
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What opportunities and challenges do you foresee in 2023, particularly in the pet healthcare and specialty chemicals industries?
Looking ahead to 2023, I believe that businesses must be agile and adaptable to remain competitive and successful amidst evolving market conditions. One of the biggest opportunities lies in strengthening the connection between brands and consumers through personalised packaging solutions that are sustainable, technologically advanced, and efficient. The pet healthcare industry is also poised for significant growth as pet owners become increasingly aware of the importance of their pets' health and wellness, and we must work to create a more pet-friendly environment and expand activities in this sector. Additionally, India's speciality chemicals sector will continue to be a crucial component of the nation's economy, with a focus on research and development of sustainable chemicals and increased use of digital tools to enhance productivity, quality, and cost optimisation. While there are certainly challenges ahead, I am confident that with the right strategies and approach, we can navigate these changes and continue to drive growth and success.
How is Cosmo First leveraging digital transformation to drive business growth and adapt to changing market demand?
Cosmo First is leveraging digital transformation in various ways to drive business growth and adapt to changing market demand. Our core ERP system is SAP S/4 HANA, and we have implemented new functionalities such as production planning and detailed scheduling (PP-DS), treasury, cash and receivables management, and OpenText xECM.
In FY’22, we also automated the raw material feeding system, which has been a great technological addition to our manufacturing processes. We have heavily invested in artificial intelligence and machine learning to stay ahead of the curve.
As of 2022, our pet care vertical, Zigly, has rapidly expanded its online presence in India, servicing over 30,000+ pets and pet owners through its website and Zigly app. Moving forward, we will continue to innovate to bring digital transformation across all our business verticals while prioritising sustainability.\
How does Cosmo First approach employee growth and development while also considering the shift towards remote work and flexible arrangements?
Cosmo First places a high emphasis on employee growth and recognises that people are the primary assets of any organisation. As a market leader, we strive to attract top talent with expertise in various areas including manufacturing, e-commerce, information technology, research and development, among others. We have made every effort to provide a supportive and enjoyable workplace, while also ensuring that HR policies are in place to accommodate specific employee requests. Our offices and production facilities have been equipped with all necessary arrangements to facilitate a seamless work experience.
This interview is part of an exclusive series that featured CEOs and MDs of top organisations sharing their perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape and the future of work. Browse all the interviews here!