Golden Packaging Industries
A labour of passion and perseverance, Golden Packaging Industries was built by founder Sonali Prashant Tilve
By SAMAY SHETTI
A business is often a product of perseverance and passion. An entrepreneur faces numerous challenges and opportunities. The way these are addressed makes their story a source of inspiration or a lesson for other potential entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur who has successfully faced and overcome challenges while making the most out of the opportunities that came her way is Sonali Prashant Tilve.
Sonali, founder of Golden Packaging Industry, started her own manufacturing plant of corrugated boxes on December 22, 2014. In the three-and-a-half years since its inception, the business has grown and now has a turnover of ₹1 crore.
Having graduated with a degree in Commerce, Sonali had a stint as a professional in the Stores department at Cipla and, later, Sandu Pharmaceuticals. “Having no prior background in or exposure to the business world, working in the departments of these two companies is where I picked up the know-how and requirements of the industry,” states Sonali.
The unit. currently, has a varied client base, ranging from pharmaceuticals to fisheries with pharmaceuticals forming a large chunk of it. As of now, Golden Packaging Industry services clients like Goa Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, Vicco Laboratories, Centaur Pharma, Geno Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Nebula Home Products, Acoustic Components, Blue Ocean Beverages, Avion Aqua, Phoenix Alcobevz, Sai Arts, Berger Becker Coatings.
Being a new player in the field with absolutely no prior experience or background in the packaging business, it took phenomenal effort to build a reliable client base and a respectable company profile. “Initially, it was very difficult to get a substantial order to even cover the input cost and salaries as there was a lot of competition in the market and nobody trusted someone new. The very people who showed support during the installation phase with assurance of orders backed out when we approached them for business,” says Sonali. In its first year, the newborn firm saw its founder going from pillar to post with samples of the product to procure orders, “With an average hit rate of 20 to 1, perseverance was the key for us,” reveals Sonali. Pushing forward from that point of inertia, the company started rolling on, registering a turnover of ₹24 lakh in its first year of operations; scaling up to over ₹52 lakh in the second year; and touching the ₹1 crore mark in the current financial year. Having cleared all the loans incurred for initial installation and operation, the company turned profitable by the end of 2017.
The manufacturing unit is situated on land owned by the Tilves near Tuem IDC in Pernem Taluka. Though the company undertakes small scale production, the unit is fully equipped with machinery to meet the growing demands of their clients. The unit has a corrugation machine, an automatic cutting machine, a chromium-plated pasting machine, a creasing and cutting machine, a slotting machine, three-box stitching machines and a flexo printing machine, which happens to be the latest addition to the unit’s arsenal. The efficiency of the firm is growing in tandem with a steady rise in revenue, “We used to print all our boxes using screen printing method prior to installation of the printing machine,” says Sonali. “In phases, we are adding essential facilities to increase our efficiency and productivity. Transportation is the next issue we shall tackle,” she says.
Due to the remote location, transportation is a major area of concern, draining the company’s resources. Sonali admits, “Transport cost coupled with heavy competition limits our customer base drastically.” At the moment, Golden Packaging concentrates on its clientele having industrial facilities in Karaswada, Tuvem, and Madkai industrial estates. With the immediate goal ahead of acquiring transport vehicles of their own, Golden Packaging is now looking to set up a transport network for their products so that they can cut out the exorbitant rental costs and tap further locations like Verna, Sancoale, Cuncolim and Nessai, among others.
Having an employee strength of ten people, it is not uncommon to see Sonali herself on the work floor putting in long hours alongside her employees to meet the orders at hand. “To work with my people keeps us on track and also boosts our employee morale,” she shares. Sonali handles all the desk and office work single-handedly other than helping out on the work floor.
Elaborating on her motivation for embarking on this entrepreneurial journey, Sonali credits her husband Prashant Tilve, for constantly supporting her. Sonali recalls, “With a year into the marriage, my husband told me to do something on my own if I wanted to. Staying true to his words, he has stood by me through thick and thin.” “Though he has always been there, I have made sure that this support is never taken for granted. I ensure there is no lapse in my work; the financial brunt of operations is tackled and managed by the unit,” she adds. Golden Packaging started operations with financial support through the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) scheme, which aims at generating employment through aid in the creation of new entrepreneurial ventures. Having been selected for this scheme, Sonali underwent training through a programme at CIBA (Center of Incubation and Business Acceleration), where she acquired working knowledge and guidance to develop her idea and mould it into reality. CIBA also helped her establish contact with potential customers and business networks, says Sonali.
Speaking about the present situation in the entrepreneurial spectrum, the founder of Golden Packaging says, “The government, both at the central and state level, have initiated many schemes and initiatives to boost entrepreneurial ventures, which are very convenient and easy to apply for. It is up to the individual to make good the opportunity at hand.” Golden Packaging Industry aims to open another manufacturing unit in an industrial estate in the near future, while setting up their own transport network remains its immediate focus.
With her sights firmly on the future, Sonali says, “One thing that we have decided and are adamant on is dedicating ourselves 100% to every project at hand, regardless of the result”