Dear Members,

I wish to express my deep gratitude for electing me to the highest position in WICMA as WICMA President. It gives me great pleasure as well as sense of responsibility to assume the office of President of WICMA. I assure each one of you that I will do my best to carry forward the legacy laid down by my predecessors. My priority will be to facilitate and promote activities in each division. We are fortunate to have excellent conveners in each division. I would like to use the office of President to strengthen the hands of each convener and utilize their support in organizing some activity or project in each region for the benefit of our members.

It also gives me great pride to inform our members on the resounding success of our Symposium in Mahabaleshwar at Hotel Keys under the Chairmanship of Shri Rajendra Ankola, Vice Chairman Shri Ashok Vyas and our President Shri Sunil Gupta. The enthusiasm in which almost 200 of our members participated was the highlight of the event. The technical sessions planned by our Symposium Technical Chairman Shri Ramkumar Sunkara has definitely stimulated all our delegates.

As one of our key focus areas on imparting training and sharing latest trends in manufacturing practices in our industry our WICMA R & D Centre has conducted the Practical Course in Testing from 27th to 29th August 2018 attended by 12 delegates and the 42nd Certificate Course from 3rd to 8th September 2018. Attended by 18 delegates. Over the years I have experienced at close quarters the dedication of our WICMA R & D Committee and the amount of time and effort in planning and updating these courses is commendable and I request all our members to take advantage and participate actively in these educational programmes. Members, you are well aware that we have upgraded the facilities at our R & D Centre. I request you to make full use of these facilities.

It also gives me great pleasure that 16 members from WICMA were a part of the 81 member FCBM delegation lead by our FCBM President Shri Pradip Bosmaya to CCE South Asia held at BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand from 5th to 7th September 2018. Although it was a fledgling Exhibition, our participation was acknowledged by the Govt. Of Thailand who were key facilitators for the event.

It is a matter of great concern to all our members that our industry is going through a very difficult phase. The steady spurt in price of our primary raw material kraft paper owing to heavy export orders with almost all Kraft Paper Mills combined with very erratic delivery schedules from the Kraft Paper Mills has made the situation very difficult for us. Inadvertently our inventory costs have spiked. With the rise in USD vs INR over this quarter the gap between domestic and export prices for the mills has further widened making Exports more lucrative for the Paper Mills. The forecast of USD inching towards 74 paints a very grim picture for our industry. It is the time we need to pull up our socks, improve our efficiency as well do our best to negotiate better terms with our customers. I hope we all sail through this difficult phase.

Finally I thank you for your support and look forward to constant support, guidance and communication from each one of you during my tenure.

Deenu Shetty