While the global paper industry faces problems of ensuring a steady flow of raw materials, it is finding it hard to meet the human capital requirements of the sector, according to a paper industry expert.

Speaking on the Upcoming Tsunami in the Pulp and Paper Industry, Sunil Sood, Global Head, Pulp Sales, APRIL, said, “The current global economic scenario, particularly in the US, the Eurozone and the market environment in China are likely to leave a big impact on the global paper industry.”

While the cost of wood pulp is projected to go up, capacity addition coming up in Latin America and Brazil in particular will have a big impact on the supply of pulp for the sector.

Referring to two paper industry events, he said talk at the Vancouver event was about the global slowdown. The tone at the London pulp week, on the other hand, had a lot more optimism built into it. However, data from the US shows that consumer sentiment is beginning to pick up, China has begun to hum and the Eurozone would get better, he hoped.

Fresh capacity addition in Latin America would not have a major impact as existing mills in Canada, the US and in the northern part of Europe are heading for closure. The demand from China is likely to go up in the foreseeable future as indicated in their Plan objectives.

Quoting Harvard studies and other research data, he said retaining talent is seen as a big challenge for the paper sector. Experts feel it is “employees first, customers next.” A happy employee will do his best for the company in every way, including addressing all customer issues.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 11, 2012)
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