Dharmdev Bhatt, managing director of Amber Group of companies in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, shares his views on the potential of packaging industry and how to be innovative in the market.

Formerly from India, Gujarat, Dharmdev Bhatt did his schooling in Sister Nivedita School from Gujarat. After completing his schooling he pursued Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from St Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad and completed the same in 1996. Later, with the eagerness in the packaging industry he went on to pursue Plastic Engineering at Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology, Bhopal. After gaining the experience he came to UAE and started his own company.
Talking about his career, Dharmdev Bhatt, managing director of Amber Packaging Group of companies, said, “I had a passion towards the packaging industry and that is one of the reason I studied Plastic Engineering and after completing the degree I never deviated from the path of the packaging industry. I started my career in Pearl Polymers, Mumbai and joined there as an officer. I have been placed in the production division for the first two years. I have worked in departments like maintenance, quality, production, dispatch and many more. After recognizing my skills the management moved me into marketing division. Later, I was placed as incharge for the Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. During my tenure in India, I have been part of the development for the products like Wagh Bakri Tea, Nirma Hampers, D-Cold Cough Syrup, and many more. After gaining some experience I went to Canada and Dubai to explore the packaging industry. Suddenly, something sparked and I started my own company in 2006. While starting I alone worked for the company and within couple of months I recruited 4 employees and within one year we had 10 employees. The growth what we have seen was enormous and currently we are having around 140 employees in our group of companies.”
Talking about the company, he said, “From the beginning, we always focused on innovative packaging materials where we have invented few structures, designed machines, and we wanted to be a specialized company. We at Amber always give importance to the technology and new innovations. We are working with most of the big players in the industry and doing most innovative products. Some of the products which we are doing locally were imported from Europe by other vendors which says the quality of output what we offer. We even work with the largest bake packaging company and all of them were very happy with our best innovative offerings. In order to meet the new requirements from the clients, I even design the machines which allows them to produce greater material output. We are exporting to 25 International companies from Middle East, North Africa and some in South Africa as well. Around 55% of the business is being done for the local market and the remaining 45% of the business is being done for the International countries.”
Speaking about his hobbies, he added, “I am a state player in tennis and ranked as number 3 during those days. Again, I am a good swimmer and won several awards for 1500 meter and many more. Apart from this, I have been awarded for rotary youth award for Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajesh.”
Talking about the industry, he said, “The industry has taken several transformations in all these years and it is evolving very well in the region. The products are getting better and the industry is demanding for it. Product specific packaging is another segment where the industry is heading towards. I have seen different types of packaging for different products. For instance, if you take coffee, it has to be packed in different material. Whereas, Pharmaceutical industry requires a different kind of packaging materials. The people in the industry has to be innovative enough to offer the customer what they require to be in the market. This is our Mantra and we always give importance to the latest technologies to cater our offering better which is one of the reason we do inflight catering services for the leading players and 100% of the product is being packed with our materials. Again, the product has to withstand 120 degree materials and in order to keep it we maintain the International standards. The ISO, HACCP, and other certifications are allowing us to retain the standards. The taxation will definitely bring a good change in the market. People may ask what changes is it going to make, the taxation will clean all the irregular players who does many tricks to get the jobs. However, for the big players like us, we have all the accounts auditable so it would be very easy for us to handle the implementation.”
Talking about the memorable moment in the career, he added, “There are several moments and it will continue to grow but out of all, I would say the opening of Ras al-Khaimah branch is the most memorable. With the capacity and space, this space will allow us to grow four to five folds in the next five year.”
Signing off, he advices, the packaging companies has to be more innovative, should not work for competition, should be committed to their customer by offering the better value for the money. Finally, they have to understand the customer well.