François Aguilar, Chief Commercial Officer, Kao Chimigraf shares the company’s future plans in an exclusive interview.
Kao Chimigraf technology is widely used in the world of printing. The company has already established local presence and all set to explore new possibilities with fresh partnerships. It is looking for cooperation to develop solutions based on specific Indian needs and also develop business model around customer requirements. One such area is the UV market, where the company has proven market expertise and may prove a vital segment of future growth opportunities.
Since its beginning in 1970, Kao Chimigraf has always had a strong commitment to quality; to find the most efficient option in printing inks and coatings for packaging. This remains same today.
Kao Chimigraf is a global company of reference in the production of paints and coatings for flexographic, rotogravure and digital printing systems. And they are not big by chance: their success is the result of their effort, continuous work and contribution to the sector of quality inks and coatings for printing on packaging.
“It was in 1970 when Kao Chimigraf started in the world of graphic arts. A sector in which, step by step, we have been specializing in different areas which all ended by being one of the key players in Europe when looking into Inkjet inks,” says François Aguilar, Chief Commercial Officer, Kao Chimigraf.
“We think India is a key market for our operations in the future, but also in the present. India has a big packaging and Textile market,” adds François, speaking about Kao Chimigraf’s plans for Indian market.
Textile and packaging are the markets that are planned to be explored by Kao Chimigraf. “We would like to offer the highest quality inkjet inks to good valuable partners,” François.
Kao Chimigraf has offices in 6 European sites: two in Barcelona, and one each in Madrid, Valencia, France and Italy. What keeps their products above competition is their control over the complete process while they develop their own ink dispersions. “At Kao Chimigraf, we control the complete process. It is our key strength. It gives us the competitive advantage of being more flexible on creating new inks. It keeps us free from difficulties of adapting to predefined properties used by other ink providers,” explains François.
Kao group has more than 37.000 employees around the world. Within the Kao Chimigraf company, there are 180+ employees around Europe (Spain, Italy and France). François Aguilar (Chief Sales Officer), Esteve Granada (Chief operations officer and Armand Marcé (Chief Financial Officer) are the key people managing the affairs at Kao Chimigraf.
Inks being a vital ingredient of printed products, a customer chooses a particular brand or ink because of its reliability. “The most important factor determining the choice of a particular ink over others is the reliability of the ink between batches,” says François. “Whenever we discuss about inkjet ink, the most important thing is to be sure that our ink would not be damaging the printheads. Therefore, at Kao Chimigraf we have a close control of every batch we produce to be sure there will not be any sedimentation of the pigment happening inside the printing circuit that would damage such an expensive part as the printhead is,” he elaborates.
High standards translate into quality products by Kao Chimigraf. “We closely control the particle size among the time, optical density, viscosity, surface tension and other parameters that are key in the printing process,” adds François.
Calling the changes in industry conditions due to COVID outbreak as temporary, François hopes travelling will resume by early 2022. “Hopefully the vaccine will ease the market situation and we hope also the tradeshows to start again and we can meet all each other very soon. COVID has shown us the need to have a powerful local industry and smaller batches productions. We believe digital printing will be the key in this success as it is the most effective technology when talking of short-run and customized products,” he emphasises.
“We hope that, due to the pandemic situation, digital market will growth really fast if we compare it to previous years. It is true that this pandemic time has given the OEM and ink companies to improve their technologies so digital is becoming more and more competitive through the time,” adds François.
Packaging, especially food packaging and pharma have ever stricter norms with ink manufacturers facing the challenge of creating environmentally friendly products every passing day. In this regard, Kao Chimigraf’s ESG Strategy is designed to serve people’s needs, behaviors and desire to live sustainable lifestyles that contribute to a sustainable world. “We call this the Kirei Lifestyle, and we call the vision, commitments and actions that contribute to that lifestyle the Kirei Lifestyle Plan. Kao will strive to create a long-lasting impact to society through the Kirei Lifestyle Plan,” reveals François.
Kao Chimigraf has developed BIO-Based inks for both flexographic and Inkjet applications. Our LUNAJET WB solution is also the eco friendly solution the OEM would like to take a look at when printing on paper, flexible packaging and textile etc.,” says François.
Kao Chimigraf has obvious plans for India in coming years. “First, we have established a local person who is looking into new possibilities for us. We are now establishing some strong cooperation agreements that we hope will help us to grow in the Indian market,” concludes François.