Today, virtually everything we use needs packaging. Last year, while our GDP growth was 8.5%, the packaging industry grew at 15%. India’s Rs 65,000 crore packaging industry is expected to grow at 18-20% to reach Rs 82,500 crore by 2015. Of the total, paper packaging alone constitutes 7.6 million tonne. In fact, 40% of the total paper production goes for packaging. Plastic packaging comes next at 6.8 million tonne and growing at 20-25%, whereas glass packaging contributes to 4-5% and metal 8%. Packaging encompasses numerous disciplines from science and engineering to printing, marketing and graphic design. Broadly, the areas cover design, manufacture and marketing. A packaging technologist chooses the right packaging material and right shape from the preservation as well as production point of view based on his/her knowledge of chemical and mechanical engineering. Designers and artists who can innovate and design attractive eye catching packaging that stands out on the shelf are always in demand. Graduates in chemistry, food sciences, engineering, microbiology, electronics and related studies can take courses in packaging technology. Graduates with an additional qualification in packaging technology are offered jobs in the areas of production, purchase/marketing and research and development in leading packaging industries including MNCs with a good remuneration.
These jobs are essentially offered to those with a post graduate diploma in packaging technology as well as to those who have completed a three month certificate course. However, there are limited institutions offering postgraduate diploma and certificate courses in packaging technology. Often science and engineering graduates are hired by organisations and given on-the-job training. While science graduates are eligible for jobs in marketing and design, those going into manufacturing would require a background in engineering and printing. The Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) established by the M/o Commerce, based in Mumbai and with branches in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, offers the following programmes: 1) Certificate programme in packaging (three months, full time): The course is suitable for fresh diploma/graduates in any discipline who desire to make a career in packaging business/profession. The programme comprises classroom sessions that are delivered both by the institute’s own faculty as well as it’s guest faculty. It also includes visits to industries for study of various packaging processes and technologies. Overall the course opens good opportunities in the packaging industry. This course is conducted at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata every year during July-December. On successful completion, you will be awarded a certificate, which is accredited by Asian Packaging Federation. 2) Post Graduate Diploma in Packaging (two year full time): This course is open to all graduates in science, technology and engineering and allied fields. Admission is through an all India entrance exam conducted in June every year in all metro cities. Admission forms are available in April and the course begins in August. The course is conducted at Mumbai and Delhi. The course has four semesters, of which three are offered at the campus of the institute while, for the fourth semester, students work on projects in different industries across the country. The course has been conducted for the last 23-years and many past students are working in reputed national and international companies. The campus placement helps to place almost all students. 3) Distance Education Programme: This 18-month course starting in January every year is designed for working executives who are graduates/diploma-holders in different disciplines but need packaging knowledge by virtue of their job requirements. Successful candidates are awarded a graduate diploma in packaging technology, accredited by Asian Packaging Federation (APF). For further information about IPM, log onto: www.iip-in.com .