Interview with Debashish Ganguly, General Manager- Marketing and Communications and Corporate Sales at JK Paper
Debashish Ganguly is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the field of marketing, communications, and corporate sales.
Currently serving as the General Manager at JK Paper, a leading paper manufacturing company, he plays a pivotal role in driving the company’s marketing strategies and ensuring effective communication with stakeholders.
With a solid background in marketing, Debashish brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role.
He possesses a deep understanding of market dynamics, consumer behavior, and emerging trends, which allows him to develop innovative marketing campaigns that resonate with the target audience.
His strategic thinking and ability to identify growth opportunities have significantly contributed to JK Paper’s success in a highly competitive industry.
Debashish Ganguly’s dedication, strategic acumen, and passion for excellence make him an invaluable asset to JK Paper.
His contributions in marketing, communications, and corporate sales have played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s growth and success in the industry.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became the General Manager- Marketing and Communications and Corporate Sales?
Debashish Ganguly: After obtaining my degree in Agriculture, I started my professional journey as a JV consultant and Market researcher in 1993 with Protech India.
The profile helped me in gaining knowledge of diverse sectors from Food to Packaging to Paper to Cables to various other Specialty products to Engineering etc. besides meeting professionals at various levels.
In the year 2001, I joined as a Manager in JK Paper, the largest Copier paper producer, as a Market Researcher and grew within the company to Head Marketing and Communications and Corporate Sales.
In my professional journey that spans over 29 years, I have created a niche for myself as a successful Marketer.
I thoroughly enjoy my job as a Marketing & Communication professional, who has taken up the challenge to drive a commodity like ‘Paper’ in the minds of consumers at all levels and convincingly bring forth a brand story.
Please tell us about the Mother’s Day Campaign- ‘Letter to my Supermom’. What is the objective behind it and how are you reaching out to kids through this campaign?
Debashish Ganguly: ‘Letter to my Supermom Campaign’ is a creative campaign aimed at reintroducing the lost art of communication among school students across India.
We found teenagers gasping when shown a letter or postcard during our campaigns. Our objective hence is to reinforce the value of handwritten communication and the physicality and beauty of paper as a medium.
This year we are celebrating the 6th edition of our campaign that started back in 2017. Daakroom, who conceptualises and organises the campaign, helps us collaborate and partner with hundreds of schools through rigorous outreach.
We provide creative stationery to each participating student free of cost. This inspires the students to write letters of love to their mothers.
The sheer joy on the face of the mothers when they read the letters is what motivates us to keep going every year.
We are proud to say that by the time this year’s campaign concludes, we will have contributed to writing more than 5,00,000 letters of love & laughter since we started.
It is a source of encouragement to us that people still value pen and paper to express their emotions. Some things never become redundant even with time, and letter writing is one of those.
How does your organisation promote the responsible usage of paper among the students while making lakhs of students write to their moms?
Debashish Ganguly: There is a common myth among the public that the paper industry does deforestation to produce paper. This activity also gives us an opportunity to bust the myths around paper-that paper is manufactured by cutting trees.
Students are shown myth busters videos, which showcase how JK paper produces paper through Agro Social Farm Forestry and is a sustainable paper solutions provider.
Hence, the motive of the exercise is to change the narrative while they are young.
We showcase how paper is produced responsibly, parallelly touching upon the myriad CSR activities that company does day in and day out.
Through this campaign you are also planning to educate students about Social Farm Forestry, helping them become responsible Next Gen Entrepreneurs- your take?
Debashish Ganguly: We are committed to being eco-friendly and taking care of the environment.
We do not cut a single natural forest tree to make our paper at JK Paper. So when children think of paper and how it is manufactured, they should not relate it with deforestation, but with social farm forestry, recyclability and sustainability. That is our vision.
We use Agro/Social Farm Forestry for our raw material. It is a program which we started in 1991. In this process, we grow and harvest special varieties of trees (Subabul, Casuarina & Eucalyptus) on farmland like any other crop.
These trees are then harvested and used for producing paper. This program not only helps make the Earth greener but also provides livelihood to farmers along with helping marginal communities.
We spread our vision through our campaigns that help students use paper guilt-free.
In this era of the digital world why do you think letter writing should be promoted especially in school-going kids?
Debashish Ganguly: Handwritten letters are a physical representation of the time and effort that someone takes to communicate with you. It conveys personal touch that is difficult to replicate with digital communication.
Letter-writing not only reintroduces students to new forms of communication but also helps them become more emotionally intelligent.
A handwritten letter has the power to evoke emotions that are difficult to express through digital communication.
The physicality of the letter, the penmanship and the use of paper and ink, all contribute to a sense of warmth and intimacy.
Organisations like Daakroom should be congratulated for their efforts in encouraging a whole generation to fall back in love with letters.
JK Paper is happy to join the mission in bringing back handwritten letters in the digital age, as we, too, strongly believe in their power.
Kindly brief us about JK Paper Ltd, its specialisation, and the products that it offers
Debashish Ganguly: JK Paper’s legacy goes back to 1938 with the setting up of Straw Products Ltd. in Bhopal. In 1962, Unit JKPM at Rayagada (Odisha) was established.
Today we are a leading Indian player in Office Papers, Coated Papers, Writing and Printing Papers and High-end Packaging Boards. We have three integrated Pulp and Paper Mills viz: Unit JKPM at Rayagada (Odisha) near the Eastern coast of India and Unit CPM at Songadh (Gujarat) on the Western coast & Unit SPM at Kagaznagar, Telangana.
We are the market leader in A4 Copier Paper. Company’s flagship Copier brands of viz JK COPIER and JK Easy Copier are customers’ most preferred choices.
We are also marked leader for Watermarked paper viz; JK Excel Bond, mainly used for Letterheads, Presentations etc.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the paper industry today, and how is JK Paper Ltd addressing those challenges?
Debashish Ganguly: There are two major challenges. One is the thin line of preference of digital over paper. People have become digital savvy; however, India has parked itself very beautifully in the digital age.
Artificial Intelligences, the machine learning, blockchains and 5Gs of the world have shaped society digitally.
However, you must understand that reading from a paper offers you an experience that can’t come with any other medium.
JK Paper is the market leader in photocopying paper. You still are forced to take printouts and photocopy retail physical documents.
Your birth certificate, your legal documents, your resume, your project work, and a host of other things will continue to indulge with paper.
Secondly, the paper industry is forced to play within the limited production capacity. While the demand is increasing, the shortfall is met with imports.
These imported SKUs offer lower prices than the domestic SKUs. JK Paper is trying to address this by launching newer products, deepening the customer reach through digital sales enablement and by offering even single ream delivery, thus focusing on customer retention.
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