An interview with Mr. Rasoul Tahmasebi, the CEO of the Cooperative Company of the Association of Carton and Sheet Executives by Ramin Akbari
₋ What measures have been taken to improve the quality of cartons and corrugated sheets?
Firstly the Cooperative attempts to supply the appropriate quality of raw materials to the factory to improve the technology of cartons and corrugated sheets. Secondly, the Cooperative holds different training and educational courses for the technical executives of the industry to be updated in sciences and techniques of this sector in addition to their experience and knowledge. Meanwhile, we have had negotiations with foreign experts in this field in order to hold seminars for the middle managers of the domestic industries and take them on a training visit of the domestic factories, as well as make arrangements for the members of the Cooperative to visit foreign factories so that the exchange of information will be made.
₋ What are the most important strategies of the Cooperative in future?
One of the objectives of the Cooperative is to regulate the market of paper and carton and support its members by the financial resources at its disposal. Another objective of the Cooperative is to purchase the products at wholesale prices and sell them to its members at reasonable prices and sometimes by credit which can help the manufacturers bring down their cost price so that both the consumers can benefit and the domestic manufacturer or the distributors of foreign paper will be strengthen.
₋ Does the domestic production of cartons and corrugated sheets meet the domestic requirements?
Regarding the economic stagnation, at present the domestic requirement of cartons and corrugated sheet is estimated around 600000 tons, while their annual production was 520000 tons and around 620000 tons respectively in 2015-2016 and in 2014-2015 as it was declared by the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade. Based on the statistics released by this ministry, 2,500,000 tons of carton production capacity was provided by the beginning of 2016 while as per the information announced by the ministry, this figure has been increased at 3,000,000 tons, that is 2.5 to 3 times as high as the requirement of the country, carton production machinery has been installed and launched in our country.
₋ Could you let us know the rank and position of domestic cartons and corrugated sheets in the world?
Packaging corrugated boxes are intermediate goods, and the establishment of a producing carton mill does not require complicated technology and know-how. In most countries, the construction of the required mills is at a reasonable level. With the regard to the fact that paper forms 80% of the cost price of cartons , and the transportation cost has an important role in dispatching cartons to the long distance, the export of the empty cartons (apart from special kinds) is not common in principle in the world and occurs between neighboring countries if it is economically justifiable. Thus, carton production is not defined as an economic index in the countries of the world, and no economical evaluation is made based on the ranking in this field. The consumption of cartons in a country may be considered as one of the factors of economic boom on which I am afraid scientific research is not carried out in this field by global economic references.
₋ What are the main problems of carton and sheet industries in Iran?
The principle problems of domestic carton and sheet industries are composed by two internal and external factors, apart from the relative recession dominating the country. External problems are caused by the excessive consumption of polymeric packaging due to the domestic production of polymer materials which make polymeric packaging cheaper than paper, cardboard and other cellulose packaging. Despite all acute environmental problems created by the polymeric packages, the Environmental Organization has not been able to limit the consumption of polymeric packages due to different reasons including lack of reliable rules and regulations. The internal problem of carton and sheet industries results from the indiscriminate and excessive creation of carton and corrugate sheet production capacity in the country which I am afraid has led to unhealthy and destructive competition of some industries that produce cartons with low quality paper in order to sell lower than market prices. As a result, they practically damage the goods and create unconventional damages for the consumers who mostly have replaced and are replacing their cartons with polymeric packages.
₋ Please let us have a brief introduction of the Association of Carton and Sheet Executives.
The Association of Carton and Sheet Executives was established in 2004 with below objectives:
• Attempting to protect the cooperative members' rights
• Attempting to provide welfare facilities including housing cooperative, consumption cooperative, and cooperative funds for members
• Researching and studying permanently in the fields of technology and economy required by carton and corrugated sheet industries, and preparing desirable proposals and presenting them to the Ministry of Industry and Mine, and other relevant organization.
• Cooperating with other foreign and domestic industrial organizations and joining them as member in order to help the domestic industry improve, the economic and scientific objectives progress, and the quantitative and qualitative level of this field of industry promote.
Due to above objectives, the Association in order to evolve in the economic sector and financial exchanges and with regard to the role it had in the macro-policy, it established Cooperative Company of the Association of Carton and Sheet Executives in 2010 to provide economic requirements for its members.
At present, the Cooperative Co. is active in supplying raw materials at the lowest prices, in regulating the market, in holding educational and technical training courses, and in visiting different domestic factories and in future foreign ones, and even in insurance affairs for its members.
Please brief us on the activities of the Cooperative Company of the members of the Association of carton and sheet industry executives:
• Collective small amounts from each member and providing them with the cooperative shares for their investments
• Providing occupation directly or indirectly
• Relatively regulating the prices of consuming materials of members (Different types of packaging paper)
• Protecting domestic production and encouraging the members to purchase domestic paper
• Balancing the fluctuation of the prices on the foreign paper market by buying foreign paper in large quantity and distributing among the members
• Holding training courses for the members' technical personnel in order to update their technical knowledge according to international standards
• Launching different channels in social media to provide the members with in time information and unite them
• Constructing the cooperative's website in Farsi and in English for the public to get familiar with the Cooperative's activities.
• Arranging visit to different domestic factories for the members to be more familiar with and protect the domestic production
• Negotiating with the experts of European well known companies in order to exchange technical information between domestic and foreign manufactures
• Obtaining high profit of the members' small investments and dividing it among all of them so that the investment of the Cooperative Co. had a 300% increase in 2015 compare with the amount in 2014.
• Holding scientific trip to European countries the first of which will be the trip to Austria in near future
• And several future programs of the Cooperative Company will be informed after they have been realized
He was born in Tehran in 1959. After getting high school diploma, he continued his study in business management at Business School in 1977, but he decided to continue his study overseas in order to follow his personal interest and use the modern experiences and technologies of advanced countries. In 1982, after having been admission from Technical University of Vienna, he went to Austria. After graduation, he started working in BAU-MAX central office and took training courses including purchase psychology, sales psychology, and research in operation. After 10 years, he returned Iran.