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Partner news

On 25 November, JSC Kondopoga welcomed the representatives of the mill’s strategic partner Karjala Pulp, the companies Trigon and MALAYALA MANORAMA.

Guests from the sunny Indian state Kerala arrived to the snow-covered and cold Karelia to see with their own eyes how newsprint used for the printing offices of MALAYALA MANORAMA is produced.

Many things surprised them: snow and cold weather, warm welcome and hot atmosphere inside the workshop with 8-papermaking machines where they watched the machine operation, manufacturing and packing processes and loading of the finished product.

It is worth mentioning that there was a detailed discussion among the parties before excursion to the mill. Among representatives of JSC Kondopoga were Viktor Tolstov, Technical Director, Konstantin Pakhomov, Deputy Technical Director, Nina Evgenjeva, Chief of the Quality control Department, N. Dotsenko, Deputy Chief of the Quality control department and Roman Polikha, Head of the papermaking workshop #6. Our guests Mathew Harsha, Jacob George, Puthanpurayil Prakash, Locapur Sanjeev Rangnath и Radjeev Mathur were delighted to welcome their old Russian friends. The history of close and mutually beneficial cooperation between Kondopoga mill and the Indian holding dates back more than 17 years. That is when we began to deliver our paper to India. The Kondopoga technologists and production process men often worked in India to see how the paper made in the north behaves in the southern states. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Times, forms of cooperation have changed only mutual deep respect and interest in saving and developing long-term partnership have stayed the same. Nowadays, the mill’s partner, LLC  Karjala Pulp successfully sell Kondopoga paper to India, fulfilling all orders, including ones of this large printing and publishing holding with 4 printing offices work only with our paper.

Viktor Tolstov pointed out that it was much easier to communicate with already familiar people because publishers and paper producers speak one language and both are interested in supply of high-quality Kondopoga paper and increasing of cooperation volume.

“Now the papermaking mill is operating at full power. We have enough orders and good raw material supply. The working team look ahead with confidence. That means that the mill’s operation is stable and smooth. We improved the performance due to the active fulfilment of the upgrade maintenance program of 2015-2016, so there are no problems with filling our partners’ orders. Moreover, we are ready for experiments not in terms of quality, as it is always high, but in terms of increasing the product assortment. On 5 November, we already produced the first batch of paper on the 8-papermaking machine, engaged in a new project. Today we start to produce one more newsprint batch with changes of the grade B, made upon request of our partners. It’s a special paper with a little blue color tone”, noticed Viktor Tolstov.

The Indian partners told us much about their company that was grounded in 1888. It includes 11 printing offices. They are proud of a fast move to the digital printing. This very modernization urged them to visit Kondopoga.

“Your paper is a base for our printing products, so we want to understand what to expect from Kondopoga mill and what the situation on the mill is. Moreover, despite all the forecasts, we do not make the worst of the newsprint market, in opposite, it is developing dynamically in India. Yes, the times are changing; there are more and more gadgets, tablets, many printing offices move to the digital versions. However, we stake on your paper. Our goal is to be a leader on the printing market in India, so we count on Kondopoga paper”, said Mathew Harsha.

Small wonder that the communication quickly changed from the courtesies and memories from the past to the discussion about production and business. It’s real professionals that have met around the table.

In particular, they participated with interest in the discussion of changes in the order tendencies. Konstantin Pakhomov pointed out that papers of 42 grams and even 39 grams were in high demand, paper of 45 gr. began to be popular. It proves that the world market tendency to reduce newsprint weight has slowed down. India still orders mainly thin paper that is hard to produce. They also discussed such problems as flaking. The Indian partners are moving to the digital printing, so small flakes in the composite of newsprint can decrease the quality of color printing and illustrations.

“Especially for that, we started to use special additive compound reducing the flaking amount”, announced Roman Polikha

The Indian partners, in their turn, noticed a high quality of Kondopoga paper, delivered straight from the ports to the printing offices.

“We use Kondopoga paper for about 100% with almost no wastes. Every web is used up to the center without any losses. We would like to know everything about paper that we work with. It’s not distrust; it’s a sincere wish to make our cooperation more fruitful”, said Jacob George

From something on mind to something in kind. The guests had also to see the machines and production process. One thing is a dialogue around the table. Another thing is watching the papermaking process with your own eyes, going into details and understanding the main points. Roman Polikha proudly showed them a papermaking machine and the pride is well grounded.

The Indian guests didn’t just enjoy watching the production process, but got interested in smaller details how Kondopoga paper is produced and the quality is monitored. “We have no secrets, it’s experience, feeling of the process, ability to react promptly, good team are the components of success of Kondopoga mill”, said Roman Polikha smiling.

The finishing stage of the visit was quite substantive. The guests remembered those who they have already met with – Seregei Shilov, Evgeniy Suraev and offered to renew a tradition of exchange of the production delegations and intensify the work on satisfaction of possible claims.

Cooperation between Karjala Pulp LLC and Kondopoga JSC in terms of the quality control has been tuned up like a clock. When we receive a claim, it is registered and quickly sent to the colleagues for investigation.

“Every morning, managers of the quality control department, workshop managers, laboratory men meet to discuss and analyze yesterday and make conclusions about the results. These are common every day meetings. When we receive a claim, it’s is a different story. We pay a special professional attention to all claims. There is no need to wait for a flash-like answer from the north, as we consider such approach as a sign of disrespect to our partners. We do not just give a formal reply that we have understood, taken into account and will prevent such problems in future, but we go through files of the archives to get to know the details of the shipped batch: what shift was in charge, how the subsidiary departments worked, how the production conditions were observed. Only then, after having considered the situation in full, we make conclusions about the causes and ways of solving the problems and give a thorough reply to the customer. This investigation is conducted together with our partner Karjala pulp”, said Konstantin Pakhomov.

The business discussion could have continued much longer, as the real professionals interested in strengthening of cooperation met around the table, but guests had to continue their trip.

Business meetings are not aimed at making conclusions – the partners just met, discussed some issues and exchanged their wishes. Nevertheless, we will make some kind of conclusion, even so to say we will just share our impressions. “I’ll be back “, said one well-known hero. We would say this more and more, as this business trip will undoubtedly give rise to closer and more fruitful cooperation between the cold north and hot India