ITC plans major global sales push for Bible paper made at its Tribeni mill near Kolkata, India; company already sells 28 grams/m2 paper to U.S.-based Gideons, in neighboring countries like Nepal, and is sole supplier to Bible Society of India

LOS ANGELES , August 6, 2012 () –

ITC Ltd. is planning a major international sales push for its Bible paper, which is made at the Indian conglomerate’s Tribeni paper mill near Kolkata, India, reported The Economic Times on Aug. 4.

The Kolkata-based conglomerate’s paper and packaging division is among the few producers of Bible paper worldwide, and has been making the thin and strong paper for three decades. Demand is now growing in double digits, according to ITC.

Some of ITC’s Bible paper is already sold internationally, to U.S.-based The Gideons International, which distributes The Bible and New Testament in more than 190 countries. ITC also sells its Bible paper to neighboring countries like Nepal, The Economic Times reported.

In India, ITC is the sole supplier to the Bible Society of India, which is India’s largest supplier of Bibles and accounts for 90% of the market. This year, the society plans to print 2.2 million copies of the Bible and 2.5 million copies of the New Testament.

ITC Executive Director Pradeep Dhobale, who heads the paperboard, specialty papers and packaging division, indicated that the company’s success in Bible paper was “yet another example of out product development capabilities,” reported The Economic Times.

Dhobale is thought to be a likely successor to Yogi Deveshwar, chairman of ITC. The company is headquartered in Kolkata and is best known for its cigarettes, hotels, packaged foods, soaps and shampoos. The paper and packaging division is ITC’s third-largest revenue generator.

Other global manufacturers of Bible paper include Austria-based Delfortgroup AG’s Tervakoski mill in Finland; Puteaux, France-based Bollore Investments SA, a conglomerate; and Paris, France-based specialty papermaker Arjowiggins SAS.

Bible paper is 28 grams per square meters of density to make the Bible thinner and easier to carry. Holy books like the Gita and the Quran are usually printed on 40 g/m2 paper, The Economic Times reported.

The primary source of this article is The Economic Times, Mumbai, India, on Aug. 4, 2012.


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