Accrol Group’s Oceans on paper manufacturing & supply chains
Vandita Vaidya, Technical Manager at Accrol Group’s paper manufacturer Oceans, has always viewed her Mother as her role model.
“I have seen her work since childhood. My mother always taught me to have an individual identity, which is what my work gives me. It gives me immense pride in doing what I do, making me happier and financially independent.”
Earlier this month, Vaidya celebrated International Women’s Day - a day of reflection for the women she knows.
“I have learned a lot from all the women in my life, including my mother, my sister, my friends, and my colleagues. They have taught me a lot, and this day is to celebrate and appreciate them, as well as all the other women out there. Whether you are a working woman, or a stay home mother, every woman deserves to be appreciated.”
Vandita Vaidya’s journey in the paper industry started when she joined LPC in 2006.
“I worked in various roles and departments until the company was taken over by Sofidel in 2010 when I was then given the opportunity to be part of the Supply Chain Team.
“I gained exposure to how the supply chain worked, but my key focus was Technical and Product Development. In 2014 when Tejani started up their family business as LTC, I was offered the opportunity to join them.”
Vaidya took it as a progression opportunity because being a startup meant she could get involved in all areas of the business.
“I was looking after Supply Chain and Technical Team, however I always wanted to focus on Technical and Product Development. When Accrol took over in 2020, it was a conversion with Graham Cox (Managing Director) where I was able to express my interest and where I wanted to progress. I now hold the position of Group Technical Manager, where I look after NPDs, EPDs, Product Development and the Technical side of the business.”
Here, she tells us more.
Tell us about your role as a technical manager
“As a Technical Manager, I am responsible for leading sales and customer experience functions for new and existing product development within Accrol, including their D2C brand Oceans. In addition, I support continuous improvement initiatives, including product-to-profit optimisation and the implementation of standardised principles to enhance production and reduce raw materials in the business.
“I work as part of the commercial team and report to Sales & Customer Experience Director, Ashley Taylor.”
Can you tell us about how Oceans started?
“Oceans was inspired by David Attenborough's Blue Planet. After seeing the detrimental effect that plastic was having on our oceans, Gareth (Accrols CEO) wanted to wrap all our products in paper to help prevent the unnecessary use of single-use plastics, but the retailers weren't onboard. In true Accrol fashion, the decision was made to create a sustainable product which would be sold directly to consumers through an e-commerce channel.
“We wanted to ensure that we designed and manufactured a quality product, so we chose to go with a 3-ply variant with a unique bubble emboss, making Oceans super soft and super strong. It is made from sustainably sourced materials, all certified by the FSC®.”
How do you educate stakeholders?
“We have implemented processes which outline customer and supplier expectations within Accrol, and this mapping helps all stakeholders understand the importance of following the process as well as the necessary timelines in order to achieve a successful launch.”
How have they responded?
“It’s been taken really well! We started off by going live with the process and having a monthly sign-off meeting with all the stakeholders. Now the process is so well established that as soon as an NPD is raised, we get the sign-off and involvement from all departments.”
Tell us about gender diversity within leadership roles.
“Accrol has always been supportive in terms of keeping a work-life balance. As a woman, it’s not always easy, but organisations like Accrol help women like me grow in their careers and allow us to do what we want without compromising.
“We get flexibility, and a safe and supportive environment to deliver our targets.”
What do you want to achieve by 2024?
“I want to grow in my role here at Accrol, as well as explore and challenge myself. I would like to be more involved in commercials where I can add more value.”