1 July 2021


Debasis Panda
AGS Office Supplies & Trading (Al Gurg Stationery)

Welcome to the PaperOne™ customer feature, where we interview our customers to find out more about them, their company, their thoughts about the industry, and their partnership with APRIL Group.

This month, we feature Debasis Panda, Business Head of AGS Office Supplies & Trading (Al Gurg Stationery).

PaperOne™: Good afternoon Mr. Debasis, thank you for making time today. To kick things off, could you share with us more about AGS Office Supplies & Trading LLC, as well as your role within the company?

Debasis Panda: No worries, it’s my pleasure to be here. AGS Office Supplies & Trading is actually one of the oldest stationery supplies in the UAE. We serve many tier-1 organisations such as government bodies, business conglomerates, schools, banks etc, and alongside PaperOne™, we are also the distributor for several brands including 3M, BIC, Edding, Durable, Falken and HSM, to name a few.

PaperOne™: That’s great to hear! We also heard about your company’s extensive CSR efforts, could you tell us more about that?

Debasis Panda: Sure. As we are part of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group (ESAG), we have a dedicated team that covers 5 main CSR projects. Firstly, we have the ESAG Charity School Bag Distribution Project where we distributed 5,000 school bags, stationery items, and 1 ream of PaperOne™ Digital paper to children in need. For Ramadan, we had the Spirit of Sharing which saw 19 donated refrigerators and volunteers filling them up with food items for maintenance personnel, construction workers and security personnel in their own communities. In collaboration with Unilever, we also had a clothes donation drive where we collected more than 3,400 clothing items. In talking about sustainability and saving the planet, we also worked with Water Alliance to raise awareness about water conservation in schools, to educate and inspire people across the UAE to be more mindful of their water use.

PaperOne™: Wow, that’s plenty that’s been done! You mentioned sustainability efforts as part of your CSR programmes, could you share with us your company’s stance on manufacturing sustainable products?

Debasis Panda: We are both ISO and PEFC certified, and with that, we ensure that we meet the standards for ethically manufactured products, without compromising on quality. We also know that customers are increasingly concerned about being environmentally friendly, so these are things that we have to take into account. Ultimately, we believe in being transparent with our customers as well.

PaperOne™: That sounds like an excellent company value to uphold! Here at APRIL, we believe that corporate entities are big drivers in fighting climate change as well. How has it been working with us?

Debasis Panda: We have been partners with APRIL Group for over six years and it’s been great. We definitely prefer their quality products and effective management of the company. I’d say that our quality conscious customers prefer the brand as well for its superior opacity, multi-directional and dual-sided printability which satisfies every printing requirement. We have a heritage of trust, and only want to deliver the best to the market.

PaperOne™: Definitely. Based on that, where do you see your company moving towards in the coming years, given that the industry is also seeing a shift towards e-magazines, e-books and e-statements?

Debasis Panda: While paper products still definitely have a part in the future, we are starting to see a decline in the demand for it, especially with the promotion of a paperless governance. So as part of our business diversification, we’re looking to focus more on the sales and distribution of education resources and office automation products.

PaperOne™: Right, one last thing before we wrap things up. Do you have any interesting insights about the industry or market that you’d like to share?

Debasis Panda: For companies looking to sell in the UAE, you have to know this — when customers speak of copy paper here, they understand that it has to be 80gsm. Here, 70gsm, 75gsm or even 85gsm copy papers are not accepted by consumers.

PaperOne™: That is interesting indeed. Thank you Mr. Debasis, it’s been wonderful speaking to you!

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