Grafica News - Jul 2015

Success Story of Sai Techno Graphics: An industrial engineer now a big garment printer

Sometimes one wonders how a simple screen printing entrepreneur turns into a big player. Here is a success story of N.V. Jaganatha Rao, Managing Director of Bangalore based Sai Techno Graphics Pvt Ltd. His success story is also an example of how often creativity gets hidden and at an appropriate time it just blossoms like a lotus.

Jaganatha Rao, an industrial engineer who worked in an MNC (MICO) for 21 years, ventured into screen printing business. “Being an artist, I started screen printing as a hobby but it turned into a big business,” he Rao. His better half Asha looks after Accounts and HR while daughter Shoba takes care of production.

He established his company in 1994 as a garment printing service provider with 2500 sq.ft unit and then he expanded it to 5000 sq.ft unit within 3 years, and then further expanded it to 7500 sq.ft again within 3 years (with two units). With unstoppable success and growth in garment printing, finally, they shifted with major expansion to their current location of 18000 sq.ft factory (3 floors) which houses, couple of automatic garment screen printing machines (including Grafica's nanoprinTag), manual screen printing machines and table printing set up, DTG digital press and sublimation printing machines, and flat bed screen printing machines for heat transfer printing, including Grafica's CamShell (30” x 40”). “I know Grafica since late Dhirubhai Mistry, the company's founder. I also used to meet them at various exhibitions. The articles in Grafica News India magazine is informative and beneficial,” says Rao.

Explaining the importance of education, Rao says: “Our staff had attended DMI's workshop on advance screen printing. Such training programmes help our staff to get to know the reality and realize the need to put knowledge into practice to improve quality. DMI is contributing tremendously in promoting and upgrading the screen printing subject in India and helping us all to compete in the world both in quality and quantity.”

The company's current production capacity spells their success in screen printing: 25000 pieces per day (direct to garment printing), 50000-60000 pieces of heat transfer printing; another 1000-2000 pieces of sublimation printing besides 300-400 pieces of direct to garment digital printing. As a self reliant garment printing service provider, they have complete screen making and pre press set up inhouse.

“Even we have a big design studio and we create and sell our designs in the market. Perhaps we are the only company in and around Bangalore with such all in facility and huge capacity of garment printing. I do not think even large exporters have such facility,” asserts Rao.

It's said that creative mind cannot simply remain idle. So, Rao spends his leisure time in oil and water colour painting and drawing. A couple of times he had also held his art exhibition. “It's but natural that my background in art (drawing, colour, and painting) and industrial engineering gives me an edge over other garment printers. There were occasions wherein some of the customers came to us as their jobs could not be printed by others; even we have done jobs referred by other customers,” he asserts.

Expressing his solidarity to screen printing, Rao says, “Digital printing is still an evolving technology. Although there is a strong wave of digital, it still has its limitations. For some jobs it can be used and as of now screen printing still plays a major role in garment printing simply because digital cannot compete with the kind of speed (production) and cost (rate per piece) in mass printing. At the same time screen printing cannot compete in terms of image reproduction/resolution that can be achieved on digital. Right now printing big quantity on digital is very expensive. It's fit for small quantity, say even 1 piece can be on digital machine. And you cannot waste time in screen printing to print just one or ten pieces. So, digital is good for fastdelivery / short quantity garment printing jobs. I would say both the technologies do have their own specialties and limitations. It's up to us to make best use of these technologies. But one can have multi printing process under one roof to provide best suitable service to customers. So, we have digital presses too and we do not limit ourselves as garment screen printer, rather we are garment printing solution provider – screen, digital, sublimation, heat transfer, et al.”

Once a regular visitor to various trade exhibitions, Rao tells his fellow garment printers (who do not visit exhibitions), why it is important to visit trade shows: 'You get to know new technologies, new ideas, interact with industry experts, and get inspiration to do innovation, see samples. It's altogether a unique platform to absorb newness in your business.” The veteran concludes: “Screen printing will remain as a most versatile printing process to print on any substrate; only methods have to be changed/improved upon to improve quality and productivity. And in today's competitive world one should use different print technologies like our company do.”