Grafica News - November 2016

Nextgen Printers prefer Grafica Cylinder Press to offer value addition on pharma packaging

What was started as 'luxury in print', the value addition concept (also called as print finishing) has now become a norm in the commercial/packaging printing arena. Value addition involves application of various nextgen UV special effects by advanced screen printing & UV technology.

Many large printing firms now prefer to have an inhouse screen printing set up rather than outsourcing print finishing work. A point in case is the Kolkata based Nextgen Printers Pvt Ltd who have installed Grafica fully automatic Cylinder Press with inline UV and complete screen making set up at their new printing unit in Howrah.

Nextgen Printers was born out of an ambitious thinking by four entrepreneurs - Mahesh Khandelwal, Rakesh Khandelwal, Bijay Agarwal, Arun Agarwal. These entrepreneurs, with different professional background, joined together to set up a packaging printing unit in Sikkim, following the heavy pharma sector investment in this Himalayan state.

In an interview, Rakesh Khandelwal and Bijay Agarwal, reveal their value addition strategy.

Tell us about the beginning of Nextgen:

We saw good investment opportunity in printing business following the Govt of India's North East Industrial Investment Policy 2007 (NEIIP'07). This project had attracted widespread investment by pharma sector, with over 30 large and small pharma companies setting up their base in Sikkim.

In 2008, Avail Printers, Kolkata, (a company then owned by Mahesh Khandelwal, one of the directors) was printing and supplying packaging to pharma companies in Sikkim. The logistic difficulties necessitated setting up of a packaging print unit in Sikkim itself. Thus we all joined together and founded NextGen Printing Pvt Ltd in 2010.

Grafica connection:
We know Grafica for the last 9 years as we used to see their screen printing technology and value addition techniques at various print exhibitions. Their machines are very good, sturdy and production oriented. Before buying decision we also gathered enough positive market report about Grafica. We received excellent feedback in the market. We tried to understand their machine on how to use it for value addition and we thought it to be the best option for our needs. Also, for our kind of printing companies, a fully automatic cylinder press is the best option rather than having a semi automatic machine.

What was the strategy behind investing in advanced screen printing technology?
Although packaging is a subject of mass production, the packaging meant for niche market (health care and other over the counter pharma products) require print decoration by way of value addition. We came to know that with screen printing and UV technology we can offer a wide range of UV special effects such as glitter, texture, micro emboss, crystal UV (for high raise print), abrasive, etc. Barring few print companies, such high class value addition facility was not available in Eastern region, and the companies from the East used to get it done from West and Northern print markets. Instead of outsourcing, we decided to have an inhouse screen printing unit for all logistic reasons. With inhouse screen printing set up, we could serve our customers better.

What's the trend in packaging?
Now there is a growing trend of using rigid substrates such as plastic and box with UV packaging by cosmetics and chocolate companies. Customers demand some new look for their packaging. There is a limitation on offset press. But high raise emboss, and other special effects treatment is possible by screen printing. It gives special attraction / value added edge in the market, stands attractive than other products. When customers visit medical shops or shops/shopping malls first they get attracted to the packaging of a product (be it chocolate, cosmetics, personal care products, over the counter pharma items).

What about digital technology?
We had seen the capabilities of digital press for value addition but right now it is costly affair than screen printing. Screen printing is the only economic and viable solution right now in India. Digital will take some time before it becomes economical solution for value addition.

What's the growth of pharma packaging in North East?
We have registered a Year on Year growth of 20-25%, pharma being the major revenue driver. Our company is now on an expansion mode under which a second packaging unit is being established at Howrah near Kolkata. This unit has partly commenced production and would be completed by 2017. A new rigid packaging unit is also getting ready at this premise.

About Nextgen:
Nextgen Printers is a leading Packaging Solution Provider in Eastern India. This ISO 9001:2008 certified printing firm have their headquarters in Kolkata and two mammoth printing units – Unit I in Sikkim and Unit II in Howrah.

The Sikkim unit is spread over 35000 sq ft area which houses 4- color offset, and complete pre press and post press/finishing machinery and equipment The unit, employing about 120 people, is exclusively meant for pharma packaging. On the other hand, the new Howrah unit employs about 130 people and spread over 60000 sq. ft plus another 60000 sq.ft construction is going on top floors. This will give employment to another 100 people. The unit has 7 Colour offset with Online Coating, complete pre press, post press/finishing facilities. Nextgen Printers was the first to set up a printing and packaging unit in the state of Sikkim, India. Their state of the art Factory produces different types of Folding Box Cartons. Their plants are equipped with the most modern and sophisticated machinery imported from Japan & Switzerland.

Nextgen designs and manufactures paperboard folding cartons, and provides comprehensive contract packaging services for pharmaceutical companies located in Sikkim and the region around.

The company supplies Cartons, Labels, Leaflets, POP Material, Games/Toys printed in Paper / Paper Board and Plastics. They also undertake print finishing with aqueous varnishing, U.V. Lacquering, lamination, Foiling, Embossing, Cartons with Glued end, Reverse Tuck In, Crash lock Bottom, Double compartments with or without windows & Display flap, et al. They also plan to make metpet, UV drip effects, textures and conventional jobs on various substrates. Packaging product includes: Pharmaceuticals, Tea pack, FMCG, Confectionery & Sweets, Agarbattis, Rakhi, Gifts, Stationery, Hosiery & Garments, Cosmetics, Footwear, Fast Food & Packaged Food Products.

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