Galaxy Offset’s strong play in the monocarton business

Galaxy Offset
L-R: Vikas

In North India and particularly in the Delhi/NCR, there are still only a dozen carton printers and converters who buy new 6- or 7-color plus coater UV offset presses. The newest entrant in this league is Galaxy Offset, which has just added a Heidelberg 7-color plus coater sheetfed press to the Heidelberg 6-color plus coater that it installed five years ago. The company’s fi rst new Heidelberg, which is still in perfect shape, is an SM 74 5-color plus coater press that was installed a decade ago.

Galaxy Offset has a deep commercial printing background based on strong relationship marketing to schools, institutions and businesses in the Delhi/NCR. After all, the company started out as a DTP provider and printer. It is really only after moving to Manesar fi ve years ago that Galaxy has grown steadily in the carton segment to become one of the structured and organized suppliers to consumer product companies. However, true to its roots, the company has simultaneously grown in the commercial segment where it has also added two new RMGT multicolor presses with coaters in recent years. All fi ve of the brand new multicolor presses at Galaxy have coaters—the owners are clear about how to add value and protection to print. Coating is a key area of their design concepts and printing effi ciency.

Apart from the commissioning of the Heidelberg CD 102 7-color plus coater in August 2017, there is a great deal happening at Galaxy. Firstly, the company is busy consolidating both its carton packaging and commercial printing operations at its new Manesar plant with the addition of a second building that it has recently built next door. On both sides of the business, commercial as well as cartons, there is a comprehensive completeness of equipment and technology—industrial strength packaging software, sheetfed gravure, laminators, sampling table, autoplaten diecutters and folders gluers on the converting side; folders, stitchers and binders on the commercial side—top brand technology, and new equipment in the main create fl exibility and effi ciency with total control on quality and timeliness.

Galaxy 2Galaxy Offset now has two Heidelberg CD 102 full UV presses in Manesar – 6-color plus coater and the just installed 7-color plus coater. Its first new Heidelberg, a 5-color plus coater SM 74 press is also running in Manesar. In addition the plant has two RMGT multi-color presses with coaters that it uses for commercial work. Photo IPP

Heidelberg Multicolor
Secondly, apart from settling down and enjoying having everything under one roof, the owners of Galaxy Offset are taking on leading edge technology such as Heidelberg’s Multicolor for printing with a fi xed set of inks to create an expanded gamut using, for instance, orange, green and violet in addition to CMYK inks. Once mastered in both prepress and on press, Multicolor should allow the company to effi ciently produce many expanded gamut color effects. It should as well cover many of the special and brand colors needed in monocarton packaging without having to wash up the extra two or three inks for every new carton job. It helps that Galaxy is a Heidelberg Prinect user with a pair of Heidelberg thermal CtPs, making the implementation of this technology easier.

Lastly, Galaxy is run by the team of the three Gulati brothers—Aman, Amit and Vikas. Amit Gulati is the marketing force and he loves to sell print; he is constantly and proactively searching for new customers. He is confident that he can deliver top class packaging to mostly Indian consumer product companies in the Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000 crore annual turnover category. “There is no shortage of these companies,” he says, “but you have to go out there and show them what you can do.” He corrects me when I say he is helping these companies. “I want to expose them to what top class packaging design and print and converting technology can do, and frankly, I am really helping our own company.”

Galaxy 3One of the two Bobst autoplaten diecutters at Galaxy Offset. Photo IPP

Aman Gulati, on the other hand, manages finances and purchasing, and it was he who explained to me that this is a critical part of Galaxy’s efficiency. Purchasing and importing the right paper in the right size and at the right price is a key component in being both competitive and profitable. The new factory in Manesar allows an inventory of a variety of sustainably sourced paperboard.

Vikas Gulati, the youngest (and slimmest) brother, is the production head. He is in and out of the conference room and doesn’t say much during my visit. I can only guess that he is the person who manages the 350 plus workforce on the shop floor and makes sure the machines are in order and the jobs are delivered at the right quality level and on time. The company’s origins are in Naraina in West Delhi, where it still maintains its

premises and a design department for the responsive commercial print business. The Gulati brothers clearly love the old neighborhood in West Delhi where they still reside although they are reconciled to eventually having to move nearer to the Manesar plant. They are proud of having been able to bring their old employees to the new plant without inordinate pampering. This is a vibrant company and the three brothers believe in quality, hardwork and teamwork. They enjoy print and they are ready to do all the extra things which add value to their customer’s products and services in a viable way.

This was my first visit to Galaxy, a company that I have been hearing about for a decade and I am hoping that you can sense the enthusiasm in my tone. From my brief look at the plant and interaction with the three brothers who run the show, I got the feeling that this is a company that knows how to say yes to customers. It knows how to realize customer’s and brand owner’s print and packaging projects with the elegance of impactful print, and to do it profitably. This could be why the company has grown in turnover by 50 times in the last dozen years.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here