Rajkot’s Vinayak Offset plans Rs 60 crore investment drive

Commercial printers in Rajkot

Hemang Shah, chief executive officer of Vinayak Offset

Rajkot’s Vinayak Offset has been on a strong growth path since it installed India’s first fully loaded Komori LSX 629, a 6-color UV press with coater in 2016. Managed by first generation entrepreneur, Hemang Shah, Vinayak Offset is now among the leading print houses in Rajkot city. At present Vinayak’s main area of specialization is commercial printing but it has major plans for diversification into packaging printing. The company prints catalogs and brochures for customers in the real estate and tiles industry. Vinayak also prints leaflets, posters, folders and visual aids. These commercial printing works are done at Vinayak’s 10,000 square foot Lohanagar unit. Lohanagar is Rajkot’s printing hub along with Bhaktinagar Station Plot.

Talking about the Komori press, Shah says, “We were at that time the first print house to buy the fully loaded Komori LSX 629. We were using a 4-color Heidelberg and needed to add another press to handle additional volumes. So, we went for the Komori,” Shah says.

Although Rajkot’s offset commercial printing market remains slack overall, Shah says Vinyak has managed to keep its plant running 24×7. “We cater to the high end of the market and have not seen any drop in volumes, but yes overall the market is slow with huge pressure on margins,” he says.

In addition to the two offset presses, Vinayak has a full-fledged postpress department with all the necessary machinery including punching machines, lamination machines and folding machines.

Massive Rs 60 crore investment plans

Like any young ambitious entrepreneur, Shah too is looking to take on new challenges to propel his company’s growth. He has planned a massive investment drive for Vinayak where the company will be setting up a big carton packaging unit about 20 km from the city of Rajkot. In fact, the unit is already in operation and was inaugurated in early September, with further work going on in the plant.

“This bigger plant on the outskirts of Rajkot is double the size of our Lohanagar unit. We have invested in this unit because we wanted to have both our commercial and packaging printing and converting sections under one roof. Our total investment including land, building and machinery will come to about Rs 60 crore once the plant is fully ready in one year,” Shah shares.

New machinery for packaging

Shah says that to boost his packaging division another press will be added to the shop floor along with all the required converting equipment. The two presses at the Lohanagar unit will be gradually shifted to the new location.

“We have not yet decided on our next investment, but the new press will be a 7-color press. We are talking to Heidelberg, Komori and KBA,” he informs. In the converting department, Shah is looking to add a folder gluer and a die cutter from Bobst. Shah attended the Bobst open house earlier this year when Speedwave technology was shown on the Ambition folder gluer. “I was impressed with what I saw,” he says. Shah will also be travelling to China to visit All in Print China later this month to explore other machinery and equipment needed for the packaging division.

“I am sure we will finalize all the required machinery and place orders within the next six months,” he concludes.

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

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