Dinesh Printers in Bengaluru – a specialist pharma packaging

Pharmaceutical packaging and cartons for export

Dinesh Kundapur with the RMGT 5-color plus coater sheetfed offset press at his Rajajinagar unit. Photo IPP

Situated in Bengaluru’s Rajajinagar Industrial Estate, Dinesh Printers specializes in the printing of medicine cartons and labels. Owned by Dinesh Kundapur, the company employs 65 people across its 25,000 square foot plant. A first look at the plant leaves one mighty impressed owing to its immaculate cleanliness, neat storage of raw materials and well-groomed staff. Each press section is neatly labelled. There is also an administrative office and a dedicated canteen area for workers, which is still under construction.

Kundapur took us around his plant to help us gain an overview of his business. Dinesh Printers started as a small letterpress unit from Bashyam Circle in the year 1980. Kundapur was helped in setting up the unit by his brother Chandramohan Kundapur and brother-in-law Suresh Kundapoor. While the initial years were full of struggle, Dinesh Kundapur made a breakthrough in the year 1995, when he imported a used Mitsubishi 4-color offset press from Osaka, Japan. Since then, Dinesh Printers has never looked back. With growing volumes and rising demand from customers, Kundapur purchased a bigger area in Bengaluru’s printing hub, Rajajinagar Industrial Estate, from where the company currently operates.

As Dinesh Printers has become a leading supplier of pharmaceutical packaging, the plant has grown with a new RMGT 5-color plus coater sheetfed offset press, a Bobst autoplaten diecutter, a Bobst Ambition folder-gluer, a Kodak Trendsetter platesetter, a single-color offset sheetfed press, programmable cutting machines from Proteck and other ancillary machines for the converting and finishing section.

Kundapur says, “We do not have too much machinery in our unit but we do leverage whatever we have to the maximum. Today around 80% of our jobs are done in-house. We believe that one can do printing anywhere but it is the finishing part that is more important. So we ensure we have all the necessary equipment in our unit to offer best in class finishing.”

The Bobst Ambition folder gluer at Dinesh Printers
The Bobst Ambition folder gluer at Dinesh Printers

With a growing turnover, the company gets 90% of its business from packaging exports. “We export a lot of packaging materials to countries like Tanzania, Ghana, Nairobi and Ethiopia. Our major focus area is exports. Since we provide monocartons for pharmaceutical product companies, we ensure that we maintain the hygiene levels of our plant to the maximum,” Kundapur shares.

Talking about his future needs and expansion, Kundapur says, “We have purchased a 2-acre land in Tumkur, although we are yet to see whether there is a need for expansion or not. If at all the need arises, we will utilize that space for developing our second unit, which will be larger and will of course have state-of-the-art machinery. It, however, all depends on the market situation. We have to consider many aspects of the market and investments needed before we plan some kind of expansion. Right now, we are doing quite good and that’s what matters to us.”

Kundapur does not believe in the word ‘competition’. He firmly believes in offering the best services to his clients and adheres to commitments made to his clients in terms of quality and and timely completion of jobs. “This not only helps us give our best to the jobs but also instills a lot of confidence in our customers towards us,” he shares.

Nevertheless, Kundapur does have some acquisition plans in mind, the details of which he declined to share at this point in time. Moreover, if all goes well, he will be adding a new press to the unit. “It would be either an RMGT or a Heidelberg press. We haven’t yet decided which one to opt for. We are anyway very comfortable with RMGT – the people are good, the machines are good and there is no issue with post-sales service also. However, we still need to zero in on the brand,” 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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