Oruma Printers and Publishers, Thrissur

Newspaper and magazine contract printer adds Komori sheetfed

Oruma Printers’ CK Shaukathali with the Komori Lithrone G-29 4-color press
Oruma Printers’ CK Shaukathali with the Komori Lithrone G-29 4-color press

Chiyyaram, Thrissur based Oruma Printers and Publishers is a pioneer in newspaper and magazine printing. The company is majorly into the manufacturing (paper and paper products, publishing, printing and reproduction of recorded media) business and undertakes all types of commercial print jobs. The venture started in 2009 with web printing and had only one newspaper, Madhyamam, as its client. As word spread about its quality printing services, the company got associated with other major newspapers like The Indian Express, Suprabhatham, Kerala Vartha, Malarvadi, Mirror and others for their printing requirements. Currently, the company prints 12 dailies from its corporate office in Thrissur. CK Shaukathali, general manager of Oruma Printers and Publishers, tells us about his company and their recent investment in a Komori Lithrone sheetfed offset press.

“We started with an Orient Super 546 mm cutoff web offset press from TPH, for printing 16-pages (10 pages B&W and 6 pages color). In 2015, our second phase of development began with the inauguration of another brand new Orient Super 546 mm web offset press with higher pagination capability (10 pages color and 10 pages B&W) for faster printing of newspapers. The newer machine can print 30,000 copies in an hour,” shares Shaukathali CK.

With a staff of around 50 workers and all the necessary resources to cater to the diverse printing and designing requirements of its customers, Oruma believes in constant upgradation to accommodate the latest technology in the printing industry.
In 2017, the company decided to open a new branch specifically dedicated to sheetfed offset printing. A branch office was opened in Vadanapally, a coastal area in the Trichur district, and equipped with all modern printing equipment. “We started with a single-color Komori Sprint in Vadanapally but demand was high and we soon felt the need to buy a 4-color press. So, in October 2018, we went for a Komori Lithrone GL-29 4-color press. We spoke to various companies like Heidelberg and others but decided to opt for Komori for its customization options. Moreover, Komori is a user-friendly press and their service support is also excellent. Talks were held with Insight Communications, distributors of Komori in India, and the deal was finalized. I must say that the printing results have been excellent ever since we installed this press and our customers are also highly satisfied with the end quality. Our customers, including Indian Express, Madhyamam, Malarvadi, Suprabhatham, Telegraph and Mangalam are extremely happy with our print results and quality services,” says Shaukathali.

Talking about the association with Oruma, Sangam Khanna, deputy managing director, Komori India says, “We are delighted to sell a Lithrone G series press in the region. Oruma Printers & Publishers is highly satisfied with the service we are providing since the installation. We welcome Oruma to our Komori family and are happy to extend the Kando Principle to ensure the growth of our customer.”

In addition to printing news dailies, Oruma also takes jobs to print magazines, brochures, school textbooks and guides. Although a licensed publisher, Oruma does not plan to start its own publishing unit yet.

Another web offset press to augment capacity

In terms of adding capacity, Shaukathali says the company plans to add another press of 578 cutoff size to cater to the growing demand for job work from various publishers. Talks are on with a few companies like TPH and Naph Graphics and Shaukathali says within the next 6 months, they will close the deal. “We have been associated with TPH for a long time now so when it came to looking for a new press, TPH was primarily on our mind. However, we have taken quotes from a few other companies and whatever our company board feels is best suited to our budget and for quality results, we will go for that,” Shaukathali asserts.

In addition to the Orient web offset machines and Komori sheetfed presses Oruma has a complete postpress setup with wet and thermal laminators, diecutting machines and saddle stitchers.

Finally, talking about the current scenario in Kerala’s printing industry, Shaukathali says that things have changed for good since the last election and a lot of printing work is happening in the state now. “Earlier, most of the printing work would go to Sivakasi but now things have changed. Printers here have the latest technology and machinery to cater to all kinds of printing requirements and we as a state believe in the best quality results in whatever job we do. I am an active member of the Kerala Master Printers’ Association and even the association feels strongly about Kerala printers having every capacity to meet all kinds of major printing requirements here. Although there is a lot of competition, the market remains good for the printing industry in Kerala.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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