Polykam Offset buys Komori Lithrone G37

Another 8-color Komori press in pipeline

Jasveer Singh, proprietor of Polykam Offset alongside the new Komori Lithrone G37 sheetfed offset press
Jasveer Singh, proprietor of Polykam Offset alongside the new Komori Lithrone G37 sheetfed offset press

Jasveer Singh, proprietor of Polykam Offset, purchased his first Komori 4-color sheetfed
offset press – an Enthrone 29 – in 2016. His second new Komori – a Lithrone G37 4-color – was delivered in December 2018 and started operation on 1 January 2019.

Singh gained experience as an employee in local presses such as Mehta Offset and Ajanta Offset for 8 years. He then graduated to the position of production manager of Archies greeting cards. Thereafter, Singh began his own business as a freelance print canvasser.
Over the years, his print industry friends urged him to set up a printing business. Following their advice, Singh set up Polykam Offset in Naraina in 2008. Polykam acquired its first press – a single-color Heidelberg 25 x 36 inch – in 2011 along with a folder, cutting and stitching machine.

Eventually, he felt the need to invest in a 4-color press and decided to purchase a used Heidelberg MOV. “But the print quality of the used press wasn’t as good as we expected but we continued to use it for nearly one-and-a-half years. The hunt for a better 4-color printing press began yet again in 2015. At the time, our company had not yet taken any bank loan and a good second-hand 4-color press was priced between Rs. 60 and 80 lakhs. That is when I realized that it would be smarter to buy a new machine if we had to take a loan anyway,” says Singh.

Polykam decides to lean on Komori

Polykam bought its first 4-color offset printing press – a Komori Enthrone 29 – in 2016 for nearly Rs. 1.8 crores. The work kept increasing and Polykam profitably kept running its Enthrone 29 in double shifts for nearly 2 years. However, it quickly realized the need to purchase a second new press.

“This time, we looked at RMGT as well. But, the trust and reputation Komori built with us over the years compelled us to purchase the Lithrone G37,” Singh says. Polykam’s new Komori began printing on 1 January 2019. For a month it ran for a single shift and then from February it was put into double shift operation.

Why Komori?

A Komori user for the past three years, Polykam has not suffered a breakdown even once on its first new press bought in 2016. The machine’s rubber rollers are to be replaced this year and apart from that, according to Singh, the machine has been performing without any breakdowns. “The Komori press is serviced once in every 6 months. The rollers of the Enthrone 29 that need to be replaced this year came with the machine, says Singh.

Commerical printing business on the rise

According to Singh, he hasn’t witnessed a decline in commercial printing. In fact, it is commercial printing business that has helped his company grow. He says it is all about planning the business correctly. “One must be tactical in one’s approach. The demand is there. One must also utilize the available resources very smartly in order to flourish in the print business. All these years, we have made good profits. If commercial printing was actually down, it would have taken a toll on our business, but you see, we’re growing. If you’re smart, you will be able to grow but if your decisions are taken hastily, you will perish,” Singh shares.

At the same time, he doesn’t deny that getting new customers has become a tad difficult for him in the past year or so. “But that hasn’t taken a toll on my aggressive approach. I realized that I needed a marketing person. I hired one and he helped me gain new customers. I’ve even heard people saying that the margins in commercial printing are squeezed. Frankly speaking, I think there is a way out. Even if the margins have reduced, the production speed of these new presses are pretty high. I think that should help printers to increase their print runs and supply to more customers. That way they can maintain their profits,” Singh explains.

Polykam’s growth plans

In about a year or year-and-a-half, Singh plans to shift to a completely new premises where he can bring all his machines and processes under one roof. He also plans to purchase a new 8-color press and is planning to approach Komori for the same. In 2018, the company’s business grew by Rs 2 crore to 2.5 crores. With the new Komori Lithrone G37, it plans to double its profits this year.

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.

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– Naresh Khanna

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