Express Printers’ new RMGT 790ST-XL 4-color offset press with UV LED

Hi-Tech Rao of Vijayawada on hi-growth path

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N Nageswara Rao of Express Printers with the new RMGT 790ST-XL 4-color offset press
N Nageswara Rao of Express Printers with the new RMGT 790ST-XL 4-color offset press

In 1987, inspired by a relative’s screen printing business, N Nageswara Rao entered the screen printing business with a paltry sum of Rs 2,000. He started operations out of a 500 square foot office (then named Hi-Tech Screen Printers) with a keen interest in technology and a desire to make advancements on the digital front. He started upgrading his printing business with computers and continued with screen printing work until 1995. A year later, Rao invested in a used 2-color Hashimoto offset press and ventured into commercial printing in partnership with a friend.

In the next two years, Rao invested in Apple computers for design, an upgrade most people would not have thought of back in 1998. He supplied print to customers from 23 districts of the then United Andhra Pradesh. A sought-after name for high-quality jobs, Rao was known for providing 4-color printing on 2-color presses. His love for constantly upgrading to new technology and staying abreast with the changes in the printing domain has earned him the name ‘Hi-Tech Rao.’

From used presses to new & offset to digital

In 2007, Rao came out of the partnership and established Express Printers. He bought a space in Vijayawada’s Gandhi Nagar area to open his new printing business. He invested in a used Mitsubishi 1F 4-color press and started taking up commercial printing and small packaging jobs. He bought a second Mitsubishi 1F 4-color press in 2009 and a used Shinohora 4-color press in 2011. In the next few years, he installed brand new equipment to strengthen his digital printing setup, which included a Cron CtCP, a Xerox 1000i, Xerox 110 and a Xerox C70.

“I have always relied on good technology and I believe the only way to keep your customers satisfied, happy and make them keep coming back to you is to invest in good machinery that will result in quality jobs. In Vijayawada, there is strong competition as Gandhi Nagar is the hub of commercial printing. To stay ahead, one must work around quicker production time and high-quality end product,” says Rao.

In February this year, Rao visited the PrintPack show in Delhi where he met the Provin Technos team, who are the sole distributors of RMGT Ryobi presses in India. Impressed by the machine performance and cost ratio and the services offered by Provin, Rao decided to buy a brand new RMGT 790ST-XL 4-color press with UV LED.

I was highly impressed by the Provin Technos team. They explained the features of the press in detail and the press met with all the requirements that I had in mind back then. I definitely wanted to opt for a press that would not only help speed up my production but also deliver high-quality jobs. The RMGT looked like a promising deal. Ever since it was installed in May this year, it has performed exceptionally well and I am extremely happy with it,” Rao shares.

Talking about his future plans, Rao says that he wishes to open a packaging unit in the later half of next year considering the growing demand for packaging in Vijayawada. “There is a robust demand for packaging in Andhra but very few players to address this demand. So, our next move will be to invest in machinery catering to the packaging segment,” Rao concludes.

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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