Nagpur’s Sushant Packaging’s 2-year investment plan

New unit to be powered by Heidelberg and Bobst tech

Sushant Packaging's Shrikant Nagmote and Sameer Nagmote with the Bobst Novacut 106 E 3.0 die-cutter
Sushant Packaging's Shrikant Nagmote and Sameer Nagmote with the Bobst Novacut 106 E 3.0 die-cutter

Nagpur-based Sushant Packaging specializes in printing and converting packaging cartons for brand owners in the food, seeds, engineering, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries. The company strengthened its pressroom in the middle of 2019 by bringing in a Heidelberg 8-color plus double-coater offset press. Sushant also enhanced its converting section by adding a Bobst Novacut die-cutter and a Bobst Ambition folder-gluer in December 2019 and January 2020, respectively. Now the company is contemplating its next expansion effort.

“In the last one and a half years, we have added several machines. We added the 8-color Heidelberg offset press and two Bobst converting equipment. We also bought a single-color gravure sheetfed press for special cartons requiring high-quality gold printing. Plus, we already have many other machines bought over the years. Now, we have run out of space and will need to expand,” says Shrikant Nagmote of Sushant Packaging.

Sushant Packaging's Shrikant Nagmote and Sameer Nagmote with the Bobst Ambition folder gluer
Sushant Packaging’s Shrikant Nagmote and Sameer Nagmote with the Bobst Ambition folder gluer

The two Bobst machines that Sushant bought during December and January have helped the company ease the converting process. Due to the expansion in print capacity, Sushant needed to have a higher converting capacity to avoid bottlenecks and achieve on-time throughput.

Land for new plant already purchased

The company has bought a piece of land measuring 50,000 square feet to set up the new unit. The new project is likely to be executed in the next 12 to 24 months. Sushant currently operates out of a built-up area of 1.4 lakh square feet spread across two units.

“We have bought the land, and while the start of construction is still some time away, we have started planning it. We expect that this project will take another year or two to fructify. The printing and converting set up we plan to have in the new premises will be similar to what we currently have in our existing units,” Nagmote says.

The Sushant pressroom currently runs the 8-color plus double-coater, 2-color, 4-color, 5-color, and 6-color plus UV coater offset presses. All the presses are Heidelbergs. The company has several Bobst machines in the existing converting sections, including two Novacut die-cutters, an Ambition folder-gluer, and a Lila folder-gluer for E-flute cartons.

Founded by Nagmote in 1988, Sushant Packaging has made a significant mark in the packaging industry with consistently excellent growth over several years. The company is ISO 9001-2008 certified.

New plant to begin with machines from Heidelberg and Bobst

At the proposed new facility, Sushant plans to begin with one Heidelberg multicolor plus coater offset press and a couple of converting machines from Bobst. Nagmote says he has had an amazingly positive experience working with both Heidelberg and Bobst and would like to continue the association with both these companies.

“As mentioned earlier, the new unit will take a couple of years to become operational. However, we have decided that the printing and converting setup will be the same as what we have now. We will go for a Heidelberg press and converting equipment from Bobst,” he says.

Swift recovery led by agri and food industry demand

Packaging companies were considerably less affected during the lockdown thanks to the strong demand for essential industries like packaged food products and agricultural products such as seeds. Sushant’s operations were also relatively stable during the lockdown due to the need for seed packaging cartons.

“Demand for seeds came in around March and continued, due to the above-average monsoon rains and busy sowing season. We were kept busy due to strength in the agricultural sector. We faced some labor issues, but it did not overly impact our production. We saw a dip of about 15% in output,” Nagmote says.

The carton packaging market has swiftly returned to normal since the easing of the lockdown began in June. In the past few weeks, the demand for cartons from the food and snacks industry has been robust, leading to the recovery for Sushant.

“The demand for cartons from the food industry has been very strong in the recent past. And because of this, we expect our production during Diwali to be on par with that during last Diwali. We expect to recoup most of the production losses due to lockdown in the next few 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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