Radhe Print Solutions – adding efficiencies in commercial print

Mumbai printer adds creasing & 5-color coater offset

Karshan Dubariya of Radhe Print Solutions with Bacciottini Pit Stop creasing machine
Karshan Dubariya of Radhe Print Solutions with Bacciottini Pit Stop creasing machine

Radhe Print Solutions is a commercial and book printer in Mumbai’s Andheri East. The business runs three sheetfed offset presses – a double-color Heidelberg, a 5-color Komori, and a 5-color Ryobi. The company recently installed a new creasing machine supplied by Hi-Tech Systems in its binding and finishing department. Radhe Print has also bought another press, a pre-owned Komori, that is expected to arrive at the city’s port by end of this month.

“We are happy with the Bacciottini Pit Stop DG Line Touch creasing and perforating machine that was recently added. This is the second post-press machine that we have bought from Hi-Tech Systems. A couple of years ago we also bought a wiro-binding machine from them,” says the owner of Radhe Print Solutions, Karshan Dubariya.

The DG Line Touch is a suction-fed automatic creasing and perforation machine with a 2-inch pile feeder. The format is adapted to digital, offset printed sheets and also for book covers with extension. A standard perforating kit that can be programmed directly from the display can also be attached to the DG Line. The machine has a 7-inch color touch screen display and can be operated at speeds up to 8,000 sheets an hour. 

The print business was established about a decade ago to provide several types of commercial and book printing services. While 40% of its customers come directly for their print needs, the remaining customers are brought in by Mumbai’s legendary network of canvassers or print brokers. Altogether, the company processes about 150 tons of paper each month, in its 6,000 square foot MIDC industrial space in Andheri. 

Karshan Dubariya with the existing 5-color Komori press at Radhe Print Solutions in Mumbai Photo IPP

Dubariya says that the pre-owned Komori 5-color plus coater offset press that is expected to arrive at the unit soon, is of 2010 vintage, and being a well-configured machine should add considerably to the company’s high-value capacity. “It is a fully loaded press and we are importing it from Europe. Expected to arrive in two weeks, this press will further strengthen our printing capabilities,” he says.

Future plans and current fine-tuning of assets

While Radhe Print Solutions has plans to expand its operations, the availability of adequate space is a major challenge. “We have plans to expand into packaging and may also look at venturing into digital printing. All those plans depend on the availability of space. There are options of moving to areas like Bhiwandi but we do not want to venture out of the Mumbai city limits at this moment,” Dubariya explains.

At present, the company is focusing on improving operational efficiencies and reducing wastage. It recently hired an HR consultant and in the coming months will add software tools to improve its workflow so that operations can be tweaked to become much more efficient. “A major focus area for us is wastage reduction and we will deploy all available tools to make sure we cut down waste. Also, manpower management is another focus area. We have begun by hiring an HR consultant. Basically, the aim is to become a professionally run company,” Dubariya says.

A less impactful Covid wave

The latest Covid wave has again created uncertainties in the print market but Dubariya is confident there won’t be any adverse material impact on the ground. “Yes, there are some concerns but I am confident both Radhe Print Solutions and that the print industry will come out unscathed from this wave. In fact, my company has done very well this financial year and we hope to end the year on a strong note,” 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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