Udaipur’s COPL Print-O-Pack’s solid growth powered by Heidelberg CD 102

Rajasthani commercial printer started carton production in the pandemic

Digvijay Choudhary, managing director of COPL Print-O-Pack with the Heidelberg CD 102
Digvijay Choudhary, managing director of COPL Print-O-Pack with the Heidelberg CD 102

Udaipur-based COPL Print-O-Pack has seen solid growth in its monocarton business started a couple of years ago. The company prints, converts, and supplies monocartons to customers in the pharmaceutical, FMCG, food, ice cream, and electrical appliances segments. COPL Print-O-Pack is the packaging arm of Chaudhary Offset, a commercial printer for more than 40 years. It started operations in the middle of 2020 with a new Heidelberg CD 102 6+L UV press, a new folder gluer and diecutter from Eterna, and a lamination machine from Ample Graphics. 

“We have been using Heidelberg presses in our commercial printing division for many years and we are familiar with their technology and the team. We are very happy with the CD 102 press and the quality that it produces. We were converting about 60 tons of paper and paperboard every month about one year ago and now we convert about 120-130 tons. Our volumes have doubled and a large part of it is due to the quality and technology of the Heidelberg press. Our customers are very happy,” says Digvijay Choudhary, managing director of COPL Print-O-Pack. 

Choudhary explains that another reason for the quick growth is the comparative lack of quality carton printers and converters in the Udaipur region. “There are very few carton printers and converters who offer quality service. Earlier, customers used to go to Gujarat or Delhi to get their work done. Now that has changed as we offer top quality at a very competitive price. We also make sure we deliver the cartons as quickly as possible,” he says. 

Preparing for the next phase of growth

COPL Print-O-Pack’s 40,000 square foot manufacturing unit is situated on a land parcel of 200,000 square feet. The company employs 150 people and has customers across India. Talking about the reasons for setting up the packaging business, Choudhary says that the commercial printing business was on the downturn even before the Covid-19 pandemic and the diversification of packaging was needed for the company to achieve the next phase of growth. 

“I represent the third generation in the family business and I was keen that our company enters the next growth phase. That was not possible by expanding our commercial printing operations and the natural progression was to enter packaging, for us. And the growth that COPL Print-O-Pack has witnessed proves our decision was correct,” he says. 

COPL Print-O-Pack is now preparing for the next stage of growth and planning to set up its second printing and converting line for monocartons and a new corrugation unit. The second monocarton line will be similar to the current one except that the company is planning to get a 7-color press. In the corrugation unit, COPL Print-O-Pack is planning an E and F flute machine and a flute laminator. 

“We expect to sustain the growth momentum at COPL Print-O-Pack over the next few years and for this, we are preparing for the second monocarton line. We also see great potential in corrugated boxes and that is why we are planning a corrugation unit. We have enough space to accommodate all the new machines. Our main focus areas will be the pharmaceutical and FMCG space. We hope to start placing orders for the machines by the fourth quarter of this financial year,” Choudhary 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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