Galaxy Offset talks about commercial printing

Amit Gulati – ‘Our only USP is innovation’

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Galaxy Offset
Amit Gulati, director, Galaxy Offset at his office in Manesar. Photo IPP

Galaxy Offset was initially a well-known commercial printer in the Delhi-NCR. Subsequently, it became a leading carton packaging business and set up a new plant in Manesar, an hour south of Gurgaon on the road to Jaipur. As we reported first in the September issue of Packaging South Asia, and subsequently in the October issue of Indian Printer and Publisher, Galaxy Offset has purchased a new and highly automated Manroland Sheetfed Evolution 7-color plus coater UV press for its new purpose-built plant in Ghilot.

The under-construction 150,000-square-foot building and plant are located 70 kilometers south of Manesar. The new 7-color plus coater UV press and the new converting equipment, including a Bobst die cutter and folder gluer, are likely to be installed in late March or early April 2023. In addition, the extensive array of existing packaging presses and finishing and converting equipment will also be shifted and installed at the new Ghilot plant.

The plant in Manesar will then become Galaxy’s commercial printing location and will retain its array of multicolor presses and finishing, and book-binding equipment. These include a brand new Heidelberg SM-74 5-color coater purchased in 2006 followed by 4-color, and 5-color plus coater RMGT presses used in its commercial printing operations. Today, the firm has complete in-house solutions for postpress, including two flow line machines, three perfect binders, saddle stitchers, wiro-binding, and hard case binding.

Galaxy Offset
The RMGT 4-color press at Galaxy Offset. Photo IPP

In our recent meeting, Amit Gulati said, “After shifting our packaging operations to the Ghilot plant, we are planning to utilize the space that will get vacant in our Manesar premises to get into publishing for book exports. Mid-2023, we are planning for new equipment for book publishing and book printing exports, which includes bindery and an 8-color printing press, most probably from Heidelberg.”

In its commercial printing division, Galaxy Offset prints 20,000 catalogs and brochures per week for its substantial lineup of corporate clients, including Honda, Maruti, Tupperware, Panasonic, Whirlpool, and Samsung. Galaxy Offset uses both imported paper and domestically manufactured paper from BILT for its commercial print, which it supplies across India.

On the current high raw material prices, he says, “The customers have agreed because they don’t have any option but to buy the specified raw materials at the prevailing prices.”

Galaxy is run by the team of the three Gulati brothers—Aman, Amit, and Vikas. Amit Gulati is the leader of the sales and marketing force. Aman Gulati manages finances and purchasing, while Vikas Gulati, the youngest brother, takes care of day-to-day production.

Every customer teaches you something

The Gulati brothers are fervent advocates of innovation. As Amit Gulati said on our visit, “The only USP we have is innovation. There are many printers in the commercial printing segment – but anyone who has to survive in the market needs to innovate. First, you have to give consistent quality, and then you have to have your customer involved with your business. Until and unless you give them something new, they won’t get involved with you. Innovation is the only mantra to date that can get you business, and bring longevity to your business.”

He added, “The different stages of a business bring a variety of challenges. From time to time, it could be labor shortage, raw material prices, or other business-related problems – there is no challenge that we have not taken in our stride till now. Every day is a new learning. Every customer teaches you something, and you should never shy away from learning. You should always keep learning and keep growing.”

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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