Samrat Offset Printers installs Heidelberg CX92 4-color press

Aligning complexity with automation and technology

Abhishek Singh director of Samrat Offset Printers Photo IPP
Abhishek Singh director of Samrat Offset Printers Photo IPP

Established in 1985, Samrat Offset is a Delhi-based commercial offset printer providing one-stop solutions from pre-press, printing and binding to its clients in India and overseas. The family-run business prints, binds, and exports textbooks and coffee-table books at its two premises in the Okhla Industrial Area in South Delhi.

Samrat provides interesting and unique print and packaging projects for corporate as well as independent clients. These included commercial printing, book printing and carton and luxury carton packaging. Many of these hybrid incorporate special effects using a combination of technologies and special substrates such as letterpress and screen printing with the core products being produced on multicolor offset presses.

The products vary from books and diaries to coffee-table books in slipcases and boxes and stationary and promotional material using die-cutting as well as folding and luxury cartons. Calling itself a one-stop shop, Samrat Offset also offers flexible packaging from its plant located in Kasna in Greater Noida. This plant contains a Kohli 9-color gravure press and converting equipment including a Nordmeccanica laminator for flexible packaging materials including bulk packaging for various commodities.

In the Okhla plants that are centered around offset printing the company provides letterpress printing, block stamping, screen printing, foil stamping, UV coating, laser cutting, gilding, and edge painting for special effects that is necessary to provide the value addition for both commercial printing and book production. The company prides itself on the quality of its skilled manual operations and specialized tools that can add a set of unique values and materials to complex projects.

Coffee table book with gilded edges and case produced by Samrat Offset PrintersImage Samrat Offset Printers
Coffee table book with gilded edges and case produced by Samrat Offset Printers
Image Samrat Offset Printers

According to Samrat Offset’s director Abhishek Singh, the company is known for its creative approach and ability. “We specialize in book printing and binding, our organization has ventured into diverse lines of printing spanning from outright commercial to packaging of many kinds. Our investment in technology and latest printing techniques makes us a reliable company in the industry.”

The company has recently installed at its Okhla plant a new Heidelberg CX92 4-color offset press. The new press complements its Heidelberg CD74 4-color plus coater and a Ryobi 25 x 36 4-color plus coater press bought much earlier. All three of these multicolor presses were purchased brand new. For prepress, Samrat has two computer platesetters, a Heidelberg Suprasetter and a Fujifilm CtCP output device. In its binding department, the company operates a Muller Martini flow line, a couple of Aster thread sewing machines, and Welbound equipment including a 6-clamp perfect binder. 

CX92 4-color sheetfed offset Photo Heidelberg
CX92 4-color sheetfed offset
Photo Heidelberg

Samrat serves regional, national, and international clients, including in the US and several European clients. Singh adds that since the pandemic, the B2B environment has become more direct and businesslike. “Both suppliers and customers are more serious about schedules and payments,” he says. “The credit cycles used to be vague but now they aren’t indefinite anymore, especially after the pandemic. People mean business – they want to pay on time – and they want to be paid on time. We have already recovered the losses incurred during the past couple of years and are thinking of expanding to a new plant and operation facility.” 

The company sources part of its raw materials such as paper from China and partly from local mills. Singh believes India has the potential to become a major producer of raw material as well as finished books but only with huge revamping. “India will need to invest heavily in automation; if it does, the market growth is certain.”

In our conversations with Singh, it is clear that although he enjoys the complexity of work that requires a combination of technology and skilled manual inputs, he is a believer in the need for productivity that automation brings. At the same time, he seems to be aware that technology and automation cannot do any miracles on their own – to an extent, a modern printer has to keep investing in these merely to grow or even to survive.

While the recent addition of the Heidelberg CX92 4-color comes from Singh’s belief that continuous technology and automation bring the productivity that are needed to remain competitive, he feels that he is outgrowing his current two facilities in Okhla. The efficient movement of materials and workflow are as important as the agility of being able to compete in several market segments. He seems convinced that his continuous modernization and expansion plans will require the building of a larger purpose-built plant in a two or three-year time frame.

Editor’s note – This article has been corrected for a couple of errors of fact on 16 February 2023 such Abhishek Singh’s designation and the model number of the Heidelberg CD74. It has been corrected further with additional information on 20 February 2023.

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

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here