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.
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.
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.