Started by Hanumantha Rao Paruchuri in 1962, Pragati Offset, renowned as one of the best printers in the world, moved on to the packaging segment in 2000. Narendra Paruchuri, CEO of Pragati Offset, says, “When we dived into the world of the world wide web in the late 90s we foresaw that in the future every commercial print solution was available on the web and would be scattered everywhere. To retain our foothold or place in the industry, we established Pragati Pack then. Many commercial printers are moving to packaging now, but we had done it much earlier.”
Pragati Offset and Pragati Pack have earned their reputation by understanding and executing the extremely wide variety of print products right from the start. From providing company profiles to producing brochures and catalogs, coffee table books, calendars, folding cartons, labels, and the creation of luxury rigid boxes as well.
While the company has leveraged its mastery of computerized prepress technology and offset multicolor printing and coating, it has always embraced a multiplicity of processes and techniques that add value. With a wide array of machines in its plants, Pragati’s range of products and solutions relies on the infinite imagination and creativity of its customers and their designers, only constrained by its understanding of the processes it has mastered. Paruchuri says, “We print on gravure, flexo, offset, and have almost every particular printing solution. We serve the customer depending upon the product that they need.”
Discussing the trajectory of the growth in both the packaging and printing industries, Paruchuri highlights the exponential growth of the packaging industry and argues against the popular opinion of the print industry going downhill. “One cannot detach printing from packaging. Printing is mandatory on every packaging,” he explains.
Although he believes digital is a way of life and commercial printing has seen a slight decline in growth due to digital disruption, he asserts that eBooks are in decline. “eBooks had their own time and there was an upsurge of remote education during the pandemic but slowly the industry shifted the other way and the rate of growth went on the negative side.” He concurs with the reports of the resurgence of printed books, where both global and domestic demand are currently buoyant. There’s growth in every sector of book printing, he says, and firmly believes in the government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan giving a boost to the book printing industry.
“India will be going through a good time in the next ten years. The China plus 1 strategy (C+1) kicking in additional manufacturing will open the gates of opportunity for the packaging industry to grow. There will be a huge market in India as various companies will be coming to the country for business. There’s a prospect of a 15-20% CAGR for packaging.”
Today’s call – be eco-friendly
In keeping with the company’s long-term thinking and sustainable way of doing business, the entire lighting of the head office in Pragati Offset is powered by a 12kW (kilo-watt) roof-top solar installation. The sheetfed offset inks are vegetable oil based and all waste in the plant goes into appropriate recycling streams.
Both Pragati Offset and Pragati Pack are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certified. The FSC-certified products meet strict tracking requirements for ensuring that products sold as FSC-certified come from responsible and sustainable sources.
Although both Pragati companies are ready to provide 100% eco-friendly processes and materials, not all customers seem to be as ready or willing. “Is the customer ready to pay the price?” asks Paruchuri. “The client will only go for 100% sustainability when there’s a law. We are providing our services to the client, they are writing the cheque, so they have the right to choose the path to go forward.”
Advice for new-comers
“There is only one reason to do business and that’s to make money. To be profitable, one needs to know the job pretty well and have command over others in the press and the industry as well,” says Paruchuri. He strongly believes the capital-intensive industry is hard to crack but feels that entrepreneurs with reasonable attitudes and aptitude can break into it and even receive some guidance to the proper paths by the leaders in the industry.
Pragati’s ability to maintain a leading position in the printing and packaging sector is because of its openness to change, willingness to learn and integrate new technology – and ability to embrace new trends and adapt to them. “We are always ready to change, adapt and expand when needed. We evolve as time passes and that should be the call of every person working in any sector, be it printing or packaging,” says Paruchuri.