Established in 2014, Balaji Books was solely into textbook printing, especially for government schools. However, according to Jyotishman Das of Bajaji Books, as textbook printing is a seasonal business, it resulted in a lopsided balance sheet with too much dependence on government agencies.
“After the purchase of the Heidelberg SX 74, we are doing general commercial work along with our seasonal government textbook work,” he said.
Das added that after the installation of the SX 74, the company has increased its production by almost 50% and has increased its turnover by 25%. The entire setup cost around Rs 3 crore.
The Balaji shopfloor also includes a two-colour web offset machine from King Offset, a four-colour sheetfed kit from Akiyama Bestech 32, and a two-colour HMT Soma 236. In post-press, it has folding and binding machines from Welbound and besides other India-made binding and cutting machines. The pre-press house contains Heidelberg Prinect, Kodak Trendsetter 400 CTP, Memory plate curer and others.
Das said while looking for a new printing machine, he was particularly interested in Komori 437 Lithrone. However, he finally decided that the SX 74 suited him more for the twin purpose of general commercial and book printing. “Especially, reliability and possible longer life cycle of the machine tilted the scale in favour of the Heidelberg,” he said.
Das said he went for a new printing press as he wanted to step beyond the textbook printing market and explore the emerging commercial market. So the investment decision depended on several things, including getting a new press and offering quality print service to our customers, he said.
“With the new machine, we have added a new segment to our press altogether and we are growing every day. In the eight months of doing commercial production, we have printed 74 lakh impressions. I hope by this financial year, we will hit the one crore impression target,” he said.
And Das has reasons to be optimistic. “The quality of our prints is the USP of our press. We strive to maintain this in the years to come,” he said.