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“We follow Gandhian philosophy,” says Alok Munot

29 May 2012

Even after 68 years in the printing business, Prabhat Printing Works still follows the principles laid down by the late Kanakmal Lalchand Munot, a social reformist and freedom fighter, says Sachin Shardul

alokmunot Alok munot: part-time footballer and full-time printer

Founded in 1944 by late Kanakmal Lalchand Munot, a social reformist and freedom fighter, Prabhat Printing Works (PPW) has a simple but focused philosophy of running the print business.

PPW, which is currently headed by the indefatigable Pradeep Munot, has enabled the company to evolve from a very humble beginning to one of the most respected printing firms in the region. His son, Alok Munot, is the third generation to run this family business.

Alok Munot, managing director, says, “We follow the Gandhian philosophies laid by my grandfather. One of them is ‘simple living and high thinking’.”

Business blueprint
Prabhat Printing Works is a one-stop printing solution provider sprawling over a 15,000 sq/ft area that is equipped with the latest equipments.

Besides printing, Prabhat believes in “green”. Alok Munot says, “My grandfather started with a simple manual treadle press. Over a period of time, the business grew and we felt the need to invest in latest press and post-press machines. Today, we can cater to jobs of any volume.”

Prabhat Printing Works has two sister companies, Pradeep Agencies and Alok Enterprises. Pradeep Agencies has been engaged in the manufacturing of account books for more than 40 years now, and it’s been servicing the entire state of Maharashtra and neighbouring states under the brand name ‘Pradeep’ while Alok Enterprises has been engaged in calendar manufacturing – and boasts of a national clientele.

 Munot says, “We print office calendars – and each of our 22 designs are popular with print buyers and innovative trendsetters for the market. We use 60-80gsm maplitho and 90-170gsm art paper, on which we run Micro Inks or Geos G. We print on a raft of presses which includes Ryobi 924, Heidelberg Sordz, Sormz and Sors. These are mostly office calendars without images, but they involve a lot of pre-press work. The one with images – Seasons is a unique creation with a new theme each year. The true motivation is our team. Our workforce has members that have blessed us in the past four decades and four generations. Their compassion ensures they go beyond an organisation to being a closely knit family”

Increase in production capacity
To increase its capacity, Prabhat in February 2012 installed India’s first Welbound six-clamp perfect binding machine equipped with logics programmed electronically with the use of photocells in its post- press division, plus a two-colour refurbished Heidelberg press installed in October 2011.

Thanks to these incremental improvements, Munot says, “Growth is good. We are probably one of the rare print companies in Pune to demand the right price and our clients know about the quality, service and satisfaction that we provide.”

Future plans
While we were preparing for the 18 May PrintWeek India issue, Alok Munot was busy packing his bags (and walking shoes) for Drupa. He is very clear and focused about his visit to the show.

He says, “I am exploring cutting-edge solutions in the pre-press and post-press segment which includes CTP platesetter, softwares, and finishing equipments.”

Sporting side of the print
Inspite of his busy printing schedule, Alok Munot is passionate about sports and nature. He plays a gruelling game of football and softball for a local club. Munot shows off his bruises and analyses the great goals he has scored. Besides football, he swims, plays chess, golf, badminton, basketball, treks and skates. Once he skated from a place close to his house in Gultekdi to Pune airport – covering a distance of six kilometres on a sleepless night. He also enjoys creating electronic music in a friend’s garage.

Besides sport, Alok Munot is actively involved in multiform social organisations and likes to travel to different places and meet people.

In July 2011, Alok Munot along with his three friends of the print industry – Vasant Goel of Gopsons in New Delhi, Amit Sharma of Harper Collins Publishers India and Dinesh Gandhi of Gypsy Trails Photography Pune, travelled by road from Srinagar to Kanyakumari in 16 days – a distance of 4,500 kilometres. Vividh Makhija of India Offset Press New Delhi, Hyuma Mahadevia of Yamir Packaging Ahmedabad and Akshay Poddar of Mytec Process Bengaluru, joined them for parts of this epic print journey adding further muscle. “Apart from experiencing the vast and varied Indian landscape and thousands of years of emblematic Indian heritage and culture, we visited the latest pre-print, print and post-print facilities in our country,” he adds.

Munot feels a day spent with Hyuma Mahadevia is a diploma course in printing technology, especially Mahadevia’s firm Yamir Packaging in Bharuch. Yamir’s R&D facility stands out. Mahadevia has set a high standard amongst packaging converters across the world. Munot says, “We were welcomed at A R Packaging, Vadodara, an exemplary packaging company. The India Print Pack Exhibition was on at the same time when we transited Bengaluru after which we spent a day at the Mytec Process, Bengaluru and spent time with the Poddars. Then to the print city of India – Sivakasi, passing by print shops, paper mills and then of course to Gopsons, the book print firm which is re-setting the paradigm in India.”

Munot mentions that this print friendship started a decade ago. The five young men, soon after graduating in print technology from the Hauchler Studio in Biberach, embarked on a road trip across Germany.

Munot says, “The trigger for the road trip is Vasant Goel, who is currently based in New Delhi. He planned to move bag and baggage to Sivakasi, where Gopsons has set up one of India’s largest book units. We decided to meet on the 10th anniversary of our graduation; one thing led to another and we decided to drive the entire distance from the north to south of India.”

Quite clearly, this printer-sportsperson-Gandhian has set targets – and an unquenchable thirst for “Indian values”.

Munot concludes, “Before I retire at the age of 50 from the print business, I would like to travel across 100 cultures, live another 100 years, and be alive and kicking when India is truly and genuinely shining.”

FACTFILE

Year of establishment 1944
Equipment Ryobi 924 four-colour, Heidelberg Sormz two-colour, Heidelberg Sordz two-colour and one single-colour Heidelberg Sors, Welbound single- and six-clamp perfect binding machine, Schoei folder and Wohlenberg cutting machine
Types of jobs Books, magazines, brochures, posters, labels, calendars, account books, commercial and packaging printing, marketing material and design services
Staff 50+

 

Prabhat Printing Works' 15,000 sq/ft plant in Pune
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