Ramu Ramanathan (RR): Has it become tougher to do printing in Mumbai?
Khushru Patel (KP): Considering the nature of work of these professionals, it usually zeroes down faltering at the costing level. You need to learn when to say “No”. Twenty years down the line, maybe Jak Printers wouldn’t continue to exist but it is essential to know when to deny and where to stop. Running or trying to run a business just for the sake of it will fetch nothing. Thus, it all zeroes down to correct costing. As Limaye sir said, a correct base cost will determine the correct costing price.
RR: How do you rate the Jak MIS system?
Masters of the art of printing
Jak has 40 machines that comprise the binding department
|Jak’s mantra for pre-owned kit|
RR: What is the advice you would give while selecting a pre-owned machine? The combinations that one should look for?
KP: We spent nine months to decide the equipment we want to buy. We invest a lot of time studying the combinations we require. The print-buyer should first check the equipment with an experienced mechanic, the status of the firm from where they are buying rather than deciding on the basis of the age and cost. Most important is the culture of the firm you are buying from.
RR: Which are the countries that Indians should source pre-owned machines from?
KP: The equipment from countries like Austria, Poland come with the price of 30% premium. Additionally, these countries do not have multi- press. They have one-, two-, four-colour machines.
RR: You have made a conscious choice in the selection of kit. What is the strategy you follow?
KP: It depends on the requirement. Is it packaging or is it commercial printing? I think, packaging has the numbers, in terms of turnover. There is a very small risk that a brand-new equipment will not succeed. In commercial, a brand-new equipment will not succeed. Of course there are instances when a printer has succeeded with a brand-new equipment but we need to see where the investment came from. A single brand-new printing equipment, offset or digital, cannot pay for itself. The payment comes from other sources. A traditional commercial printer will not invest in a brand-new kit. They know the game; and they know how to handle it. The brand new machines are going to people who are investing money from other industries. I know of someone in Gujarat, with no printing knowledge, setting up a printing press. The reason, he is already earning Rs 30-lakh as rental income but wants his sons to work for money. Such kind of investors can afford a brand-new press. They can under-quote or over-quote, can run or not run the machine. This is dangerous for the printing industry. I believe this kind of company does not know the science of printing. In commercial printing it is very hard to maximise your turnover with a brand-new machine.