In the 18th century, Jaipur was created by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh and built in adherence to the principles of Shilpa Shastra, an ancient mystic science and art of designing and construction of buildings.
"Today," Alok Jain executive director of Jaipur Printers (JPPL), laments "the art in which the craftsmen of the yore excelled and were obsessed about precision, has faded away."
Jaipur has over the years made considerable investment in communication infrastructure, research and development facilities. India's largest integrated IT SEZ Mahindra World City is located in Jaipur, which is also ranked 31 among the 50 emerging global outsourcing cities.
Amid all the developments, Jaipur Printers sets a different tune for harnessing quality and consistency. Jain says: "Cutting-edge technology coupled with knowledge of consumer requirement has helped us create a niche for ourselves."
Getting into the customers head
Jaipur Printers was founded by Jain's father, the late Sohan Lalji. "That was way back in 1948, when company started operation with a treadle machine," says Jain. Since then it has transformed into one of the top printers in Rajasthan.
It has sprung many a firsts with installation of latest technology like Scitex flatbed scanner in 1994, a four-colour press in 1998, Dainippon Screen CTP in 2004, and a Mitsubishi Diamond 1000LS five-colour press. "You know, besides knowing the requirements, flashing new technology helps retain customer's faith in you," says Jain.
JPPL serves premium markets like handicrafts, tourism, hotels, garment and gems and jewellery. At this family-run business, Jain is assisted by brother Pramod, managing director and Pramod's sons Anurag and Ashish, vice presidents.
For the senior Jains, the vision and philosophy for quality and the processing part of printing was imparted by his father and he is passing it on to his son. Ashish says: "My uncle and father have always tried to get into the customer's head, understand what they wanted."
Striving for quality
The desire to give the best work has always fuelled JPPL to get the complementing technology. JPPL has implemented technology upgrading projects almost every four years.
"We have earned a reputation of being finicky for print precision," says Jain. JPPL has received many laurels from customers like Sir Mirza Ismail - the first chief town planner of Jaipur, Robert Helig and Alok Kala, the chief editor of Journal of Gem Industry - a bi-monthly magazine on jewellery trade.
"Printing at JPPL has never been just applying ink on paper, adding vibrant colours to imaginative visual communication, bringing out the true essence intended," says Jain.
One of the jobs, Jain is proud about is a brochure for Elements. Twenty loose leaves of the brochure is bound in a innovative manner with the help of gold plated brass rings, just to fulfill customer's desire to have some different style of binding other than all the conventional styles. Jain claims that JPPL is among handful of printers in India and the only printer in Rajasthan, to adopt the MFX Technology to print metallic colours with the five-colour press.
The other job he talks about is the 512-pages of Rajasthan Patrika's book Aadhaya, which was produced in-house just in time for the launch ceremony. He says: "Sixty-five sets of 1,100 impressions each was produced at 20 minutes per set. The hard bound books were delivered in just 72 hours.
Jain points out: "I joined the business in 1984 as an engineering graduate and since then it's been a love-affair with printing. The journey from treadles to in-house block-engraving to sheetfed has been a challenging yet memorable one.
Anurag says: "We wish to explore new markets, which value quality synonymous with JJPL. We see digital printing taking centrestage for printers offering services under one-roof. We are no exception. We plan to implement our next project. At that time, we hope to enter into the digital arena."
"It's a question of choice and evaluation. The new generation has to lead from the front with motivation and take the legacy forward with their zeal and vision," concludes Jain.
Founded in 1948
Specialty Multi-colour commercial printing jobs, magazines and coffee table books
Location Jaipur city and RIICO Industrial Area, Sitapura, Rajasthan
Equipment Dainippon Screen CTP; Scitex Smart and Dolev imagesetter, Epson 9600 Pro colour proofing system, a five-colour Mitsubishi Diamond 1000LS, a Sumitomo and a Dominant four-colour and two single-colour presses plus a raft of post-press and ancillary machines
Turnover Rs 3.5-cr