It has always been a challenging journey for me. I never had a tomorrow in my life
The print career of Snehasis Roy
Snehasis Roy, director technical, Times Group, started his journey into print as a student, when he joined the Regional Institute of Printing Technology (formerly, The School of Printing Technology), Jadavpur, Kolkata. He liked printing and he was the class topper. At the time, offset presses had just arrived and the industry was converting from gravure and letterpress to offset. He was fascinated by offset, and by colour reproduction. He completed his degree with a gold medal in 1982. This helped him secure a national scholarship and eventually, he landed at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), New York, USA.
Roy says he had an interesting time at RIT. He did some good projects with Miles Southworth and John Silver in colour and ink, and with Bob Chang in quality assurance. Those were his three gurus.
He got his first assignment to work on a cruise ship print house in Queen Elizabeth II. The size of the newspaper was A3. Total 5,000 copies of the paper were printed on a sheet-fed press every night. He worked alone, picking up news items from Associated Press, Reuters and other agencies, putting them on camera board and making a printing plate. It was a lifestyle newspaper, especially high-sea lifestyle.
He believes, in the newspaper, there is no tomorrow. Newspaper production at sea was the same.
Roy’s love for newspaper production, however, started in the early days of his printing education. After completing his studies at RIT, he got his first job in Time magazine. “I started working in Time magazine in its head office in New York. I got very good acknowledgement and also received prestigious awards,” he says. After three years, Roy returned to India and started in Jadavpur University. At 29, he was the youngest head of the department of printing engineering at the university. “I helped develop syllabi of three universities – Jadavpur at Kolkata, Anna University in Chennai and Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University at Hyderabad. The same syllabi are still taught at the universities,” he says.
The next stop was the Times Group. “I was the head of training, development and quality assurance,” he says. Later, he became the general manager of the Delhi (Sahibabad) plant. Then he moved to Bengaluru for a project, which included the installation of India’s first Manroland Regioman web offset press and Krause Violet CTP.
When the group purchased the Vijaya Karnataka newspaper, he was part of a five-member team to make the paper successful. During his first stint, Roy spent 13 years with Times Group. Then he moved to Dainik Bhaskar Group in 2007 as group head-technical.
Later, he joined ABP and installed the first Wifag web offset press in India. Roy considers it as one of his most successful projects. He spent eight years at ABP from 2008 to 2016. In 2016, he returned to Times Group as technical director.
“It has always been a demanding and challenging journey for me. I never had a tomorrow in my life. From the days of Queen Elizabeth II, I was hooked up in the environment of high-pressure delivery and loved it all my life,” he says.