Manish Sharma unveils Printo strategy in two new cities

08 August 2016

Printo has decided that its expansion should happen from internal capital through a 'hub-and-spoke model.' The retail chain expanded to Chennai and Pune only after it broke even in Hyderabad last year. Sriraam Selvam speaks to the Printo CEO, Manish Sharma on the cusp of the news about its spend of Rs 10 crore on new city expansions as well as launching a new app called printwithpi.com

dscf6089 The top management at Printo

Sriraam Selvam: What is the structure at Printo, now?
Manish Sharma: Our company leadership rests between myself and our president, Balu Iyer. We work on strategy together but he leads the implementation. All heads report into him, including accounts and finance. Balu Iyer is a UDCT / IIM-A graduate, who was with UniLever for 20 years. He joined a few years ago to help us scale Printo.

SS: With the addition of the two new cities have you ‘de-layered’ roles plus additional headcount?
Balu Iyer has created an organisational structure built from within as he had the foresight to invest in grooming talent. So, we have a senior manager for each city, overseen by a general manager who reports to the president. I look at new product lines and new geographies. We are keeping our new city teams extremely lean and giving time for the managers to grow into their roles.

SS: In what way will this impact overall profitability in Printo? You will continue on this path of organic growth?
Yes, growth does have an impact on immediate profitability so we have kept our growth steady to ensure that we do not outstrip the cash we generate, along with a conservative amount of debt.

SS: Will you be outsourcing some of the print functions?
We keep outsourcing any area where we find the market is better than us. This forces us to focus on quality of what we do in-house and adding value to customers by managing a more efficient supply chain. We measure this by our proprietary OTTS (On Time To Spec) metric.

SS: What new digital kit have you added?
We see ourselves adding kit on the digital side for increasing the long tail capability rather than volume in one vertical. Our latest purchase is the Epson DTG printer.

SS: What is the print collateral break-up?
70% of our sales is retail or small businesses.

SS: What type of retail mix in print do you have?
MS: Digital printing dominates (marketing collateral, business stationery, wide format) followed by a variety of offset. We also offer corporate merchandise and other value added services like print and ship with partners like Fedex.

SS: Many years ago, you mentioned shorter reporting lines between your manufacturing operations, and the shopfloor.
I believe the way this contributes by finally reducing the transmission losses between customer and shop floor.

SS: Is this the main reason you are a market leader?
This is a cultural issue but levered by technology (software).

Printo Pune
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