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Reynders India: Print buyers ready to pay a price

20 April 2012

Rahul Kumar spends a day at Reynders and compares it’s Indian operations to its seven factories in Europe; and discovers the company is bullish about the future of pharma labels and specialised labels

factory Reynders plant in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan

Reynders India, a 100% subsidiary of Reynders,  a label-printing specialist has more than 125 customers at its facility in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan.

Karl Vandenbussche, a Belgian by birth, is the director for the Indian operations and heads a team of 26 people. Vandenbussche says, “We established our printing facility in India to tap
the increasing opportunities in all sectors, especially in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, FMCG, food and liquor. Our plant is entirely dedicated to India. The growth of the Indian industry
depends on domestic consumption not on exports.”

The company started to focus on pharma labels from 2009. Vandenbussche has a theory about this. He feels if you can print pharma labels then you can print any type of labels. Today, the firms has design, pre-press, flexo, digital and screen printing and finishing facilities under one roof.

Reynders operates in a 50,000 sq/ft area – and is dedicated for multiple labels, with super-specialisation in pharma labels. Vandenbussche shares that out of the total media consumption,
around 95% consists of films and the rest is on paper. Five years ago, 94% of the media consumption consisted of paper, and only 6% was film.

Digital is the new path
“Digital is made for high quality and low volumes. There are several companies which demand short or very short run labels. HP, EFI Vutek and Xeikon are there to support this demand, and they have their own target markets,” Vandenbussche adds. Reynders has the capacity to print through digital, screen and flexo.
 “Digital is growing up because of small volumes and the set-up cost is nothing; but the ink cost is expensive. On the other hand, in flexo the ink is cheaper but it warrants a one-time elaborate set-up process,” he adds.  “Direct to plate, HD plate, digital printing presses and different quality of inks will be tomorrow’s technology.  Offset has come to the end of the road and letterpress will be be eased out by the next ten years because of quality reasons. Therefore there are huge opportunities for flexo,” he opines.

Technologically advanced
Reynders India is the first label printer in Asia to install an offline Swedish Convertec digital Braille printing machine. On this machine, 12 international Braille languages can be printed with a specially formulated varnish, and to ensure accuracy, the machine can be linked to an internet based translation facility, which converts text to Braille within minutes. This absolves the operator of all responsibility for dot errors.
Ranesh Bajaj, director marketing, Creed Engineers says, “Reynders is a technologically advanced company. We supplied some finishing and Braille printing machine to them and trying to supply few other kit as well.” The company hates to miss even the smallest of opportunities hence, has an EFI Jetrion 4830 digital label printing press to meet the short run job demands.
The customised Gallus and other equipment at the print-floor is a sign of its technical advancement. “We customised and installed the first Gallus on our own. Our teams of experts can even rebuild the machine,” Vandenbussche says .

Focusing on pharma and cosmetics labels
Various industry surveys have indicated that the average time spent by a customer on a label is mere two seconds.

“Packaging is the first reason to buy, print buyers are ready to pay a premium. Because of curiosity, people would buy a bad product with a nice packaging. Therefore, many customers are willing to pay a premium price for products with quality packaging,” Vandenbussche says.
“It’s a challenge to attract the customers. Today, the label mantra is — more colour printed labels on different kind of media, with more finishing work. A reason why the demand for transparent and shrink sleeve labels has been gaining traction,” he adds.

Reynders foresees good growth of labels in pharma and cosmetics sector, as the average consumption in India is still one-fourth of that in several European nations. It also states that India is among top five pharma manufacturer countries around the world, and that the Indian label industry is currently growing at a rate of 20%.
Therefore, the prime focus of Reynders is on pharma and cosmetics labels, with more than 27% and 13% of the business coming from these sectors, respectively. This year, the company
plans to increase their turnover from the existing Rs 12 crore. The company has registered a growth of 27% in packaging material in the last year’s production and turnover-wise, it has
hovered in the range 25-30%.
“The Indian middle class is growing at a fair clip and a person who is earning Rs 30,000 to 40,000 per month has concerns about his or her looks. Therefore, they are ready to pay a price for top-end cosmetics. That’s why most of the cosmetics companies are avaliable in India whether they have high or low consumption,” he explains.

The Indian market: size and price matters
The company claims that it has 2% share in the Indian label market and is content with it. “In India, if you can reach 2-5%, it is big. If you print 20%, it is huge! We print around 90% of the speciality labels in India,” notes Vandenbussche.

“The Indian working style is different and you need several visits to finalise a deal. Indian start their business with a pre-owned machine and I believe, it is very good step. It provides you an opportunity to understand the technology, explore yourself but continuous working on pre-owned machine creates quality issue,”
He cautions, “Do not drop your prices; you are killing your industry yourself. Dropping price means compromise with quality.” Asked if he ever wishes to return back to homeland he says, “India is the best place to work because here there is no language barrier and growth is domestic. India is my home and I see no reasons to return to Belgium.”

FACTFILE

Prints 
All kind of labels for more than 125 customers in India and abroad.
Equipment  Esko Artwork CyrelFast Digital Imager with pre/post exposer and processor–CDI park 4835 for exposing, two Gallus EM280s (eight and ten colour kits), Omega Flytek 500 offline inspection system for reel-to-real error spotting and replacement and Cyrel Fast flexo plates are supplied by Dupont.
Media converted  150 tonnes of media (paper and flexo) per month.

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