Q: How did you stay in touch with your staff during the lockdown?
We have 35 employees. After the March lockdown, I met them in the first week of April 2020 to disburse the salaries. Also, we have distributed rice, sugar, oil and pulses for a month. As our employees reside in five-km radius, 6 am to 9 am time is sufficient to reach them. Supervisors came to office for collection and for others, we have done the door-to-door delivery.
We have done weekly maintenance by taking proper precautions by maintaining social distancing. Only machine operator and two helpers were allowed in the factory premises after thermal screening and using proper masks. Factory sanitisation is done before the maintenance.
From third week of April onwards, the managing partner individually called all the staff and assured them of bright future. They were asked not to worry about Covid-19 and were advised to do regular exercises to boost their immunity. All our staff are in good health and their morale is high.
Q: Describe the work your firm does?
Express Printers does commercial printing jobs along with digital printing. Besides, we also undertake packaging jobs of pharma cartons, food cartons, saree boxes, and shrimp boxes for the companies established in around Vijayawada. Sticker labels, hospital files, Trump visiting cards are our speciality. We also produce custom made cartons for gifting purposes.
Q: One top job that built your reputation...
We undertake jobs of Vijayawada Electrical Dealers’ Association meet, where a custommade invitation-cum-gift-box is made with special colour and special effects. The unique product got attention from the electrical companies and printing personalities.
Q: One compliment from a customer...
One of our customers prints 15 printing jobs daily on Trump paper consisting of 60 visiting cards on each sheet. A time slot is given for these jobs on all 365 days.
Our print jobs consist gold medal and GM electrical products. We made a 2020 diary and rigid box for Vijayawada Electrical Dealers’ Association for Veda Tirumala Triple Event on their 60-year celebrations. We got special appreciation from the association and their sponsors.
Q: Which territories do you serve?
Five districts in Telangana and 13 in Andhra Pradesh.
Q: Which type of markets do you serve?
Q: What equipment do you run?
RMGT four-colour, Mistubushi four-colour and Xerox 1000 i.
Q: The first thing you will invest in 2020/2021...
A classroom for skill development in printing. It is badly needed in Vijayawada and post Covid- 19, lot of workforce may migrate. This will help not only to us but also the industry colleagues. In Andhra Pradesh, neither diploma nor BTech printing is available.
Q: What’s the USP of your factory operations?
At Express Printers, our slogan is “You think it, we print it”. Being a commercial printer, it is our duty to satisfy the customers on a daily basis. We have visionary designers in our pre-press, who understand the customer’s requirements and with utmost quality we satisfy them.
Q: Something out-of-the box that print can do, which could benefit the planet...
Aiming for zero wastage in paper and board. No paper waste means no tree cutting. Instead of knife die-cutting, laser die-cutting will give free hand for setting various jobs in single sheet. More R&D needed in this segment.
Q: Your proudest achievement...
Buying a brand new RMGT four-colour printing machine with UV ready in 2019 and Xerox 1000 in 2018. Buying new machines in Vijayawada is a milestone for us.
Q: Where do you see print in your city in five years’ time?
Most of the companies are still dependent on Mumbai and Hyderabad for quality printing. In five years, no job will move out of Vijayawada because of quality issues.
One trivia about Vijayawada’s history...
Pandava, Arjun got Pasupatastra by praying to Lord Shiva on Indra Keeladri mountain situated in the middle of our town. Lord Kanaka Durgadevi temple is famous on the hill. Also, Shiva Lingam erected by Arjun still exists. Idols of first century could be seen near the mountain. Vijaya Vatika, the sign of victory is the name of city.
Rao’s favourite song during the lockdown...
Butta Bomma song from the Telugu movie Ala Vaikuntapuram.