A day in the life of Vashikaran Rajendrasingh

By 08 Jun 2013

Priya Raju of PrintWeek India finds out what constitutes a typical day for Vashikaran Rajendrasingh, who is the managing director of Bell Printers in Sivakasi

When you read your early morning newspaper, besides half tones and colour reproduction you look for...
I look for new opportunities, emerging trends, and how our Indian society reacts to changes.

When and how do you begin your day?
I wake up at 4:30 every morning, meditate for 30 minutes, ponder over mistakes of the previous day and how I could have done things better... and then go for a 7 km jog everyday at 6 am.

Do you plan your day, meticulously? Or is it ad hoc? Or is there a blueprint for the day?
I usually take a few minutes in the morning to identify the top three priorities for the day and ensure I finish them before lunch. The rest of the day is usually geared towards at least a small progress towards my long term goals.

One person with whom you like to share your daily drive to office. Why?
My mentor, who is an orthopaedic surgeon. He helps me think about the deeper questions and values of life.

What’s the first thing you do on entering the office?
I go to attend our 12 minute daily Christian prayer open for all employees and staff.

How frequently do you interact with print production supervisors? What do you discuss, commonly?
I discuss with print supervisors at least once a day. We usually talk about quality concerns, progress of any outsourced processes and projects that could miss deadlines.

With the fierce competition, high cost of entry and above all, the increasing threat from other media, do you find that traditional ink-on-paper is facing a serious threat to its survival?
I constantly look towards innovation and game changing processes, so I am usually not concerned with how the industry perceives threats or goes with the crowd instinct.

Which press does the best printing in India? And why?
Pragati, for their commendable list of awards and impressive jobs.

How do you rate your press as compared to leading printers the world-over?
We have a long way to go to match our press to leading presses around the world, but we are working on it day in and day out, and we're getting nearer to our goal. Our mission statement includes being world class, so that’s definitely constantly on my mind.

If you won Rs 10 crore through PLAYWIN which printing equipment would you invest in? Why?
I would choose to buy an industrial-grade 3D printer for prototyping.

Today, we hear of innumerable printing presses closing down or being on the verge of closing down. Why is this happening? And, what does this portend for the future of the industry?
Our industry needs revolutionary thought processes to integrate into the next generation media of digital and online services. If presses cannot adapt to changing business models, they will sink.

The best breakthrough in print technology in the past hundred years?
The integration of high end digital electronics and computing into mechanical print processes- from CTP to CPC.

Most printers, repro houses and graphics art professionals complain about the manner in which profit margins are being squeezed. The reasons they cite for this are: unfair under-cutting; increasing presence of canvassers; etc. Are you encountering these problems? If yes, then why and how?
I am an unusually optimistic person, and I blame myself if my business does badly. I have found that blaming competitors, unfair practices and difficult economic times is counter-productive and is just a means of justification to hide the fact that we need to work harder.

Your favourite cell phone? Pen? Car? Wrist watch?
iPhone, Cross, Honda Civic, Seiko

For a working lunch if you met Johanes Gutenberg (the father of modern printing), what would you talk to him about?
 I would ask him if he ever knew in the beginning if his invention could make such a huge impact across human civilisation, transcending time and space. I would ask him if, knowing what we now know about the industry today, what he would have done different then.

How do you motivate your sales and marketing team? Any new promotion strategy?
I motivate the sales team telling them that they should be able to sell even ice to Eskimos!

The most frequently used mantra in your organization. Your corporate philosophy?
Our values are: We are Trustworthy. We consistently deliver. We constantly raise the bar. We succeed together. 'WE' is most important word keep stressing to my staff and employees.

The craziest deadline, you've come across?
Finishing a Hospital centenary issue book including designing in 5 days.

Your favourite excuse to your family when you’re late?
 I got engrossed in designing the new product.

Has the domination of the printing industry reached a plateau with the arrival of new competitors?
I think the peak of the industry is still much higher for Indian print companies, and while the plateau has been reached by many small time players, constantly raising the bar helps us look higher and further.

Please comment of the technology and machines (press / pre-press / post-press / others) that you have invested in, in the past few years?
German and Japanese technology we have invested in the recent years is decades ahead of Indian machine manufacturing. Reliability, precision and user-safety of these technologies is fascinating.

In India, the two most important barriers are technology and cost! What advice do you have for the printer?
 I believe in higher risks meaning higher rewards- provided the risks are calculated. I seek growth that is exponential rather than gradually incremental. We have one shot at life as a printer, we might as well risk everything for a great big reward.

How do you stay in touch with technological developments? In this sense – please comment on your official view on CTP technology and digital printing.
Magazines like PrintWeek India help me stay in touch with the technological trends in the industry. CTP is definitely inevitable, but digital printing still has time to establish itself as a fierce competitor to conventional printing.

One person with whom you would like to have a face to face.
Barrack Obama. I admire his leadership qualities and courage in leading millions of people in a world that's as diverse as it could be. 

This article was originally published on 7 June, 





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