"We plan to increase our sales by 50% in 2014," Bal Krishan Khindria

Bal Krishan Khindria, managing director, Memory Repro Systems, in conversation with PrintWeek India

13 Mar 2014 | By PrintWeek India

How good or bad was 2013?
The year 2013 kept us on our toes. The business was slow but picked up in the middle of the year. So it was at par with the previous year. However, we have no regrets.

Why do you say so?
There are many reasons why we are not disappointed or do not have any regrets. We introduced few new products and it took us little time to catch-up in the market. With the economic slowdown, the money flow in the market faced a decline. The buyers postponed their buying decision and invested in assets only when there was a critical need for sustenance in the market. Adding fuel to the fire was the uncertainty in the policies of the government. Several companies which had announced expansion plans, froze it.

Can you suggest ways to stimulate manufacturing in India?
Collaboration is the need of the hour. We need to collaborate for products which can be bought back by the collaborators. Another important stimulus to the current slag in the economy is automation. Automation is no more a luxury, it’s a necessity. It will help the industry in the long run. And finally, adopt the practice of outsourcing jobs to maintain quality and supply.

Should India be benchmarked against global standards?
The time is ripe for building up the foundation of a globally accepted manufacturing quality. We need to benchmark our products against global standards so that we are geared up to compete with technologies of other countries. We are not inferior to them in anyways. Exporting the products will always fetch more dividends and value addition will help us gain more out of it.

What are the challenges faced by the Indian print industry to actualise this?
Those who are exporting are not facing any hurdles. Nor are those who value customers and work on adding value to their services. The problem lies with small printers. Most of the small printers are currently facing a tough battle from newer technologies; especially, digital printing. They cannot expand as earnings are limited, and earnings are limited because they have not created a product or service which is  different from their competitors using value addition.

How has your group, Memory Repro, improved manufacturing efficiencies in the past three years?
In last three years, we have installed a CNC press brake, four VMCs, one turret punch and a turning centre. All these investment have helped us improve production, finishing and quality of our machines.  We have also bought high-end software for electrical wiring and introduced manuals for the machines we sell. This was in addition to the painstaking deliberation for eight years that we undertook during the designing and development phase of our machines.

Many international firms are moving some production from US or Europe to India. In what way can IPAMA aid this process?
IPAMA is also looking for collaboration for its members. IPAMA is not only assisting and encouraging discussions between companies but is also holding seminars on different fronts for the benefit of the manufacturers. It is just a beginning, there is a lot to be done. The industry needs to be more aggressive in holding meetings with the manufacturers and associations abroad and find out the possibilities of such collaborations.

Any important project you are embarking on?
Yes, we are working on automation projects for different industries. As far as printing industry is concerned, we are going to introduce auto feeders to reduce the labour intervention on the production floor.

What are the plans for 2014? What have you learnt from the issues faced by the industry in 2013, which you will correct in 2014?
We plan to increase our sales by 50%. We have recently launched new products and are trying to catch up with the changing dynamics of the market. We realise the importance of aggressive marketing and, thus, would invest our time and energy in marketing our new products.