Seven magnificent women and how they run their factories - The Noel DCunha Sunday Column

The educationist and reformer Savitribai Phule said. "If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate an entire family and, eventually, a nation." Today, there are many Savitribai Phules in the industry. The Sunday Column looks at seven women who look at the future, and not a straight road to success. We salute these women. Read more

11 Feb 2024 | By PrintWeek Team

A Nalani Wickramarathna
Veepee Graphic Solutions

Nalani Wickramarathna is the Ambassador to India for the Sri Lankan Printing Association. She is a believer in women's empowerment, advocating the same at Veepee in Bengaluru. Since her taking over the reign at Veepee, there has been an increase in women workforce by 25% .

During the pandemic months, she spearheaded the installation and commissioning of production machines from Dupont. Please note, that this was the time, the restrictions during the pandemic had hindered engineer travels.

In addition to her professional achievements, Mrs A Nalani Wickramarathna is also actively involved in her community. She has overseen the CSR activities at Veepee, supporting and feeding needy families during the Covid months.

Janvi Satija  
Devi Graphics

Chandigarh-based Janvi Satija's journey in print started while she was mid-way through graduation in 2015-16, where she took up stock maintenance as a way of chipping into the family business while spending more time at the unit to understand how the business functions. In 2017, at the age of 20 and a gold medalist in her stream, she completed graduation and took on a larger role at Devi Graphics with the then unit at Panchkula with two imaging devices that powered our plate bureau.

Janvi Satija says, "Listening to our customers and market trends, it became clear that a move to Chandigarh was critical to our growth. And that’s what we did, with the addition of two new imaging devices to bolster production levels. The shifting to a larger unit at the press site meant we were closer to customers in a hyper-competitive market, allowing us to achieve quicker service to our customers."

Today, with four machines and 35 team members, she is responsible for the well-being of every team member; immaculate production on the shop floor; top-notch service levels that the customers have come to expect; and every plate that Devi Graphics produces ensures stress-free production on press.

KS Rajalakshmi
ITC Limited – PSPD Unit Kovai

At ITC, KS Rajalakshmi looks at the advance monthly production planning ITC's Kovai factory. As she says, "It helps in upkeeping of assets, better equipment reliability to reduce losses." Planning, especially advance planning helps in asset maintenance. Also, it helps in on-time raw material sourcing by the materials department.

She adds, "We focus on better customer service by ensuring the production of orders within the schedules, through optimisation of assets such as in-house and satellite heaters, reel packing machine and reduction of losses in outbound and inbound logistics, plus packing cost reduction by increasing the pallet heights.

Through these FIP and innovative Kaizens, ITC has saved close to one crore without any additional investments.

Shrishti Kaushik
Nutech Print Services

At Nutech, Shrishti Kaushik is known for her planning and coordination skills. They are so strong that whatever delivery and dispatch dates have been given by her, she sticks to it, and this endears her to the publishers (in India and globally). She ensures that she is available around the clock to handle the queries of clients.

The production head at a senior MNC publisher said, "Shrishti Kaushik's all-around competency and over two decades of invaluable experience in print planning has been instrumental in executing our jobs. Her eye for detail and dedication is the key factor, as to why we continue to have confidence in Nutech."

Her knowledge of printing, especially in books, as well as her ability to plan, ensures the books that Nutech produces if top-notch.

Silpa Lingareddy
Encase Packaging

Encase Packaging was known as LuxPacking and its USP was to cater to the growing need for better and luxury packaging. Today, the packaging specialist serves the market with rigid boxes. And Silpa Lingareddy who founded Encase along with her colleague and friend Pavan Kumar is targeting Rs 100-cr revenue by 2025.

But the journey has not been an easy one.

As Silpa Lingareddy says, "We were in a very tough situation when Covid hit as the luxury packaging took a step back. The need was more towards the FMCG, pharmaceutical folding cartons. However, we bounced back as soon as the markets opened up and it opened more international channels for us as well. We are currently working on 10% of local and 90 % of exports."

Silpa Lingareddy's brief is sustainable packaging. Her focus is "To minimise the unsustainable material wheresoever possible to leave less carbon footprint."

She says, "We are a growing organisation creating employment for more than 100 women and this number will only grow further."

Smita Patel
Nand Printers

As CEO of Nand Printers, Smita Patel has been instrumental in driving the company’s success. She aims to be a role model for other companies in the industry, demonstrating that empowering women is not just the right thing to do, but is also good for business. As she says, "All women cannot go to work or some of them are not permitted to work outside so we can provide them work from home. And we doing this from a long time ago even before the Covid-19 situation."

As a company, Nand started 23 years ago with three employees in Ahmedabad. Today, they have 35 employees at the factory as well as work from home. Patel says, "Our vision is to add 100 women employees in our team."

Nand specialises in envelope manufacturing. Under Smita Patel’s leadership, Nand deployed self-adhesive tape for the proper packing of the envelope. Also, Nand has developed new materials and techniques to reduce waste like the use of self-seal packets (25 pieces per pack) as well as reusable packets and recycled packaging to improve sustainability.

Smita Patel handles the material suppliers, stock maintenance, and production process with effective time and manpower management. As well as timely deliveries.

Usha Garg
Thomson Press

Usha Garg had a solid foundation and built a camaraderie with employees on the Thomson press shop floor, Garg moved to other departments and settled down in the quality assurance department.  She took charge as the head of quality within the Thomson Press.

In her capacity as head, she inspects the incoming quality of raw material and consumables as well as a final pre-delivery inspection; ensures in-process adherence to SOPs with regular audits; updates of SOP, checklists, and guidelines across the supply chain;  and implements the 5-S system to improve workplace hygiene and efficiency by providing a systematic framework to eliminate waste.

Usha Garg is responsible for compliance with quality-related certifications like ISO-9001, ISO-14001, and ISO-45001 standards. She has created quality manuals based on international standards handles internal audits and assists in audits with external auditors. Also, she is responsible for compliance with FSC and PEFC requirements.   

For more queries, you can get in touch with Kalpak Shah, at +91 81699 71401; 022 6904 7546;