Eight Award winners at the PWI Awards

The season of print awards has culminated. The print industry has had many awards, beginning with - the National Awards for Excellence in Printing (NAEP), SGIA Awards, Labelexpo Awards, the HP Awards, the Technotrans Green Printer award and the PrintWeek India Awards.

12 Nov 2013 | By Tanvi Parekh

Among the award winners, some are regular title-holders, some bag the most number of awards, and a few make breakthroughs. PrintWeek India Awards night, celebrated on 2 October, saw eight categories throw up a new name. Tanvi Parekh interacts with the firms to understand their shopfloor philosophies, and what constitutes an award-winning job.

So, what makes up the first award? What does it take to participate for the first time? What is the ideal combination-permutation of resources, employees, equipment, expertise, client relationship, branding, and marketing that one adheres to, to produce that award-winning job?

Here is what they have to say.. 

Anandabazar Patrika (ABP), Kolkata - Newspaper Printer of the Year

Our shopfloor team was very delighted on receiving the award. We, at ABP, believe that planned print quality initiatives are almost always cost effective in the long run. Today, we operate at 20% less than the market cost because of the continual investment in technology, which requires regular technical meetings, conference calls, and occasional visits with our network of suppliers and vendors. Today, in a limited marketplace, collaboration may be one of the ways to raise and optimise resources. We operate by the mantra - do not compromise quality for a planned cost and have one of rarest rate of customer complaints. We have received the second world ranking by Wan-Ifra colour quality club.In the coming times, print is here to stay. It is environment friendly, user friendly, prestigious, and trustworthy, compared to alternative media.

Group FMG, Chennai - Creative Repro Company of the Year

The Group FMG Team in India, the UK and US, with all of our clients included were thoroughly thrilled about achieving the PWI award. We consider this award to be a pinnacle achievement in the field of reprography and print in India. There were email blasts that went across to our global teams and to clients alike, with celebrations in the shopfloor followed by commendations from the India group's MD to the contributors who strived to make this possible. For sending our entries, we set five main conditions as internal qualifiers to choosing our images for submission to the awards. We wanted to pick the work that our customers thought was; most demanding from a creative frame of reference,  work that delighted our customers, work that was of international standard, work that brought into play much of the advanced Photoshop tools and, work that conformed to the printers and specialised print profiles used by our customers.

From a business level, this award has furthered the confidence and commitment to the services we render to our clients , and the same was endorsed in writing by our clients. There has also been that stimulus created now which has got clients wanting to engage more with us to provide for them print and print-to-digital solutions. At a production level, clients have said they are reassured of our processes encircling quality and production management and that they are renewed in confidence about seeing the best-in-class pre-media work delivered to them continually. 

We are hoping that this award could open up opportunities for us to do pre media/print work in Asia. Our corporate philosophy is simple - whatever we do, do it in an excellent, award winning fashion. We as a company have won close to 30+ global awards and it re-iterates our commitment towards excellence. A lot of ingenuity goes into creating printer-specific profiles to bring out the best of colour with the most optimised usage of inks for each of the respective print works of our clients. The best advice we get is to take cognizance of the science that goes into preparing these profiles and to be able to produce work that would look great on print. Two decades ago, print was an important channel for all publishing, branding related activities.

Today print has become one of the channels owing to proliferation of other channels in the digital stream. We don't discount print and we believe that it will be an important channel for advertisers, brands and retailers. We believe that content and commerce will be the fundamental vehicle that will be splashed on multiple channels like print, digital, mobile, social etc. Print will continue to be an important channel and there will be continual efforts to create P2D (print-to-digital) solutions and Group FMG is pioneering some of those for our global clients.

Quenby Transfers, Bengaluru – Screen Printer of the Year

The award has made all very happy and it is a great motivation to all of them. Our management has dedicated the PrintWeek Award to our shopfloor and technical team. The entries are part of our regular designs and we showcase them in our library to our customers during their visit. For us, it is very important to maintain good connections with our suppliers and vendors while growing. Participating in events like Fespa, PrintWeek Awards and the like help us build our network even stronger. Our R&D team works on new cost efficient system for every product to keep our customer happy.

We started our business in India in 2006 with six UK customers. Now we have around 130 strong customers spread across Asia and Europe. Besides quality and service, the biggest compliment for us is when our customers refer Quenby to others.  Our corporate philosophy is simple  - TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More). We conduct quality awareness seminars for the shopfloor team. We strongly believe that today’s quality is tomorrow’s market. In India, I feel, we are still nascent about technology. The Government should help the printers with duty concession and other subsidies. Some Indian companies have started producing special machinery but we still lag behind. But we believe that if you are creative and competitive, your print will be bright.

Trigon Digital Solutions, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi - Pre-Press Company of the Year

We are proud to be the youngest company to get recognised with the PrintWeek India award. There was joy and excitement in all of our facilities (Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru). Understanding the customer’s requirement thoroughly is the key to produce a good job. Likewise, understanding the printing process and the substrates well before you start processing any job is important. A client comes with different requirements for printing. In instances where we are unable to cater to them, we connect them to our network of suppliers and vendors. Enhancing the creativity of the design are some of the value propositions we serve on the customers plate. 

At Trigon, we believe – ‘Your imagination is our limit. It is always the man behind the machine. Every technology /machine has its own benefits and disadvantages. Leverage the benefits and ignore the weaknesses.’ The industry, as a whole, should focus more on educating and training the employees in terms of quality deliverables, meeting timelines, and enforce on goals and vision of the company. Human resource management is equally important which is somehow ignored by our industry. Summing it all, print is never going to die globally as it is the strongest medium as compared to any other. Technology will play key role in the future. Those who upgrade with it will sustain and grow. 

Buzz IMC, Chandigarh - Personalisation, VDP and Transpromo Printer of the Year

Business today is not a one man show anymore. The team either makes or breaks a company. The entire tam at Buzz IMC is elated with the award and in all earnest it is their efforts that have earned us this laurel. Buzz IMC has made a niche with having everything in-house - offset, digital, large-format, plus the bonus of being an advertising agency. This unique mix allows us to experiment a lot and we are no longer substrate-dependent, like other printers. Our association with our network of suppliers and vendors is relationship driven and mainly one-to-one.

Producing a job, for us, starts with strategy. Our focus is to create buzz and build campaigns that have a long lasting impact and add to the brand value and we usually have access to client's budgets and plan accordingly. We never push a printed product if the brand does not need it. It is imperative to understand what is the objective of a communication, and accordingly suggest between a direct mailer, a brochure or a cross media campaign. Since we are not substrate-dependent it gives our design team the leeway to experiment regularly and with our digital capability we are in a position to create mock ups to share with clients and do a pilot test run to check the efficacy of the communication piece.  We consider compliments to be flattering, but also understand that in our service industry, we are as good as our last job or campaign.

One of the best compliment we have received is when Marshal, the only mustard oil in India won the brand of the year award and dedicated it to us. It was a very proud moment. But we need to move ahead and not rest on our laurels and raise the bar each time. We are driven by a simple philosophy - Ownership and solutions - if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. I remember receiving this advice, "always remember you have just scratched the surface, there's plenty more to learn". So keep your humility intact and be humble. Learn on! Our success lies in solutions and not mere prints, this is the biggest differentiator. In today’s time the only way ahead is to collaborate and excel. Learn and exchange. Mentor and be mentored.

The future can be termed as both, bright and challenging at the same time. The earlier we adopt and integrate internet and mobile technology with print, the more life we would add to our businesses.  

Prodon Enterprise, Mumbai – Book Printer of the Year (joint winner)

We have received a PWI Award after sending entries for the last five years. We have given the staff a small cash incentive for the same. I am personally very satisfied to bag such an award as the competition is very stiff and all the top presses in the country participate at these awards. But, to be frank, we are only as good as the work and the creatives we get. We are constantly working with our clients to offer better solutions. It is a constant evolution. Different clients and their different methods help us to get better moulded. We had produced only six quality book print jobs of which we sent four entries for the Awards. It is not to say that excellence and print awards depend on quantity but it does help.

While the team is a core part that drives these achievements and accolades, it is extremely important to treat our suppliers as they form an integral part of the final product. One has to plan taking into account their strengths and limitations pertaining to quality of production and timeliness. One has to pay suppliers promptly and make them feel they are part of the team. We strongly believe in using the best of inputs be it tangible or intangible to maximise results. I remember being told, keep things simple, do not over-promise. Explain all pitfalls that may exist before starting and always give proofs that the press can replicate. Our press is very well maintained and is capable of churning out the very best quality. Our press is on even keel with the very best the world over. It is a question of believing and striving to give one's best.

To raise one’s performance bar, by doing in a better manner what one is currently doing and by following ISO norms. The mind set to excel is the first and foremost quality that one must possess. Within the print industry, I feel that commercial print will have to evolve. The quantities have definitely decreased and with the passage of time it will only get lesser. Money will not be made by simply churning the machines but by adding value.

New Jack Printing Press, Mumbai – Social Stationery Printer of the Year

Team New Jack feels enthused, energized and are ecstatic about receiving the PWI Award. It will make us strive even harder to do exemplary work. Fusion of various print processes along with innovative use of materials and post-press techniques and subtle handling; to enhance the designs, helped us to create our award winning print-work. We consider that ethical and honest dealings help us to gain and sustain our connections the vendors, suppliers and customers.

Today, innovation is the word to go by and innovative use of print processes and materials helps us to strike a right balance. However at New Jack, ‘exceeding customer expectation’ is our mantra, which we do not compromise with in any circumstances. Our philosophy at New Jack is, "If you can visualise it, we can produce it; anything in print; we strive on challenges; boundaries are there in the mind; we assure a value proposition; from where others capabilities end; there we begin. As compared to the presses world over, we believe that we have the potentiality to be a world-class unit; are treading on the right path, but still have a fair distance which needs to be covered. We need to adapt to the technological innovations or find some niche, or develop some capabilities which give us an edge to compete effectively.

Though recent times have been tough, we are optimistic about the future. Print is not the same and we need to accept that change is inevitable. I feel there will be big opportunities coming our way if we survive the current situation and adapt to the changing environment. However one cannot compromise on quality because as I have been told, ‘Quality is when a lay man can perceive the difference.’

Perfect Print & Pack, Vasai - Small Printer of the Year

Our entire team is very glad to have received this recognition in the industry. It is an honour to be titled as the Small Printer of the Year. The credit of the award goes to all, our team and the suppliers and vendors. We have regular vendors and feel it the best to have been able to sustain the relationship till date. Today, however, what is essentially difficult is to convince a customer to pay the price for quality. But our principles are simple, timely delivery and quality output, will bring clients to you, irrespective of the price.  At Perfect, we tell the clients, ‘we print your imagination with quality‘. On our shopfloor, we constantly strive to get the employees believe in the mantra too. Because without discipline and quality, one cannot succeed. There is a lot more we have to achieve, this is just a small beginning.