Dev Nair: Customers know of the surge and squeeze, but pretend to be unaware

As per a representation by a printer body, there’s a 25% hike in the cost of input materials. Since January 2018, the cost of US dollar has risen to Rs 68.

In conversation with Dev Nair, director, Kohinoor Printers, we find out what print desires under the rising dollar

23 Jun 2018 | By Noel D'Cunha

70-80% of input material in the print process is produced using imported raw material. How will this affect your business, plus the pricing negotiations with your customers?
If only I could sell our services with a well meaning made -in-some-foreign-land tag then these frequent fluctuations would have been like mosquito bites on a pachyderm’s hide. However, on the positive side being a commercial printer, I can cost basis the fluctuations. It’s the value addition that we will find tough to sell.

How will your company absorb this price increase? What is your strategy?
As there is no free lunch ever; we must attempt to make an appealing offer on the breakfast and then hope to serve a meal. Customer devo bhava!

Will this raw material inflation temper your company’s outlook for the year? What is the percentage you are looking at?
Hard to say. I suppose even customers these days are aware of the surge and squeeze. It’s another thing that they would pretend to be unaware. If we cost right as a trade practice then all would know. And again if we walk away from reverse auctions it would help serve our bottom lines and keep us viable.

From an export point of view, a strong dollar will boost turnover. Your comments?
We are not into exports. We are purely and proudly domestic.

When the top-level delegation met the GoI representatives, they were asked what is the revenue the print and packaging industry contributes to the Exchequer? Can you hazard a guess?
I think under GSTIN regime a detailed code-based search would provide a resounding output and take away the shortcomings of hazardous guessing.

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