Investment in training should be the top priority

Focus should be on not deviating from the laid-out system at any cost. This will avoid unnecessary wastages and cost. Waste reduction is of utmost important as it directly impacts revenue, Vinay Kaushal, director of Provin Technos tells Rahul Kumar

09 May 2023 | By PrintWeek Team

Vinay Kaushal, director of Provin Technos

PrintWeek (PW): What are your sales numbers in the last 12 months?
Vinay Kaushal (VK):
Our sales for the last 12 months were way better than expected. We are ending the years with seven machines plus two UV systems valuing around Rs 33-crore. Considering all the hiccups and obstacles, the number is very good. We have had challenges in the form of logistics issues resulting in longer shipments, and price increase due to abnormal raw material price increase. With these challenges still continuing, it is heartening to watch the market bounce back strongly. We are ending the year with the number of carry forward orders in hand, which is much more than what we did in March 2022.

PW: A little ahead, we have the big shows — Interpack, Labelexpo Europe 2023, Drupa 2024. Would your company be part of these shows?
Our principals will be present in these events. Considering the changes happening in the market, what is being shown is not public at this moment.

PW: Do we have the data and trends that can prove packaging business is an industry well worth exploring?
Why only packaging? Every sector is worth investing if done with due diligence. Surely data and trends show the packaging segment is worth exploring subject to serious market analysis and SWOT analysis.

PW: Can you share an example of a customer of yours diversifying packaging after seeing your kit in action?
Almost every customer takes buying decision after carefully evaluating the options. So, I can safely say that 90 plus installations are examples of this. You can call anyone at any time for confirmation.

PW: Producing good quality products is of the essence… could share some pointers for those looking to diversify?
Keep the operating system simple, crisp and clear. Focus should be on not deviating from the laid-out system at any cost. This will avoid unnecessary wastages and cost. Waste reduction is of utmost importance as it directly impacts revenue. Focus on maintaining your equipment’s to give optimum output. Focus on leakages and avoid wastages. Optimise the process. This will directly impact the bottom line. In the medium and long term, look for the addition of efficient and effective technologies. Investment in training should be the top priority. It makes a big impact. There are few efforts being made by some of the customers. We are part of this in one of the projects and seeing a big change in operations coming in. Today, education institutes are churning print technologists. But, they need to be trained practically.

PW: Is social media having an effect on the print industry?
Social media is impacting every aspect of our life. The print industry is no different. However, as is true for our life, we need to develop ourselves to make best synergic use of social media to our benefit.

PW: Most of the CEO’s energy is focused on taxes. How does one find the time to focus on business?
Everyone has 24 hours. Not a second more or less. Having seen the Japanese way of working closely, it’s the system which makes your life easier and allows you to focus more on operational aspects than taxes. Keeping a track on taxes is important but focus should be towards operational effectiveness for improving the bottom line.

PW: Most print-packaging companies PrintWeek/WhatPackaging? meet say that it’s essential to keep the machines running with wafer-thin or no-margin jobs. Isn’t it a risky strategy?
Absolutely no. A similar relevant example is the aviation industry. If you add up the fare being charged, you can never find the aviation business profitable. The existing companies are running, growing and many of the new entries are coming whereas many of the companies are exiting the business. Every business entity has very specific sets of unique requirements and if understood properly, judicious decisions on the so-called wafer-thin margin jobs can be successful.

PW: There’s a spike in the cost of spares. It has become a cause for concern. How would you explain these hikes?
Overall inflation causes an increase in cost price all-around. In addition, specific areas like semiconductor shortage, steel prices are the conditions that affect the cost of spares. As you have seen, the price of paper went up due to a shortage of pulp. In view of the global changes in logistic, raw materials, all the companies have been forced to increase the price. However, the effect of cost increase is only partially transferred to end users. Similarly, cost of operations changed completely after Covid, making the increase in service rates inevitable. You will be surprised that we and most other companies have not revised service rates for years together. In our case, our rates were constant for 10 years. Finally, in order to sustain and continue to provide service, we had to increase the service cost.

PW: And finally, the market is changing. Commercial print runs have declined, but it still offers better margins…
Packaging is the growth area for the India market as we are way behind when compared to global industry. However, as mentioned in the question, commercial print still offers better margins. Packaging needs a substantial amount of capex and opex investment which needs to be studied and prepared for.


Vijay Kaushal: At a glance

How do you prefer to start your day?
With a nice cup of tea.

How do you cope when things get hard?
Give the problem a cooling time. Meditate. listen to favourite music.

What’s the strangest thing in your refrigerator?
Nothing as such.

What is on your bucket list?
Visit Japan during cheery blossom season.

What is your favourite memory?
Time when my daughter was born.

Which is the book that you keep re-reading?
The Monk who Sold His Ferrari.

A movie or show do you keep rewatching?
Oh My God and Designated Survivor.

What really frustrates you?
Laidback attitude

What would you do if you had a whole day to do anything you wanted?
There is always a whole list of pending things at any given point of time. No specific activity but just relax listening to favourite music and some reading.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I am a foodie so it is difficult to do injustice to variety of food I love by identifying one of them.