Kumar Labels: a tight grip on the future

When it comes to business and investment, Kumar Labels saw virtue in taking one step at a time and opting for the best of technologies required for the market, says Rahul Kumar

27 Nov 2012 | By Rahul Kumar

Anuj Bhargava of Kumar Labels always had a penchant for printing; perhaps, because of his educational background. An engineer by education, Bhargava stepped into the industry in 2007 after wearing down the soles of his shoes visiting financial institutions and banks for the capital to start the venture. 

Five years since, Kumar Labels stepped into the shoes of a manufacturer. At Label Expo India, the Noida-based company launched rotary die-cutting machine under its brand ‘HassleFree Technologies’.
“We started from scratch. Being an engineer, it was not difficult for me to choose the right technology for our market. And I went with my own studies, statistics and selected technology,” he says. Bhargava started the operations with intermittent letterpress for short- and medium-runs, taking one step at a time. “I never wanted to be a blind-follower. I followed my way and often people called that ‘stupid’. Before we bought the press, I ran the same job on all the letterpresses available in the market including Iwasaki, Mida, Smooth, Bang Sung, Dolphin, Link Label, Orthotec, Hikari, and only after scrutinising the results did we opt for the Korean machine.”
Bhargava placed a repeat order for the same press in 2009 along with some die-cutting machines. “We chose to begin with letterpress because there was more competition in the high-volume flexo market during those days which was difficult to crack by start-ups. We could deliver very fast because everything was available nearby. We got orders in the morning and delivered them by evening or maximum the next morning.”
In 2011, Kumar Labels shifted its base from Okhla to Noida and commissioned one more letter press. In the same year, the company invested in a silk screen machine for high end labels along with an auto camera inspection system for catering to pharmaceutical industry. In early 2012, Kumar commissioned an Ecoflex flexo printing press from Multitec and added another press of the same make within six months of its installation.
His engineering background has not only helped in setting up the company but also helps in innovating through the use of combined technologies. “Now is the time for combination of technologies. The first and last units of my letter press involve flexo technology, while the other six units of the machine are letterpress. We customise every machine. In addition to this, we have a lot of offline capacity using eight flat-bed converting machine,” he explains.
Although FDI has being a hot topic of debate, Bhargava feels that the international companies may also find difficult to easily settle and grow in India owing to complex work culture and available work force. “Just as Indian companies would have to gear up to compete with MNCs, they would also have to gear up to compete in Indian environment. It’s just like Dominos launching paneer pizza for Indian market,” he says.
“The major setback will be for the medium level printers. Sooner or later, there will be consolidations, mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, because survival will be difficult. That is why, we have always been open towards both organic and inorganic growth approach,” he adds. 
With a staff of around 100 employees and 22,000 sq/ft printing unit, Bhargava claims that the company has been witnessing a growth rate of 40% per annum.He also doesn’t hide his expansion plans and shares and talks openly about his partnerships with Dubai and Indore-based companies.

“In the coming three years, we will commission more machines, focus on innovation, and will go for partnerships for our organic and inorganic growth plans. We can’t do everything on our own. Indian label printers must get together and understand that our competition is with the rest of the world and fight it out together,” he concludes. 
Kumar Labels factfile
Established 2007
Speciality Labels
Equipment multiple flat-bed letterpresses along with Indian made narrow web flexo printing presses, multiple off-line die-cutting machines
Staff 100


Kumar Label's plant in Okhla