Madhusoodanan K: Success in print is nothing but improvisation and innovation

Thiruvananthapuram-based Akshara Offset is a women-owned print firm, which has won several awards at the state and national level.

Madhusoodanan K of Akshara Offset in conversation with PrintWeek

05 Feb 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

(L-r) Chief Executive and proprietress

First-time jitters   
As a first timer, it’s indeed a great feeling to be included among the best of the industry. PrintWeek Awards are a class apart and this is the reason why we feel elated and overwhelmed. Being a women-owned print firm, it adds to the joy. Though we have won several awards at the state and national level, this one is the award to watch out for.

Hidden talent 
We go into minute details of not just the job, but also customer expectations. This makes a lot of difference to the end product. The pain and the hard work we had put in for certain jobs, we limit it to ourselves so as not to make customers sit on a razor’s edge.

Scale of innovation
Success in print is nothing but improvisation and innovation, without which printing is a run-of-the-mill job. Improvisation and innovation help us to stand apart. Innovation is a continuous process which we gain from all the things around us, say customer needs and expectations, new products and practices.

Innovations by our contemporaries also motivate us to think out-of-the-box. But in the end, it all emanates from within as we motivate our staff and give a free hand for product development.  

Best compliment from customer 
Thanks for the wonderful production. Only Akshara could do it.

Industry vs customer
Printing is not just applying ink on paper. A customer expectations are much more than that. Sometimes, we may have to educate the customer. At other times, we stand to gain from their requirements. If we look at successful print firms, only customer-centric companies have been successful. Many presses tend to forget this.

We are about to start ISO 12647-2 certification process. Our consultants want to expedite the process but we are taking our own time. For us, getting ISO certification is not the only goal; we want to make our systems ready to ensure that it is a continuous process.

We are implementing CIP4 connectivity to our workhorse machines for sustainable waste reduction for makeready as well as production stages. Also, in post-press operations such as lamination, and UV applications, we have taken efforts to reduce waste. We have open wells at two of our units. At one of them, we have laid interlock tiles in the front and have kept the ground open on other three sides so that water is percolated back to the ground. For our packaging jobs, we use reels to ensure minimum wastage.

Advice to printers 
Have a passion for printing and enjoy the challenges it throws up. Compete on quality. You will find a natural way out to beat the competition and will be rewarded in the end.

Define a modern press 
A modern press should have the ambience of a coffee shop. We have an open office with direct access to the pre-press department. The customer can have direct contact with the bottom line as well as the top line until final makeready, after which every process is purely an internal affair.

Industry innovations in 2030 
Smart and innovative printers will set up 3D printing plants in specialised focus areas. Multinational giants may resort to these units for catering to local areas for on-demand distribution to reduce costs.

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