Miraj finds its mojo in packaging

Rahul Kumar travels to Udaipur and looks at the inauguration of Miraj group’s packaging plant in the city of lakes. He sees the installations to date, and provides an analysis of the applications

15 Apr 2014 | By Rahul Kumar

"Aapka vishwas hi hamari pehchan (Your belief is our identity) is the tagline of our group and we try our best to adhere to it”, says Krishan Gopal Sharma, director, Miraj Multicolour. He was speaking to PrintWeek India during the inauguration ceremony of Miraj’s new packaging plant in Udaipur in October 2013.

Miraj Multicolour was established under the aegis of the Miraj Group in 2001. The group, which boasts of a strong presence in manufacturing, export and supply of quality school, office and other paperbound stationery products, increased its periphery by entering the packaging printing business in 2010.

In the last three years, the packaging printing and stationery manufacturing company has expanded its frontiers with heavy investment in equipment, greenfield expansion, adding new clients, and converting more paper and paperboard. These, along with the advantage of a well-connected road network with major industrial and urban centres, are fuelling it aspirations to be a “spade of ace in the commercial and packaging print business”.

Udaipur lies on the Golden Quadrilateral National Highway (NH) 8, midway between Delhi and Mumbai, located around 700 kilometres from both the cities. The East West Corridor which starts from Porbandar and ends at Silchar passes and intersects the Golden Quadrilateral; sharing the common space from Udaipur to Chittor.

Sharma says, “We are in a city which is well connected with big cities in the state as well as other industrial cities in the country.” He added, “Since our plant is well equipped with new and technologically advanced equipment and with little competition in the region we can deliver within time to our customers. Our proximity to the neighbouring cities is an advantage.”

Creating a web of opportunities
The group has created its presence in various sectors and owns more than 20 companies in multiple sectors. Miraj operate in seven business segments such as tobacco, FMCG, stationery and printing, real estate, PVC pipes and fittings, hospitality, engineering, and entertainment and cinemas.
Madan Paliwal, chairman, Miraj Group, feels that the newly established packaging printing plant will help Miraj capture growing opportunities in the market. It has been registering a healthy growth rate in recent years. “Being a first-of-its-kind plant in Rajasthan, we are envisioning huge opportunities,” he says.

Sharma adds, “Miraj has always believed in having a robust presence in multiple segments. Our whole energy is concerted towards shaping the company to become a complete solution provider for our customers as well as meet our in-house needs.”

The plant is divided in two parts — stationery printing and manufacturing and packaging printing. The shopfloor too is dissected according to segments. The packaging division is equipped with three presses including a five-colour Heidelberg CD102, Bobst Novacut 106 and Visionfold 110A2, Perfecta paper cutting machine, and other equipment in the finishing division. Pre-press jobs are outsourced but Sharma shares that Miraj is considering an investment in a CTP device in the foreseeable future. On the other hand the stationery division is equipped with an ECH WILL notebook making machine, which converts more than 12 tonnes of paper a day. The stationery manufacturing unit is spread over the area of one-lakh sq/ft with the production capacity of 500 MT every month.

Focusing on customers
The entire work process is supported by a team of well-trained and technically-sound employees having prior experience in the printing and packaging field. The Rs 22-crore company operates from a five-lakh sq/ft manufacturing site, which is manned by a team of over 150 employees.
Sharma says, “Being a customer-centric organisation, we give immense importance to quality and customer satisfaction. We never compromise on quality to increasing quantity as we believe in maintaining long-term relations with our clients. This can also be seen in the quality of inputs we use.

We use optimum quality ‘A’ grade mill paper at our manufacturing unit for fabricating top quality stationery. Our company follows the American style hardbound and stitchbound process for binding purposes, which ensures strengthened binding. Customers can avail these stationery products in spiral-binding as well as stitch- binding at most reasonable price.”

Sharma adds that in the current competitive circumstances, losing focus from customers mean risking long-term gains. “Our core competence lies in implementing minute value-additions to our products that can help our customers increase their productivity. For instance, the entire range of products manufactured and supplied by us come with various features that distinguish them from other similar products available in the market. Some of the office and school stationery include weekly scheduler on inner cover page, column for writing date and page number on every page, inspirational quotes of famous personalities, index page with label name, etc.

“Small measures, such as these, help adding to our brand-worth. We continue to receive bulk orders from various offices and schools on regular basis. Our company has emerged as one of the reliable office and school stationery products manufacturers in Udaipur. And this is exactly what we want to be known for,” he says.

Picking the right tools
Sharma insists that picking the right tools is as necessary as finding the right people for the job. In line with this philosophy, each investment in equipment has been a result of Sharma’s research over the subject.

“We shape our tools and then our tools shape us. Before I embark on any investment, I acquire information, collate, research and then compare the machines. The definition of the best machine is not the one with latest features; but the one that has all the features that fit into our production needs,” Sharma says. As a result, the shopfloor is equipped with machine from several leading manufacturers.

Sharma is enthusiastic and optimistic about the growth for Miraj. Sharing about the future plans of the company he says, “Firstly we would like to utilise the entire plant to its optimum, and once we attain that, we would like to diversify into segments like corrugation and label printing.”