Pragati Graphics: Vaulting forward into the future

The board of directors have invested in a healthy mix of technology to keep up with the changing times - to keep this Indore-based packaging unit ahead of its competitors, says Sachin Shardul

16 Aug 2011 | By Sachin Shardul

Established in 1960, Pragati Graphics, earlier known as Indore Paper Box Factory was established by J P Nema. Later, he was joined by his three sons, Rohit, Rajesh and Umesh. Since then, it has remained in family hands for three generations. Gaurav, Siddharth and Nakul, being the third generation to join the business.

J P Nema, founder chairman at Pragati Graphics, says: "Pragati was built from scratch. We have experienced each stage of production, perfecting the techniques, improvising and finding ways to add more value to the customer."

He adds: "Although, we have come far from our humble beginning, the company retains the character of hands-on management and attention to detail that improves the product and delivers quality to the customer. We live by the values of producing exceedingly fine packaging by embracing the cutting edge of technology."

The packaging company is known for their investment in brand new machines which include sheetfed offsets and finishing machine in the post-press and have always been referred as ‘first to install’ in India. Machines like the Jagenber folder gluer in 1965, Polar EMC cutting machine with monitor, Aqua Flex flexo press from Canada, two Gidue flexo presses from Italy, Inrimik Vesta folder gluer from Spain and one IMG Brause automatic die-cutter (now taken over by Bobst) were the first to be installed in India.

Bigger means better
Pragati Graphics started as a small-scale industry with one hand-operated folding carton die-cutting machine. In 1960, the company established packaging printing operations in a 1,000 sq/ft plant to meet the growing demand of packaging in Indore city.

Recently Pragati Graphics shifted its printing operation in a sprawling area of 1,50,000 sq/ft in Rangwasa, an industrial area of Indore city. The plant, designed as a single-storey pillarless unit gives a total perspective of the production floor. The machines in the printing and finishing department are kept in a straight line of working to ensure easy movement of the material pre- and post-printing and reduce the human handling of the printed jobs.

The new plant also has a proposed residential quarters for staff and a canteen with a seating capacity of 70.

Rohit, director at Pragati Graphics and the eldest son of Nema, says: "Increase in printing operations led to the shortage of space in the city plant. Therefore, we decided to shift to a bigger space where we could carry out printing and finishing operations in a more systematic manner."

He added: "We have tried to incorporate environmental and health requirements into the design of the plant. The roofing is such that the production area is lit up with natural sunshine and the exhaust system is such that the air in the production area is always fresh. The plant is also insulated on the roof and walls to prevent the heat to enter in. Plus we did not want our staff to eat their food on the shopfloor and therefore, we have built a canteen with a capacity of 70 seats. This allows clean environment for the staff to relish their food."

Packaging solutions
Pragati Graphics, which has evolved as one of the leading packaging printing company in Central India, specialises in printing of mono cartons, mono line cartons, wet glue and self-adhesive labels, film labels, pouches, barrier coated pouches and pharmaceutical inserts.

Pragati’s printing facilities are designed as per US FDA approved guidelines. This helps Pragati Graphics to cater to export jobs for markets like North and South America, UK, Ireland, Europe, Middle East, China and Africa.

The company has invested in an eight-colour gravure printing machine which produces flexible packaging using film or foil and has a range of pre-formed formats: stand ups, pillow pouches and side gusset pouches with zip tops or spouts, if required.

Umesh, the youngest son of Nema, says: "Our packaging is safe and easy to use in both industrial and retail environments. They are tamper evident that prevents piracy and keeps consumers as well as the producers safe."

Pragati Graphics has also invested in flexo division which is looked after by Rajesh Nema. The flexo division has two narrow web flexo presses, Gidue Combat 370K seven-colour and Gidue Combat 370K six-colour full UV press with an additional screen unit to print high quality labels in roll and sheet form. The flexo presses are mainly used for printing of pharmaceutical labels and labels for FMCG industry. Again, most of the labels printed have tamper evident features.

Rajesh, the second son says: "Most of the jobs are for the pharmaceutical segment. The tamper evident features change as per the client’s requirement. The Gidue presses enable quick changeover and ensures quality printing, resulting in the increase in the demand."

Besides the two narrow web flexo presses, Pragati has also invested in a raft of sheetfed offset presses. This includes machines from KBA, Komori and Heidelberg. The machines print paper, boards for packaging cartons and boxes and small commercial jobs.

Gaurav, son of Rohit, says: "The fleet of machines gives us the advantage of competitive capacity and significant positive impact on production efficiency."

Pragati Graphics has driven change by investing a huge amount in the last couple of years, and according to the youngest members of the family, it’s now time for "the cheque book to be locked away."

Nakul, the son of Umesh Nema, says: "We have made big investment in the last two years; it’s time to settle down. We aren’t stupid; companies that grow too much and over–commit tend not to be around for further generations. One has to try and stay on top of developments."

Nakul concludes, "Nobody knows what the future holds for print. Making predictions even just a few months into the future is impossible. That said, we intend to further modernise the equipment, but over a period of time."

And so with a forward looking team guiding the way, it seems almost certain that there will be something exciting for the next generation of Nemas to expand whenever the time comes.

Founded in 1960
Location Indore
Specialty Packaging printing and label printing
Equipment KBA Rapida 104 five-colour and a KBA Rapida 72 five-colour with Colortronic 720 x 520 mm, one Komori Lithrone two-colour with IR dryer, one Heidelberg Printmaster 524 four-colour press, one Gidue Combat 370K seven-colour and one Combat 370K six-colour full UV press with an additional screen head to print high quality labels in roll and sheet form and one gravure eight-colour press, one line carton making machine, two Polar EMC 115 paper cutting machines, one GUK automatic pack inserts folding machine, one H & H automatic pack inserts folding machine, one Flytec 100 label inspection system, one Rotoflex VSI 330 fully automatic label inspection, slitting and rewinding machine, one Imaje S4 and one Imaje S8 inkjet printing machine, one Bobst punching machine, one X-Rite spectrophotometer and GSM tester
Staff 150

Pragati Graphics new 1,50,000 sq/ft plant in Rangwasa, an industrial area in Indore city. The plant houses offset, flexo, gravure and post-printing equipment.

Spectrum Scan is one of the top 500 print firms in India. This rating is from THE 500 list which is published by PrintWeek India and powered by Xerox India.