Print in Bengaluru: RK Ranga Reddy, LV Graphic and V Kraft

Saurav Shetty, (third year, Media Technology) and Srishti Agarwal (second year, Media Technology) from MIT, Manipal have a conversation with RK Ranga Reddy, proprietor LV Graphic and V Kraft, managing partner in Bengaluru

24 Dec 2019 | By PrintWeek Team

RK Ranga Reddy, proprietor LV Graphic and V Kraft in Bengaluru

Please begin at the beginning. How did you start?

After completing my diploma in printing, I studied at the School of Printing Technology Bangalore in 1989. I started my printing press in 1996. Initially, we had letterpress machines. Later in 2000, we moved towards offset printing. Last year, that is, in 2018, we introduced packaging.

What made you start a printing press?

I do not have any printing background. My father was working at HMT. Since I learned printing technology, I felt this is my trade and that's how I took a plunge. During the journey, I understood that it’s a profitable business. Now it is 20 years and everything is going rather well.

Looking back, do you feel any change in the nature of the print business?

I am very happy to have started this press. Gradually I developed the press as per the technological changes.

Your view on upgrading?

Upgrading is very important. A good press should upgrade at least once in four years.

How do you understand that it’s time for an upgradation?

We have an association called Bangalore Printers Association (BPA). Once in six months, we meet. In fact, I was the founder director of BPA. And so, there are lots of business discussions. Also, I am a member of Karnataka Offset Printers Association. They support us with lots of information.

What about knowledge from other sources?

I visit shows like Drupa, China Print, PrintPack and Pamex. We also exhibited in Invest Karnataka 2018. We are planning to exhibit in Invest Karnataka 2020. Through our association, I have visited a number of printing presses in India like Manipal Technologies, Deccan Herald plant in Bengaluru, Thomson Press. Plus we visited mills like ITC Ltd, West Coast paper mills and Autoprint in Coimbatore. All this broadens your horizon. There is a lot to see, and a lot to learn, and above all, a lot to gain.

Are you a commercial printer or a packaging converter?

I have two factories. V Kraft is for packaging and LV Graphic is for commercial print.

I see. How does it work?

I have partnered with my diploma classmate and friend Raghuram for V Kraft. He takes care of marketing and I take care of the production. At LV Graphic, I'm on my own. I take care of the operations, independently.

Your outlook?

We are concentrating on packaging. We have introduced food-grade paper bags. Since the state government and other south Indian states have banned plastics, this is a good opportunity. Paper bags are more eco-friendly and pollution free.

Who are your customers?

We have a good line of customers. Some of the retail brands and some MNCs. Almost all the jobs I do is deadline oriented because the order is placed at the proverbial 11th hour. Since we have high-tech and highly productive machines, it does not affect our business.

How so?

My machine produces two lakh covers per day with a V bottom. Hence, the jobs which need five days on the traditional equipment, we are able to produce in two days.

What are the prospects of the paper bag business?

It’s going well. But as usual, competition is high. Availability of good quality paper is another issue. So we are importing our paper.

Had you not been a printer, what would have been you?

From my childhood, I loved printing. In the 10th standard, I decided to opt for a printing technology diploma and took a brave decision to start a printing press of my own. There was no other thought in my mind.

Any regrets?

I have no regrets. I think I have chosen the best trade in the world. Plus it gives me lots of satisfaction and happiness.

How is the Bengaluru print market?

Competition is stiff. But it does not affect us, due to our superior quality and on time supply. When there is a deviation on these two main factors there will be a problem. As long as you maintain your business standards and business ethics, life is smooth.

Your wife has been a great support in your journey?

Oh yes. My wife  Nithya Lakshmi R is a homemaker. She supports me in the business in her free time. Our twins, Nithin Kumar and Nikeel Kumar have chosen Media Technology at Manipal. Both of them are studying in the first year BTech. They are doing well and they have taken up this trade by their choice.

What are your plans for the twins?

No plans. But I wish they do their higher studies in Germany before venturing into the business.