Singhania: Quite perfect in all its parts

The Hyderabad-based packaging firm, Singhania Offset Printers is in good shape to face cost hikes due to sustained long-term investments and strategies, find out Rushikesh Aravkar and Sachin Shardul.

17 Aug 2012 | By Rushikesh Aravkar & Sachin Shardul

In an increasingly competitive industry, one way to keep ahead of the game is to have a multi-product strategy. Hyderabad-based packaging printer Singhania Offset Printers is one firm with such experience. Its core business “cartons” cover a variety of markets, including health, fashion and food.

And its ambitions don’t stop there. In 2009, Singhania expanded its operations with a new plant spread across three acres. Now clocking up a 23% turnover increase year-on-year, one thing has remained firmly on its mind: investment.
Recently, the packaging firm has invested in a brand-new Mitsubishi six-colour with coater and a Bobst Ambition folder-gluer at the new plant, where Singhania Offset Printers directors Mukund Lal Singhania, Nitin Singhania and Rajan Singhania are based. With this new investment, the firm has completed the investment of Rs 60-crore for packaging printing.
The Singhania Offset Printers was established in 1983 by Mukund Lal Singhania with the help of treadle press in a 100 sq/ft unit. In 2002, the firm invested Rs eight-crore in bigger size printing press and post-printing equipment. 
Growth in business 
Since 2002, the packaging printing firm has been constantly investing in technology. The firm which is a Mitsubishi showroom purchased its first brand-new Mitsubishi press from Proteck Machinery and since then they have invested in four presses. 
Nitin Singhania, says, “Upto 2001, we concentrated only on pharmaceutical jobs and felt the need of a bigger size press. It was a Mitsubishi Diamond 3000 four-colour press supplied by Proteck Machinery. Since then over a period of time we have developed a trust for Mitsubishi presses and Proteck. We generally don’t change our suppliers it is they who help us grow.”
Nitin says, “The new press has surely added to the capacity. We are now able to deliver wider gamut of jobs, and also the bottleneck problems have reduced.”    
Apart from the latest pre-press which is powered by Esko and printing equipment from Mitsubishi, the packaging firm has also invested in post–press finishing equipment like die-cutters and folder-gluer from Bobst and Yoco.  
Rajan Singhania, director says, “It’s not only presses we have invested in, to provide complete solution we have also invested in Esko’s software and Kongsberg cutting table. The full suite of Esko helps us in designing and rendering the special effects for the packaging jobs.”  
New plant
Between 2007 and 2009, the packaging firm planned and shifted to a new printing plant spread over three acres with all the operations under one roof. The brand-new plant is an eye opener. All the divisions, pre-press, press and post-press are neatly designed and maintained.
Nitin says, “We have maintained the plant in such a way that the departments do not clash with each other while in operation. We have kept ample space for the garden area so that we could plant trees around the printing plant. We want our employees to work in an environment which will also benefit their health.”
Besides this the plant also has a quality control laboratory to carry out in-house testing of the raw material.
Singhania says, “We benchmark our raw materials so that we can offer value added features at no extra cost. We cater to pharmaceutical, tobacco, perfumery, cosmetics and confectionery jobs. The quality control enables us to produce jobs exactly as per client’s requirement.”
According to Singhania, diversification into the other industry was a step into a strong and growing market. We felt we could successfully expand into it. 
However, he adds that the selling processes of the food and pharmaceutical markets are still very different. For food cartons, it’s all about speed to market. It’s driven by-product  launches, seasonal brands and immediacy of the supplier. With pharmaceutical products, there is a long-term relationship,” he says.
Positive forecast
The key challenges for both markets are fairly similar. It’s about continual growth. The forecast is fairly positive, for example, in the pharmaceutical market there has been the emergence of lifestyle drugs. For the medium term, volumes will continue to drive forward despite the uncertain terms of the financial markets.
Over the past 28 years, the packaging market has experienced rapid consolidation. According to Singhania, the market conditions can also provide opportunities. He says the company will continue to drive forward by getting even shorter lead times, becoming faster and more efficient. 
There is no guarantee that it will come out on top, but there is no doubt the company is a winner.
Fact file
Established 1982
Speciality Packaging carton and commercial jobs
Equipment Esko software, Dainippon Screen CTP, Esko Kongsberg cutting table, Mitsubishi six-colour with coater UV press, five-colour with coater full UV press, two Bobst die-cutter, two Yoco die-cutter, Bobst folder-gluer, lamination machine, hot foil stamping machine.  
Staff 200