Women in Print: Dr Shwetha Choudari

Dr Shwetha Choudari is the director for Gargi Advertising and is also a founder of a socio economic organisation for better India, Reva Samajik Vikas Sanstha.

22 Mar 2014 | By Anand Srinivasan

How did you enter the printing industry?
I have done PhD in advertising. While studying, I used to work with an advertising agency. That’s when this field attracted me and later when I started my own business, this job became a passion.

Did you have any mentors along the way?
Yes, the owner of the firm where I used to work. She is my mentor and my idol too.

What’s your forte?
Four-colour printing and designing.

How do you begin your day? What is your daily routine?
The first thing I do after reaching office is checking mails and then have discussions with my team about the schedule and updates.

Do you interact with print production supervisors? If yes, how frequently? What do you normally discuss?
Yes, regularly. About the job updates and issues related to workers if any.

Do you have any sales strategy? Anything in particular to motivate your sales and marketing team.
Meeting deadlines. We deliver jobs on short notice with quality intact.

Your corporate philosophy.
No compromise on quality.

Do you feel women shy away from taking lead in this kind of industry? If yes, your views.
Yes. I guess dependency on man power and timings of job makes it difficult for women to be in this field. I have also observed that most females who are in this field are because it’s their family business. It’s shocking, but its the truth. 

What are the main challenges for a printer in India?
Man power is the biggest concern. At the same time, rate competition also plays its part.

Are you involved with a trade printing association? Or have you set up your own peer group to meet periodically to talk about resources, challenges, etc., faced by our industry.
Yes, I’m associated with Poona Press Owners Association (PPOA).

What according to you is the future of the printing industry? And what are your aspirations for your press by 2020?
Looking at the current speed in which this industry is growing, complete digitalisation might be the future.

What do you like about this industry and about your profession?
Creativity is the key. It makes you stay updated.

Can you tell us some interesting memories with regard to some landmark projects you have handled in your career?
While working on a government project, things were finalised with the concerned officer at 11.00 pm and the expected delivery was at 6.00 am the very next morning as they had their inaugural function. It was nice to see the happy faces at the end of the function for the timely delivery with appreciation of the quality of the job done.

People simply don’t understand. It’s just not about printing on paper but there are plenty of other processes that take place.

(This Feature first appeared in the February issue of Print Bulletin)