​​​Award Offset: The future lies in upgrading

Nitin Shah, director of Mumbai-based Award Offset Printers & Packaging manages his privately held print company along with his brother Rajesh and nephew Krunal.

30 Apr 2018 | By Noel D'Cunha

The company has invested Rs 50-crore in the last few months. It includes a KBA Rapida 105 – seven-colour UV press with 4+3 intradeck, two Pratham leaflet folding machines, a GUK folder for leaflet folding, a Tianchen hot-knife 106x106 fully automatic laminating machine from Ample Graphics, a Bag-in-Box liner machine from Bobst H&B and an Autoprint Checkmate inspection system.

The Rs 50-crore investment also includes two Bobst kit – India’s first Speedwave device, a Bobst Novacut 106 with stripping and a Heiber and Schröder WP Speedliner; a Komori Lithrone GL 40 seven-colour coater; and a blanking machine from Ample Graphics, all expected to be installed towards the end of May or early June 2018.

Shah said, “The future is not bright for print companies that cannot upgrade,” quoting statistics. “According to the market reports, by 2020-2022, India will become the third largest packaging converter with over USD 32-billion at an annual growth rate of 13%.”

In the last three decades and more, the company has specialised in pharma packaging. “We have two plants – the first, which was set up in Navi Mumbai and the second in Silvassa,” said Shah.

With the new investments involving automation, Shah, hopes to cater to the food, retail, cosmetic, FMCG segments as well as his present pharma segment, which he said, has seen a growing trend. “Our Navi Mumbai plant will be dedicated solely to pharma packaging, while the Silvassa plant has been constructed such that we will be able to cater to other verticals of packaging.”

Awards investment is a combination of high-end presses from the German and Japanese manufacturers, but when it comes to converting, it’s a combination of high-end European machines as well as the “affordable” Chinese machines from Ample Graphics. “The flexibility to address new applications, the name Bobst is synonymous with the application support they can provide and their know-how in the post-press field.” However, he also said that the Chinese machines his company has opted for are the ones he has picked after due demonstrations. “As of today, we are getting the desired output as committed. And given the cost difference, I expect the investment to improve the bottomline.

At present Award converts 650 tonnes of paperboard per month. “With this investment, we should easily be able to convert three times of what we are doing and gear up for the future,” he said, adding, “This is a calculated investment, which we hope will start bearing fruits by 2019. We expect to face a return on investment of seven years.”