Balachandra of Rajhans: Don't underestimate print

A Balachandra of Rajhans Enterprises says, "The packaging plant in Bidadi makes Rajhans one of the unique companies that offers all processes. We have a full-fledged offset i.e web, commercial, web packaging, adhesive label and stationery."

100 seconds with one of the industry's major players.

31 May 2019 | By Ramu Ramanathan

(l-r) Akash and A Balachandra

The flexible packaging plant in Bidadi makes Rajhans one of the unique companies to offer all processes. What is the thought process?

We have a full-fledged offset, web, commercial, web packaging, adhesive label and stationery, unit. If we have to expand, there was no scope in this unit. And so, when my son joined me four years ago, together, we started the Bidadi unit.

What is your greatest investment in the newspaper and books segment?

We are the only company that has invested in a brand new commercial heatset web machine. Today, as you know, we have four heatset presses. Perhaps we are the only company in the entire country to have these many heatset machines.

What is transpiring with your newspaper production plants in Madurai, Coimbatore and Devengere?

We are growing.

One secret about your plant at Rajajinagar which no one knows?

There is no secret. When we started the company, Rajhans was in the outskirts of Bengaluru. Now the unit is in the heart of the city. This makes it easy for our employees as well as our customers. Today it is a major advantage for us.

The one spare part you can replace on a press?


Which talent do you like most in your shopfloor workers?

Most of our workers are experienced and had been working since 20-30 years with us. They know how to do the job efficiently. This makes us successful.

How have the next gen (Akash and Ashwath) performed in your view?

My only expectation is that they should work like me and gain experience. I know they will do the best.

Print is no longer about production. There is so much more; like process, IT ops, logistics, warehousing, outreach. In this sense what is your advice for the SME customer?

Don’t underestimate print.

What do you most value in your suppliers and the manufacturers?

Quality, supply and price.

One technology which is underestimated by all printers but has a great future?

Screen printing.

You are the mentor at Karnataka Offset Printers Association. What do you consider the most important virtue about KOPA?

KOPA is the first such association in India. It has been very popular and helpful for our printers. Also it provides free training as well as employment (20-30 persons every three months).

Which brand according to you uses packaging the best?


After two tough years due to demonetisation and GST, Rajhans continues its march. What is the update?

We have very good customers and clients, and they understood and supported us. Thus we didn’t have real problems. Also from day one, we have had accountability for GST.

Have things stabilised post-GST? One change you would like to see...

Yes, things have stabilised. But one change we are expecting is GST percentage should reduce to 12%. I feel 18% is too much.

If you were to start again, one thing you would do differently at Rajhans.

No change, I would start the same way like I did.

You are a keen political observer. What is your assessment for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections?

A mixed government.