Kohli Industries completes 50 years

Mumbai-based manufacturer of rotogravure presses, Kohli Industries, has completed 50 years in the industry. Established by PS Kohli in 1972 from a humble workshop manufacturing stack flexo presses and slitter rewinders for the paper bag industry, the company today operates from a state-of-the-art facility with a dedicated research and development department.

18 Feb 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

During the first decade (1972-1982), Kohli focused intensely on the domestic market in India, carefully developing a strong reputation for its products and services. After securing a large market share in India, by mid-nineties, Kohli diverted its attention to exports. With the ability and focus to offer efficient and well-designed machines with an emphasis on customer care, Kohli witnessed exponential growth within the first two decades of business. By 1990, Kohli Industries inaugurated a state-of-the-art facility dedicating a huge investment to research and development. As of 2021, Kohli has successfully installed more than 1,500 machines in 36 countries.

“It has been a beautiful and productive 50-year journey for Kohli Industries,” said Kuku Kohli of Kohli Industries.

 Kuku Kohli of Kohli Industries

By the time Kohli joined the family business 15 years after its establishment, the company had already established a strong domestic presence and were focused on gravure presses, laminators and slitters for the flexible packaging industry.

“In 1990, I visited Drupa for the first time. It was a crucial turning point for me that paved the future for Kohli. I was in awe of the technology being displayed at the show, and at the same time could see the disparity between European and Indian machine manufacturers. At the age of 22, it became my mission to reduce this gap and to gain international respect that I was confident an Indian manufacturer could achieve,” Kohli said.

His father had secured a large market share in India, but Kohli’s intention was to grab the international market by offering innovative machines at competitive prices with a strong emphasis on personalised customer service.

He added that Thea-9one8 has been a game-changer, bringing Kohli as a manufacturer to the forefront. The company is proud to be the first Asian manufacturer to have demonstrated live, printing speeds of 651-mpm using toluene-free inks and 501-mpm using water-based inks.

Kohli offers a wide range of gravure printing presses to suit different applications -- the Rhea series with mechanical line shaft drive and Thea series with electronic line shaft drive.

Besides gravure, the company also offers Plutus, a multi-process and multi-technology coater-laminator; Gaia, a simple solution to solvent-free lamination; Athena, an advanced solution to solvent and water-based lamination or coating; Lamex, an extrusion coating and lamination machines, manufactured in partnership with Rajoo Engineers; and Zeus, an innovative range of slitter-rewinders for the flexible packaging and pressure sensitive label industry.

Kohli said all the machines were conceptualised by machine operators, for machine operators.

“With the help of an incredible team, a supportive family and determination, 32 years since the first Drupa visit, my dream has finally come true. I believe there is a new-found appreciation and acceptance for Indian machines that was absent before. We are now favourably compared with our European counterparts,” he concluded.