Mon Mohan Kohli of TPH passes away

Mon Mohan Kohli, who built The Printers House (TPH) into one of the leading web offset press manufacturers in the world, passed away at his residence located at Amrita Shergil Marg, New Delhi on 26 June 2022. The last rites will take place at 12 pm on 27 June.

27 Jun 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

Mon Mohan Kohli (October 1939-June 2022)

Established in 1946 by KD Kohli, The Printers House, known in the industry simply as TPH, has a long and storied history. Indeed, we cannot write the history of offset printing in India without the mention of TPH.

Born in 1939, Kohli, who trained in Switzerland as an engineer, took the company to a new height, in the process earning the nickname — the father of the Indian printing industry. Under his leadership, the company has relentlessly strived to achieve new levels of technological excellence and precision. 

The technological brilliance of TPH, combined with the ingenuity and cost-effectiveness, gave birth to Orient, a company manufacturing world class state of the art printing machinery providing the world with a better way to print. Today, TPH has an array of products and services, including AMC, consumables, and printing machines for both the offset and flexographic industries.

Right now, TPH has a large infrastructure, with three production plants in Faridabad, Haryana. The first plant is for mechanical engineering, the second is for electrical and assembly and the third is focused on research and development. The company also has a large number of agents abroad, plus 10 offices across India. 

In fact, TPH products can be seen in almost every major newspaper/commercial printing house globally. As its director, Kohli provided leadership to a company with customers in more than 60 countries around the world. 

Today, Kohli is remembered for introducing cost-effective and durable web offset printing machines for the Indian newspaper industry under the Orient brand. He is also remembered for integrating automation and world-class technology in India-made machines. 

Kohli had been ill for several years, and left behind his wife Natasha and son, Rishab. 

Rishab Kohli, the third generation of the company, joined the business in 2019 and has already made some remarkable strides.

The TPH journey

KD Kohli, a freedom fighter and newspaperman, founded The Printers House in 1946, as an agency dedicated to bridging the gap in printing technology by importing the latest equipment, providing qualified engineers for installation and also training the crew for operations and maintenance.

In the mid-1960s, under the leadership of Mon Mohan Kohli, TPH began manufacturing cost-effective Prima platen presses and Mercedes stop cylinder automatic letterpress machines, before graduating to manufacturing sheetfed presses.

With over two decades of experience and a manufacturing infrastructure in place for sheetfed presses, in the 1970s, the company took the next logical step to manufacture web offset presses for the expanding newspaper market in India and Southeast Asia. US-based Goss became the marketing agent for the Orient presses in the international markets.

To introduce state-of-the-art quality and reliability, in the 1980s, the company took the step towards CNC technology and later integrated the latest CAD/CAM technology. The company also started exporting the Orient presses to the USA, Europe, South Asia, etc. 

The company entered the Chinese market in 1990 and was able to install more than 130 presses within a span of 8 years. The company introduced the Orient X-Cel 36,000 cph press, which, because of its quality and durability, became popular in India and China.

Between 2002 and 2004, the company started developing the Orient X-Press with a speed of 45,000-cph, which was launched at Drupa 2004.

In 2006, the first Orient X-Press was commissioned at Danik Bhaskar, Baroda.

In 2009, TPH had a marketing tie-up with KBA, Germany as per which, KBA/ KBA agents promoted the Orient presses in most of the countries worldwide and TPH promoted the KBA web presses in the Indian subcontinent.

Between 2010 and 2019, the Orient X-Pressmodel was upgraded to run at 50,000-cph. During this time, TPH also entered into a new era of modernisation by integrating the Orient presses with several bought-out high-end automation features like auto reel changers, footprint shaftless drives, auto colour and cutoff registration, remote inking, auto ink pumping, etc. 

PrintWeek's last face to face with MM Kohli

PrintWeek: Education is a key sector, which supports the growth of the printing industry. Apart from that, what else would you think contributes to the growth?

MMK: When it comes to India, we need to split it into two parts – domestic and export. India has a developed book printing market. Crores of books are printed in India. There are government tenders too. Several companies have dedicated their print shops for the export market. And they’re endeavouring to enter countries which do not have the facility – and to-date were getting the books printed in Europe or America. The boom has come for: (a) Indian exporters who have captured the market outside; (b) India itself is increasing its book production; and (c) you have people in developed countries who want to print books in India – the cost being cheaper in India.

Read the complete interview here.

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