Nasim Uddin of TechNova is no more

Nasim Uddin of TechNova passed away on Friday night (13 May). He returned home to Kanpur after a 200 km drive - and collapsed. The 59 year old Nasim is survived by his wife and two sons, Alquama Nasim (25) and Almaz Nasim (21).

17 May 2022 | By Ramu Ramanathan

Nasim Uddin (1963-2022)

Nasim Uddin graduated from the Northern Regional Institute of Printing Technology Allahabad in 1985. Very few people in the industry knew that Nasim Uddin comes from a print family. He is the second generation of "a family that knew a bit about litho offset printing". The reason: His father was a professor in Printing Technology in Allahabad.

Nasim Uddin joined TechNova in 1987 and completed 35 years with the plate manufacturing major. Next month, he was finally going to hang up his boots "and travel and explore this great and glorious country." He had fond memories of his entry into TechNova. Nasim Uddin said, "It was through a proper interview and recruitment process completed by Sam Varghese and SM Kapoor who was the regional manager of North India at that time. Nasim Uddin was recruited by TechNova to promote factory-made chemicals to the litho offset industry in UP and Punjab territories.

TechNova was the mission of his life. He always compared TechNova to Apple or Nike. He said, "What the global brands did with mobile phones and footwear, TechNova was able to achieve in print. The company always served litho offset printing customers all over India. Besides being a facilitator, the think-tank at TechNova ensured the company provided world class technology, robust products and technical know-how."

Pick up the phone at any time of the day (or night), Nasim Uddin was always available. He always worked to help customers towards maximising productivity and profits. His brain cells had memorised mobile numbers and factory history of thousands of customers. It's a remarkable thing. His mantra was: a good print salesman should know at least ten print firm CEOs and the production heads in each and every zilla. When I travelled with him to the nooks and corners of Awadh and Bundlekhand and Purvanchal, he would rattle out CVs of the people we were going to meet. 

I saw customers appreciating TechNova products. For most of them, he was Nasim-TechNova. Top management or factory supervisor, he always got the respect of each and every person plus their unconditional support. I don't have a flowchart about this, but I'm sure Nasim-TechNova would have ensured maximum repeat business from his valued customers.

His outreach was immense. He was Marco Polo. Always on the road in his ramshackled jalopy (Later, he upgraded his four-wheels). He served the whole of UP (pre-Uttarakhand). He knew each and every print firm in Allahabad, Agra  Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Saharanpur, Varanasi. Wherever there was an offset press, Nasim-TechNova was present.

He took great pains to set print standards in the UP market. I still remember that was the time when offset presses (plate and machine room  were managed by Ustads and print gurus who deployed using gum deep etch and egg albumin process. Nasim Uddin used to say, "Most of them were not ready to adopt new technology,"

So what was Nasim-TechNova's method?

Nasim Udddin said, "At TechNova, we offer our best services to improve all customers (big and small; new and old) productivity and printing quality." Nasim Uddin invested a lot of time to understand customers' losses and the million technical problems they faced. The reason he was so popular was: He provided technical solutions. This won over the owners of the presses. Even the gurus and Ustads were convinced. That's how the plate modernisation process began. Nasim-TechNova called this, "the asli printing kranti".

Soon enough, most of UP switched over to TechNova products. Nasim Bhai wore his TechNova badge with pride. "I feel proud to be associated with such a company. That leadership team of the eighties and nineties is an important case-study for the Indian print industry. No one knows about that taskforce. They created factory-made chemicals, plates, plus disseminated technical knowledge and manufacturing best practices to offset printers. Please remember, this was a different era. No computers and YouTube tutorials in those days."

And so it was. From the age of gum to egg albumin plate-making processes to PS and then the CTP yatra, Nasim Bhai has been part of the journey. His dream project was to prepare and convert Dainik Jagran group (one of the largest newspaper customers to CTP digital print technology). I recall publishing a detailed CTP case-study in 2006 about how the first newspaper customer in North India printed their daily edition with CTP: all pages all colour thanks to CTP technology, The Jagran and TechNova tech team implemented the CTP project. Totally 40 CTP platesetters were installed across the Jagran centres. It was a crazy time. Trials, tests, approvals. And the Virgil to all the Digital Dantes was good old Nasim-TechNova. He was always present. In the shadows. A silent supporter!

During one of our drives (which culminated in Nasim Bhai's famous eating sessions in the most non-Google gullies and illakas), he shared with me how when he joined TechNova, his dealer took him to one of the toughest customers in UP. This customer was an ardent egg process user. Nasim Bhai shared, "I tried my best to convince him about the virtue of the NovaFlash system (a negative platemaking system). After understanding cost analysis etc, this tough customer gave one of his friend's press name - and challenged me to first convert that press to your chemical and then you can convert me."

Nasim Bhai took up the challenge. He spent day and night and then within a week, he successfully converted that customer to the TechNova chemicals. Deal done. In fact two deals. . Nasim Bhai said that was the turning point of his sales career. He said, "I never looked back in life. Also our territory sales rose from a few thousand rupees to crores and crores now. More importantly, everyone was happy."

Nasim Uddin said, Our industry has handled so many types of adversities in its print journey. One piece of advice he heard from Pranav Parikh, CMD and his print guru at TechNova was: "Continuous technology upgradation". This is a must for progress of the Indian print industry. But in his heart he was a true-blue Gutenberg disciple. His famous mantra was: All I need is 26 soldiers of lead and I can conquer the world.

We were to meet at PrintPack and exchange industry gossip plus tell me all about his younger son's aviation course. Now that is not to be.

Rest in peace, my friend. Hopefully you will install a press in heaven (and sell TN products to the angels and farishtas) ...

Adieu Nasim-TechNova.

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