Print doyen Mohan Bhandary is no more

Mohan Bhandary, a doyen of the printing industry, with rich experience spanning over five decades passed away on 23 June 2021. Bhandary was 71 years old.

28 Jun 2021 | By Dr Amrutharaj Krishnan

An electrical engineer - Bhandary was an alumnus of KREC, Suratkal -  he was renowned in print industry circles for his technical expertise vis-a-vis different types of paper and printing techniques. In the past 99 years, four generations of the Bhandary family have served the needs of students, educational institutions with all types of stationery items. Their paper supply division were stockists / indentors for various paper mills, like MPM, SPB, BILT and currently JK / Sirpur. They provided a variety of products from specialty papers, handmade papers.

The School Book Company (SBC) was to complete a hundred years in 2022. They have a couple of branches in Mangalore. Recently they have opened a branch in Udupi. SBC has a separate section for books, wedding cards.

Mohandas Bhandary was instrumental in shifting the family's interests from paper and stationery to becoming a manufacturer. They purchased Shruti Printers and Publishers two decades ago. Now the unit is a converter of paper for school stationery products. Bhandary was a pioneer in digital printing in Mangalore. Two decades ago he started the digital wing of School Book, Digitexpress.

T Ganesh Pai of Bharath Press in Udupi said, "Bhandary Ji was a veritable ocean of knowledge, which he willingly shared with others in the industry. As director and partner of Shruthi Printers & Publishers as well as the School Book Company, Mangaluru, he maintained a healthy relationship with clients and suppliers."

Ganesh Pai added, "Manna Mam, as Bhandary was affectionately addressed, was renowned for his friendly, approachable attitude, as well as his willingness to encourage and support those who needed it. Many of us witnessed first-hand how generously this third-generation expert from the family mentored the fourth generation."

Praveen Patrao, Prasad Printers, Mangalore said, "We had travelled the length and breadth of Karnataka, Goa and Northern Kerala, while conducting Print Fest in 2000 and 2003. Manna Mam was a walking encyclopaedia for any reference which was connected to paper. Many of us banked on him for this knowledge. Today, I cherish the fond memories which we shared."

Sumanth Pai, Sri Prema Sai Printers & Publishers, Mangalore said, "Manna Mam had the unique capacity to understand me, especially whenever I encountered obstacles. I banked on his guidance and I would always feel I could overcome it. Manna Mam was a huge inspiration for all of us in Mangalore."

T Ganesh Pai concluded, "Bhandary’s passing is a very sad moment for the paper and printing industry.  We have lost a veteran print master. We will deeply miss his expertise, technical knowledge, generosity and affection."

(Dr Amrutharaj Krishnan is the professor and head, Department of Media Technology, Manipal Institute of Technology)