Pune’s Pratham marks its 34th year of its existence with the launch of a new plant and kit

Pratham Technologies, manufacturer of small paper folding machines, has marked its 34th year of existence today, with a shift to its new manufacturing factory, which the company’s chairman Datta Deshpande, said, “is built to international standards”, and will enable the company to grow 10 times its present annual turnover of Rs 43-crore (approx USD 6-million). Pratham also launched new products in paper folding, print finish and pharmaceutical packaging machines.

01 Sep 2021 | By Noel D'Cunha

Team Pratham: at the new 44,000 sqm plant site

Deshpande said, “It’s a major milestone for us.” He also attributed Pratham’s long stint in the print business to its passion for designing new products.

Established as Pacific Technologies, with partner Sanjay Dandekar, in 1988, the partnership transformed into a private limited company in 2000, with a new company name, Pratham Technologies.

Deshpande, said, “Pratham means number one. By the time we gave this new name to our company, we were already dominating the market for insert folding machines in India. By keeping the pace with new developments, adopting new technologies, and introducing new products, we are still there at that top spot in India.”

Manufacturing has always been the backbone of Pratham, said Deshpande. “However, instead of investing in our own tool room setup, we strategically focused on our design, assembly and marketing right from the beginning. We still have the same strategy. Continuously improving our products, developing new features and adapting to new technologies are our strengths and we have capitalised on them in the last three decades to become a global brand for pharmaceutical leaflet folders.”

Pratham manufactures a slew of equipment in print finishing and has so far manufactured and sold about 4,000 machines globally.

(l-r) Sanjay Dandekar, chief technical officer and Deshpande of Pratham

According to Deshpande, entering into outserts folding machines manufacturing in 2018 was a remarkable breakthrough for Pratham. “Till then, we only sold products up to eight or ten folds. Now, with the new introduction of outserts range, we offer machines of various widths from four-folds up to 24 folds.” The company has, since 2018, around 45+ outsert machines and accessories worldwide to date.

Price-wise, Pratham will always have a competitive edge. The reason, Deshpande said, is that all its products are indigenously developed and fully ‘Made in India’. “We use the best in class parts such as rollers, vision systems, vacuum pumps, gluing systems all made in Germany to keep our product’s quality at par with our international competitors.” He added, “We have always looked up to, and learnt from our competitors – GUK, Heidelberg and H&H. However, now after three decades, we have our own distinguished patented features which are the best in the world. We set our own benchmarks now.”

Pratham's products:

Pharmaceutical insert folders

  • Friction feeder
  • Pile feeder

Pharmaceutical outsert folders

  • Pile feeder
  • Round pile feeder

Commercial paper folders

  • Mailing machine
  • Diamond packet machine
  • Vacuum feeder

Pharmaceutical packaging

  • Cartonova – online folding machine

Print inspection

  • Camera-based Vision System
  • Ipv proof check system