Rajesh Agarwal: Rapid growth in liquid packaging at 22%

Rajesh Agarwal of SRK Technologies is swift at adapting to the changing market trends and gives a lowdown about his company’s positioning in the current scenario amidst the ugly battle for profit that has encapsulated the printing industry

I set up my own business after quitting the regular job at Heidelberg 15 years ago. Today, we represent Yoco die-cutting machines from China and have over 60 machines in the market. 2018 with the new GST regime in place will be a good year. We have also diversified in multilayer packaging and liquid packaging which is growing at the speedy rate of 22%. In the next five years we will mostly be in liquid packaging industry. The margins for print packaging are going down drastically.

2017 was a very successful year for us. We got orders for the Steinemann PUR lamination machine as well as MTM water-based lamination machine. Add to that the orders for Kohmann window patching and liner machine for the first time since taking up the agency.

We believe that Yoco die-cutter and foil stamping machine is slated to be a big success for us this year.

Small city printers view big print companies as their role models. Many of them ask me about the success stories of giant companies like Parksons Packaging and TCPL. They are curious as to how P Narendra of Pragati Offset wins so many awards and are constantly inquisitive of how they can emulate him. My advice to them is to invest in new technology and stay focused on what you are doing. At the same time, keep investments in check otherwise you will be out of market on the price front. This is because the industry is highly capital intensive and is under undue self-created stress due to margins.

High spends on capital equipment translate into higher market prices for products and the aspect of profit becomes challenging. Margins are shrinking and it seems that the industry has built up higher capacity than the market demand. This has resulted in undercutting of bids for contracts and thereby bloodbath. Many quality printers are facing the grim prospect of shutting down.

If I were to ever meet the Finance Minister of India I would tell him to request our Prime Minister not to take hasty policy decisions without adequate research. Secondly, I would ask him to make the tax system simpler, probably with a uniform GST of 18% for all products.

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