It was ultimately due to a suggestion by Kapil’s father-in-law Kashi Prashad Chamaria that they decided to get into label manufacturing. Kashi Prashad Chamaria was one of the earliest people to diversify from screen printing and start manufacturing labels. Kashi Prashad still has a 40 years old Labelmen label press running in Borivali Mumbai in his company Jepi Chemo Pack. Taking up on the suggestion of his father-in-law Kapil started researching about labels and gradually came in touch with suppliers of equipment and materials. Once the mind was made, both the friends, fathers of Kapil and Aditya, got together to seek each other’s opinion on the project. The decision was spontaneous, and both decided to let their sons Kapil and Aditya to initiate their startup venture as partners and they themselves would remain as mentors and advisors. Though they initially wished to install a high-end European press but were cautious to make an entry that would get them started and after gaining a foothold they would like to expand. The Kapil- Aditya duo speak very high about industry veteran Amit Sheth who initiated them and convinced them to opt for a Donghai Label press with the full set of allied equipment needed to start their label press. To see the demo of the Donghai Press they visited China and on return Sonic labels with Aditya and Kapil as partners were in label business in 2011. Due to support from mentors both families had business contacts from where business was assured to their startup venture. Their initial struggle was only in learning printing and converting labels. They happily say vendors supported them and became their teachers whether it was Ajay Mehta led SMI Coated products educating them on the labelstocks or was Flint providing information on the inks or Sanjeev Atre of PGI Tech teaching them about tooling or was Deepanshu Goel of Creative Graphic helping them with pre-press and drawings for dies. It is interesting to note that the vendors became their teachers, and they were quick learners who stand indebted to the team of venders who helped them in their initial time.to have one of the best equipment available but they did things systematically and endured the initial struggling by investing conservatively in the initial years. Once they were fairly settled, they approached bigger brand owners for orders but faced a situation whereby they were asked which label press they possessed, this also motivated them to move on to a higher platform. This time around they had made up their mind to upgrade and so started researching on options available and at Labelexpo 2017 they finalized their order for a Gallus, a brand that had been in their mind since long, even though it was way beyond their planned budget. winner of the UV flexo special effects award at the Flint Group Narrow Web Awards at Labelexpo Chicago in 2018. The partners are optimistic about them achieving robust growth in the ensuing years by also adding more products that are in synergy with their printing capabilities. Aditya says, “IML is one growth area we have identified, and we are excited to add that to our range in the near future”. Kapil agrees and states, “we have established Sonic labels as a brand, we will continue to expand and grow”. At Sonic Labels, they are already running to full capacity so the next expansion may happen by end of 2021. However still they are committed to stay focused to label manufacturing and foraying further into IML. Digital or other printing technologies are not considered, as they wish to stay focused on the flexographic label printing that has given them success so far, moreover the costing of digital printing remains beyond their comprehension given the fact that India remains a very price sensitive market. As they grow, they are now concerned about waste management and may soon consider ways to reduce waste and evaluate processes to curtail their adverse impact on the environment. Waste also occupies a large amount of expensive real estate, so it needs to be shredded and responsibly disposed off. shopfloor area of 10,000 square feet 40% of which is available for more expansion. They try to restrict their operation to the present location, but the growing business has prompted them to set up a finishing unit in Nashik, to service a customer at their doorstep there. It is maybe the first baby step to go multi-location.
Being in their mid-30s, both partners have the enthusiasm, vision, time, and zeal to rise above the crowd! They are a team to watch…
Written by Harveer Singh Sahni, Chairman Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi February 2021