It was at Pamex 1997 when Amar saw the Mark Andy label press for the first time. He was instantly drawn to it and was overawed by it. He kept thinking about it in the days that followed. Four weeks later his decision was made, he had to buy this machine. At an age when boys his age were dreaming of buying their favorite cars, he had decided to buy a Mark Andy Label Press! It was a big investment and Amar found support from his uncle, a part of the extended family, to fund the acquisition. His uncle ran a successful packaging unit producing corrugated boxes, where Amar got his initial training. The experience and contacts made during this period helped him get settled in the label business. Today Jitesh, his cousin is his partner and a treasured colleague. As a young boy, in the early nineties when the stock markets were booming, like all those who wanted to make big money, Amar was also infatuated by the stocks. He wanted to become a successful stock broker. As luck would have it, while still in school at a tender age of 16years he lost his father who was a farmer turned sugar trader. He was left wondering…what next? His heart was never in studies, he indulged in stock markets and did make some money. It was only when he suddenly lost all in the trading that he realized the meaning of what his father had once said to him, “Son, you have to create something”. The family had no bread earner and those words coming back to him changed the entire way he looked at life. He decided to be successful and create. Webtech, Amar Chhajed’s startup enterprise was setup in 1998. He trained himself to be the first operator of the press that he had acquired. For six months he was the only employee and used to produce and sell all alone. His experience in his uncle’s packaging unit turned out to be a great advantage.
While Elf Lubricants was his first customer yet it was the Indian oil order that brought in volumes and got him going. Amar, remembers the first meeting he had with the GM of Indian Oil and it lasted a couple of minutes, leaving him confused. They asked him his capacity which he assured was 5 lakh labels per day and they bluntly told him that he had to supply a million labels each day! The meeting ended. It was time to buy the next press. Amar did not stop there. Webtech today is one of the biggest label printers in India. They have as of date twelve label presses in their Mumbai unit and two in Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh. There are two more presses on way. Many firsts in the industry include the first all UV Mark Andy press, first AVT inspection system installed on a narrow web label press, the first shuttleworth job management software for narrow web labels and the first Xeicon digital press.
He smiles when he says he was poor in maths while at school but now numbers remain his strong point in business. With 160 employees, Webtech consumes 6lakh to 7lakh square meters of label stock each month and the dedicated team put together by Amar and his cousin Jitesh is sure to double up this figure in just five years. They also aspire to diversify into other related areas in packaging. It is credible that they ship out 150 variables to different customers each day! Amar has surely created a company driven by passion to satisfy their customers.The most memorable incidence of his life remains a problem that he addressed in the earliest stages of his carrier and has become the motivating vision for his entire team. One evening at 7PM he got a call from his factory that the UV lamps on the press had failed and the production had come to a stop and that they could not meet the customers schedule. His suppliers in the UK told him they could not deliver the lamps before 5 to 6 days even though hey had the lamps in stock. The courier co. would take that much time. Not ready to accept the situation, four hours later Amar was on a flight to London. The lamps were delivered to him by the suppliers at London’s Heathrow airport and a few hours later Amar was on the return flight to Mumbai. The lamps were collected by his people at the Mumbai airport and rushed to his factory. In less then 24 hours the labels were being produced again at Webtech, to this day the customer does not know that there was a gap in production. Amar has always been very dedicated to his customers. They start producing labels the moment their customers want them and to this day they work in two 12 hour shifts, irrespective of the situation whether there is order or no order. It is Webtech’s endeavor and resolve to be there whenever the customer needed them. He is proud to tell his customers, “We are available, 24 hours!”
Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-110008