Saturday, October 23, 2010
He wished to fly high!
As a young boy, Amit Sheth would look up to the skies and wished to be flying in the clouds. He wanted to become a commercial pilot one day. As he grew up his ambition became stronger and he found support from his father Kirti Kant Sheth. His plans to pursue his ambition had to be given up when life took an unexpected turn and he was asked to give up that wish and join the family business…
Kirti Kant Sheth had started trading in printing machines way back in 1955. His flagship company “Sheth Bros.” with his brothers as partners became highly successful and respected sellers of printing and packaging equipment. By late seventies or early eighties Sheth Bros had reached their pinnacle. Their name was synonymous with printing and packaging machines. They spread across India with offices in Calcutta, Delhi, Guwahati and Mumbai. As luck would have it in 1985 the brothers decided to go in for a separation. Kirti Kant Sheth had to call upon his son Amit Sheth to give up his ambition of becoming a pilot and join him in business. Amit did accept the need of the hour and stepped in to become a salesman in his father’s company, looking after sales of letterpress printing and bookbinding machines in Eastern and North Eastern India besides making efforts to export their equipment.
In 1991 Amit accompanied their family friend Dushyant Parekh of National Art Press Calcutta to visit Taiwan. Little did he realize that this visit would be a turning point in his life and would be decisive in making his entry into the world of self adhesive labels and narrow web printing. During their visit Dushyant Parekh showed to Amit equipment that could make “Stickers”. It could print multi-colour, Hot-foil stamp, over laminate, die-cut, remove waste matrix, etc in roll and also do sheeting at the end of the line. Amit was fascinated! The presentation and introduction of the machine and its operation was made to them by John Huang of Orthotec. Amit became Orthotec’s business associate and eventually a dear friend of John. This commenced the journey of Amit Sheth into the Self Adhesive Label industry.
In the excitement of making his first sale of a label press in 1993 to Antarctica Limited, Calcutta, he accepted a condition of restricted additional sale. Due to this he had to restlessly wait for two more years to sell another press. He was getting uneasy as the new technology was fast spreading. The relief came when in the opening hours of “Printpack India 1995” in New Delhi, Amit found his most satisfying moment! He sold the press he was displaying at the show to Rajesh Chadha of P C Chadha and Co. Rajesh a third generation entrepreneur, whose flagship venture is now called Update Prints Pvt.Ltd., has by far been Amit’s biggest supporter, customer and friend. His company Label Planet has not looked back ever since. Label Planet now represents renowned international principals like Orthotec, Focus, Cartes, Miyakoshi, Inktek and Rotary Technologies. Amit Sheth has been a hands-on man and the best sales person of his company. Travelling extensively he remains personally in touch with all his customers. It is incredible that till date he has sold over 200 presses and his appetite to sell many more at a fast pace is not letting up. He finds active support from wife Rupa, homemaker and a great mother to their two wonderful daughters Ruhi and Kyra.
Amit has done pioneering service for the Indian Label Industry. Despite being an industry supplier, he initiated and actively indulged in setting up the Label Manufacturers Association of India (LMAI). He brought together leading printers from across the country to meet one evening at Mumbai. He provided the necessary support from his office premises and his staff to do the groundwork. In appreciation of his work, he has been given the honorary membership of LMAI for life, he is also the honorary secretary. He has been instrumental in bringing together suppliers and label printers together on the LMAI platform. Having gained knowledge, experience and stature in the Indian labels industry Amit hopes that one day he is able to establish a Labels Institution and would like to indulge in educating the new comers in this field. Expressing his views on the changing technologies in label industry he feels the digital will continue at a fast pace however the conventional presses will remain the workhorses and retain their charm. He feels Laser printing and die-cutting will be a technology to watch in coming times.
Amit Sheth sums up his achievements by quoting his late father,” You wanted to fly high, you do not really need an aircraft, success will do the job”