|The Pragati team receiving the Sappi Elephant award|
for excellence in printing.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
He has reached the pinnacle! Having lead his company Pragati Offset Hyderabad, to unprecedented success, he does not regret that a 12 hour work schedule from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm leaves him no time to socialize. That is the price that he paid for his indulgence in his business. He is happy that God has compensated this adequately by giving him the pleasure of coming back home each evening to a wonderful family where four generations from his father to his grandchildren, live together in perfect tradition of love, harmony and simplicity. Paruchuri Narendra is the driving force behind Pragati Offset, a company founded by his father Paruchuri Hanumantha Rao.
Narendra, Hanumanth Rao’s elder son had studied to be a chemical engineer from the University of Mysore specializing in precious metal plating for the watch and electronic industry. On completing education he took up a job in a metal finishing company in Bangalore to get work experience. He was not very happy in that job, he wanted to start a metal finishing unit on his own and moreover his wife Sasikala, a doctor was pursuing higher studies in Hyderabad. Having no money to start on his own, Narendra started to look around for other avenues. At that point of time he requested his father to show him some other successful printing press. Once he had evaluated the printing business, Narendra gave up his plans to pursue the plating business and finally joined his family business in 1978. There has been no looking back ever since. A turning point in the journey of this enterprise came when they bought a photocomposing machine, which was the first one that any company bought in south India besides the printers of the daily south Indian newspaper, “Hindu”. Composing, until that time used to be the biggest of bottle necks in their business, given the short runs that they were doing for customers. This installation brought all the advertising agencies in the city to their doorstep. With this came a windfall of orders and it was time to expand yet again. They decided to buy a new single colour Dominant press. Those days licenses were required to import and Narendra’s father fondly remembers that the day his grandson Harsh was born, they applied for the license. In 1985 Pragati acquired their first four colour offset press but they were formally considered big league when in 1991 they announced the installation of a Komori Lithrone 5 colour 40” press to be inaugurated by Mr. Kasturi, the owner of “Hindu”. Pragati was now into printing of posters, catalogues and other commercial printing jobs. They continued to expand and grow thereafter also making their foray into folding cartons. In 2006 Narendra and his team saw the potential and growth in labels. This made them to decide making investment in that area as well. As they had already ventured into producing cartons for some large customers this label business was in synergy with what they were doing and was witnessing a high rate of growth. The present level of operations at Pragati, have come a long way from the time that they installed their first treadle press with just three workers. They employ almost 700 people and operate out of 2,30,000 square feet of production area spread over at various premises in and around Hyderabad. Everything from pre-press to post-press is done in house. The infrastructure besides other equipment comprises of twelve offset presses, two MPS label presses, one Nilpeter Label press and the latest acquisition, Omet Varyflex the in line folding carton press. When asked about the new investment in Omet Varyflex, the first one of its kind in India, Narendra says, “It was a wish to do all operations in-line rather then moving jobs from one equipment to another, carton making involves too many offline operations”. Luckily they had gained experience in flexographic printing from their indulgence in labels, offset was already their forte and they were also producing cartons, so it was easy for them to integrate the technologies comfortably on the Varyflex.
Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi August 2011