Exactly 6 years ago on the 7th of August 2010 I wrote an article titled “Chandan Khanna; I wanted to be different!” He has more or less proved that statement and has worked hard to excel in his journey to grow in labels. The last line of that article was, “He is committed to excel in labels and reach the topmost slot in five years from now and would still be doing something different!” Rarely one sees people committed to their aspirations and achieving what they wished. Today Chandan Khanna lead Ajanta Packaging is now one of the top three label companies in India with wholly Indian ownership and qualifies to be the only Indian owned multinational label printing company having manufacturing presence in three countries i.e. India, UAE and, Thailand. In the last couple of months I have had the opportunity of visiting his two overseas units in Sharjah (UAE) and in June 2016, I visited his unit in Thailand. I was very impressed! I was tempted to question him, “Chandan how do you manage?” The answer he gave appeared to be in continuation to where we left in the last article in 2010. He replied, “I am different and will continue to be so.”!
Ajanta Packaging’s Thailand unit is on the highway from Bangkok to the tourist destination of Pattaya. Infact it is almost on the outskirts of Pattaya. After spending the night at an amazing airport hotel Novotel Bangkok, we i.e. I and my wife, were picked up early morning by Ajanta’s car to drive to Pattaya. After checking into another outstanding property The Dusit Thani and freshening up we left for the Ajanta factory. As we arrived at the unit we witnessed a Thai Spirit temple adorning the entrance, further inside was also an Indian temple with Lord Ganesha and Laxmiji, displaying the owner’s deep faith and religious values. We were welcomed by an extremely hospitable staff with TV monitors displaying a welcome message for us and traditional “SwasdeeKha!” by the ladies who welcomed us.
After a briefing in the fully equipped conference room we took a round of the unit. The unit is immaculately clean and self sufficient. They have their own design department, plate making department and quality control laboratory.
The pressroom has one Nilpeter MO Combination Flexo/Offest presses and two Iwasaki intermittent offset presses besides flatbed registered die-cutting machines and a host of slitting, inspection and finishing equipment. A 12 colour Nilpeter Flexo/Gravure combination press will be installed later this month in August 2016.
It was interesting to see that the space provided for further expansion and installation of new equipment was also kept spotlessly clean and gleaming. The dynamism of Chandan Khanna and his endless efforts to grow was evident by his personal indulgence in every aspect of this unit.
After lunch arranged by them in the unit’s dining room we left to meet yet again to experience Chandan ‘s excellent hospitality that evening at an open air restaurant on the seashore serving amazing seafood and local beer. I am still in awe of Chandan having made this trip memorable for us.
Ajanta Packaging owes its inheritance to a very renowned printing family of Mumbai that owns Ajanta Printarts. Ajanta packaging is headquartered in Mumbai and has manufacturing facilities in Daman (Near Mumbai), Baddi (North of Delhi, in Himachal Pradesh), two units in Sharjah (UAE) and this unit in Thailand. A very dedicated and ambitious technocrat, Chandan wants to extend his foot prints globally. He travels extensively to achieve his goals. He is now looking at moving his business to the western world as well. He is already evaluating investments in Europe by either taking over an existing unit or by entering into global alliances.
Through ups and downs coming his way, Chandan moves on tirelessly to achieve his ambitions because he wants to reach the pinnacle in the next five years before he starts to slow down to enjoy the fruits of his labour and let the company grow and prosper by the inertia set in by him and led by his team of seasoned professionals in each and every plant. Will he slow down? It is a question I am not sure I have the answer to…
Note: Magazines may reproduce the above article by giving credit to the author.
Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi. August2016