SMI Labels and Packaging Materials

Monday, January 7, 2019

Trigon Digital Solutions, successful in digital printing of labels


On the 22nd of November 2018 at the LMAI Avery Dennison Awards night, held on the side lines of Labelexpo India, the winner announced in digital printing category-Wine and Spirits was Trigon Digital Solutions, Mumbai. Just over a week later, on the 29th of November 2018, Trigon was declared the Printweek India “Digital Printer of the year”. This was Trigon’s fourth award; the first two were Printweek “Pre-press Company of the year” awards won in 2015 and 2017. It is an incredible performance by a company promoted by first generation entrepreneurs just 10 years ago, with no previous experience in running a manufacturing company. They moved into roll form digital printing of labels merely 3 years ago. They have invested in a digital printing press at a time when we are witnessing the evolutionary shift of label production in India from conventional processes to digital. Digital printing is a segment of label industry that leading label manufacturing companies have been extremely hesitant to invest in, due to high cost of equipment and consumables. Anil  Namugade the co-founder, along with partner Milind Deshpande, have promoted Trigon Digital and successfully led it on its digital label journey.

After graduating in Economics from Mumbai University Anil Namugade, also a Printing Technologist from the Government Institute of Printing Technology, took up jobs as a scanner operator from 1994 to 1997 in few of the leading pre-press houses in Mumbai. Here he acquired immense knowledge in repro-colour separation and prepress. In 1998 he joined Heidelberg as a software specialist and continued to work there until 2003. Anil joined Kodak as packaging and proofing specialist in 2003. It was a purely technical job where he developed his passion for proofing, learnt the nuances of colour management and the imperative need of good prepress for excellence in final print. During his stint with Kodak he was also handling technical and sales support which helped him gain experience in selling as well. Unfortunately, by 2007 Kodak was seeing a decline in business and as restructuring process was being put in place, he had to exit Kodak. Suddenly that one day he found himself jobless, away from a stable job in an MNC(Multi National Company). He firmly believed in and followed a simple mantra of success and excellence; “Look at problem as an opportunity and learn to grow and excel”. Drawing inspiration from this mantra, he along with partner Milind Deshpande who is also a printing technologist, set up their maiden start-up venture Trigon Digital Solutions. 

From past experience and knowledge he had acquired from working in the previous jobs, Anil knew that customers needing packaging, wanted to see how their product would look, before they opted for actual printing and production. He saw the opportunity in this need, so Trigon was set up as a proofing and mock-up producing company. His knowledge of prepress and colour management helped him to achieve his goal. Earlier it used to be the creative agencies that visualised and created a format for packaging, Trigon creating an actual marketable mock up for the companies was a new and welcome development for brand owner companies. The first equipment they invested in was Kodak Approval NX that printed in sheet format and started to take up proofing and mock-up creation for customers. Finding success in their endeavors he soon realised that being closer to the customer is an imperative.  In 2010 Trigon opened a facility in Bangalore and followed it up by setting up a unit in Delhi in 2012. In 2015 they went international by setting shop in Dubai and later an office in Singapore. All the units except the office in Singapore are equipped with Kodak Approval NX.

In 2015 they saw the opportunity in customers demanding label mock-ups in roll form, so in their Mumbai facility they invested in an Epson Surepress to produce samples including Flexibles, Laminates and Labels by digital printing in roll form. Moreover, the production on Kodak was turning out to be expensive and limited to sheet format. Soon their customers upgraded from demanding just mock-ups to ordering short runs for their specialised marketing needs.  They also started to see business emanating from the shrink sleeve segment as also a growing demand for other roll form variants. The slow speed of Surepress could not cater to the demand they were getting and also there was a limitation that it could not produce shrink sleeves. At this time in 2017 Trigon decided to take a major step of investing in an HP Indigo 6000 digital press and enhance their capability to produce a larger range of products. A year down the line in 2018 Trigon yet again upgraded their HP Indigo 6000 to HP Indigo 6900 which had enhanced features. On this HP 6900 they could do inline primer coating saving them the time and valuable space, print metallic inks and florescent inks. With a widened customer base and enhanced capabilities they now cater to applications in FMCG, Liquor, Personalised labels, Variable Data labels, QR codes and a lot more. They now produce and sell a range besides labels, offering flexible packaging, complex laminates, lamitubes and shrink sleeves. Anil Namugade firmly believes that digital is the future of printing and innovative packaging. Dwelling on the general apprehension of label printers regarding ROI (Return on Investment), he feels that it becomes better from an expanded vision of providing specialised services to the customer. These services that Trigon offers include brand management, database management including validation, preparing the mock-ups for test marketing before indulging extensively, offering creativity to customers for their evaluation and aiding decision making, personalisation or customisation and incorporating variable information on each label or package at short notice. Their experience in pre-press has helped them greatly and he believes that by adding full post press setup Trigon has become a one stop shop for the needs of brand owners. The additional cost of digitally converted products needs to spell value for customers to justify the cost. Anil asserts that the vision for success of flexo graphic printing and Digital printing should be looked at separately and not as a comparison. 

Trigon Digital Solutions plans to remain focused in digital Printing. With already a facility in Dubai and an office in Singapore they are a global entity and they will be expanding their global reach by establishing a setup in U.K. in 2019-2020 as they already have customers in 18 countries including UK and Europe. They have endeavored to remain logistically close to customers to be able to provide service at their doorstep. Surprisingly due to their business model of being linked to packaging development, marketing and brand management, their revenues do not come from purchase budgets of customers but come from their marketing budgets. Trigon making optimum use of space operates out of around 1800 square feet shop floor area of all facilities put together. Headquartered in Andheri East, Mumbai they have a workforce of 102 persons. At Trigon every new creation is a challenge but developing it is not. Anil proudly says innovation, technology, extensive knowledge of prepress, and having “People with Passion” in their team has always been a winning force for Trigon. They are committed to improve upon what the customer wants or brings to them for creation of a label or package that will spell success for their products and brand. 

Written by Harveer Sahni Chairman WeldonCelloplast Limited New Delhi December 2018

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