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Pragati Offset's royal success

altAt the most recent Asian Print Awards, Harsha Paruchuri, Director of Pragati Offset, had his neck strung with multiple medals, plus a crystal trophy from CGS in his hands. He shares his 'royal success' with Christel Lee of Print World Asia.

Pragati Offset's history and success goes back a long way. Paruchuri is certainly a regular not only at the Asian Print Awards Gala; the Awards heavyweight is a familiar sight on stage at presentations around the region. A notable trait is the company's success in bagging a Sponsor Award every year.

At the Asian Print Awards 2012, the company snagged three Golds, one Silver and the CGS-sponsored award: Best Application of Creative Colour. 'Story of a Prince', a book based on Indian royalty was Pragati's star of the night. Paruchuri commented, "The concept for the 'Story of a Prince' was to reproduce the opulence of the life enjoyed by Indian royalty. The designer commissioned the paintings to artists, who subsequently painted them in the Rajasthani miniature style.

"The brief given to us was to add gold foiling to the paintings, as the customer had seen another job of ours with folk paintings using foiling. We machine-proofed a couple of images with not only the foil, but also micro-embossing – a new technology which we felt would enhance this job. The customer was happy with the sample images and asked us to proceed in the same vein with all the images."

Paruchuri added, "It was quite a challenging job prepress-wise. Each image took upwards of an entire day for two of our image specialists to make the foiling separation and the micro-embossing separation. And of course, as with any job that has multiple operations, getting the foiling and the embossing registered with the printing over such a large image area was also challenging."

Pragati Offset is not new to the industry's volatile pressures. The key, however, is how an enterprise maneuvers in its favour. In response to Pragati Offset's performance over the last couple of years, Paruchuri said: "The economic environment has slowed growth a bit, but our expansion into the packaging segment is helping us as that is a high growth area. In the commercial printing segment too, we have maintained almost 10% growth.

"Our focus has been the higher-end market, and investing in value-added technologies to make these high-end products stand out. So we're in a niche market where volumes are low, but value-addition is high."

altMore milestones

The Hyderabad-based company has more notable milestones. While many in the industry face the dilemma between profit margins versus the green movement, Pragati Offset has steadily improved its position on social responsibility. "We have invested in the latest technologies to minimise process waste. The inks used are all vegetable oil based rather than mineral oil. Pragati Offset is also FSC- and PEFC-certified, meaning we meet the strict tracking requirements for ensuring that products sold come from well-managed forests," Paruchuri highlights.

He adds that the company's packaging unit has an ISO 14001 certified environment management system in place, and the commercial print unit is also planning on gaining certification.

Going green myth debunked

The latest buzz that going green translates to more costs has been shaking the industry. Between print and electronic media, there have been massive heated debates on the amount of energy consumed – to the extent of being able to quantify usage in terms of powering a number of buildings or running how many engines. Additionally, marketers are concerned with rising costs for materials, regardless of green or non-green.

Paruchuri offers this perspective: "Consumers need to be aware printing is an eco-friendly process with most paper coming from sustainably grown sources. Process waste generated is easily recycled. Accessing content electronically is not a zero-environmental footprint process as some would like you to believe – it takes electricity, access to Internet and server farms to work.

"As a printer, I feel minimising waste and recycling is a sound policy (both environmentally and financially). The only way for the industry to sustainably grow is to keep the long-term ramifications of our actions in mind and act accordingly."

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