Indian converters and suppliers such as Vinsak expand regionally

Packaging and labels fare well in the pandemic

L to R, Ranesh Bajaj of Vinsak with the managing directory of Al Hadiqa Sayed Shamsuddin
L to R, Ranesh Bajaj of Vinsak with the managing directory of Al Hadiqa Sayed Shamsuddin

As the Indian label industry has expanded overseas beyond just exporting labels, several players from prepress houses to label printers and labelstock suppliers have set up plants in the Near East, Africa, and the Middle East. Premedia houses and printers who have set up plants overseas include Unique Premedia Services, Ajanta Print Arts, Astron Packaging, and the Manipal Group.

SMI Coated Products, the leading supplier of Indian-manufactured pressure sensitive label stock, set up a warehousing and slitting center in Dubai several years ago to more easily supply its Middle Eastern and African customers. Vinsak, the company and brand that has emerged from the Delhi-based Creed Engineers has emerged as a significant regional supplier in a vast region from Africa to Southeast Asia – its clients spanning a geography from Ghana to Indonesia.

Vinsak has leveraged the Make in India capabilities of its label slitting and finishing equipment in collaboration with AB Graphics and its proprietary inkjet systems at a plant set up in Rabale in Navi Mumbai eight years ago. Its inkjet systems are used for book printing, label imprinting, and security printing in conjunction with security inks and solutions that it provides.

Vinsak-Lombardi success

Vinsak has had significant success in its extensive territory selling and servicing the Lombardi flexo presses. Over the past five years, it has sold 80 Lombardi presses. Around forty have been sold to Indian customers, ten to the UAE, and another 30 flexo presses in Africa – mainly Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Vinsak’s label finishing and inkjet systems manufactured in Navi Mumbai now have a global footprint of about 200 installations. These systems and some of the flexo presses have a high penetration among security printers in India, the Middle East, and Asia Minor, including several government security presses in the region. The Manipal Group and a couple of the government security presses in India are its customers. Printers such as Inkript in Lebanon, Fine Print in Ghana, Umur in Turkey, a state printer in Indonesia, the State Printing Corporation in Sri Lanka, and a government printer in Macedonia have also adopted Vinsak’s print and security solutions.

Pandemic label press sales and constraints

While the packaging and label industry has fared better than other sectors in India during the pandemic, mainstream label printers tell us that they have reached 80% of their pre-Covid-19 production levels by end-November. The reports on the sales and installations of new label presses during the pandemic are sparse. We have reported that Multitec presses have sold well in the past six months. Some of its installations have been done by the customers themselves with Multitec’s engineers’ remote guidance. A customer in Israel was extremely impressed by the detailed know-how of Multitec’s engineers. We believe that other Indian manufactured presses have also made some sales. There have been a few digital label press installations during the lockdown, notably a couple of HP Indigo presses.

Managing director and CEO Karunakar of Sreeven The Offset Printers with the new Lombardi Synchroline 430 8-color label press sold and installed by Vinsak
Managing director and CEO Karunakar of Sreeven The Offset Printers with the new Lombardi Synchroline 430 8-color label press sold and installed by Vinsak

Vinsak has been more open about its sales and installations during the pandemic, both in India and other territories. It has sold and installed Lombardi flexo label presses to Aarya Print Pack in Mumbai, Mold-Tek Packaging in Hyderabad, Sreevan Offset Printers in Hyderabad, Aquarius Print Press in Dubai, and Al Hadiqa in Sharjah. Aarya Print Pack, Aquarius Print Press, and Al Hadiqa have also purchased Vinsak’s label finishing equipment.

Vinsak managing director Ranesh Bajaj recently explained that the company has been able to function more normally from its base in Dubai than elsewhere because the UAE has remained open during the pandemic. Nevertheless, it has still been a challenge. It is not easy to install new presses and service many machines and systems in a pandemic. A substantial spare parts inventory and a team of service engineers are needed.

“It is not that simple or easy to look after more than 200 customers in such a large territory,” he says. “What do you do when two machines break down at the same time, and sometimes they are quite far from each other, and remote servicing doesn’t get them going. Spare parts and engineers have to reach, and neither travel nor access is available in every place that we may need to go with the constraints brought on by the pandemic.”

Smart Packaging Solutions Virtual Congress -19 March 2021

The Smart Packaging Solutions for India and South Asia Virtual Congress on 19 March focuses on food and pharma supply chains, brand security, and sustainability. Organized jointly by IPPStar and the AIPIA, the virtual congress’s topics include brand authentication, condition monitoring, and active and intelligent packaging that contributes to the safe delivery of authenticated products leading to safety, security, and customer engagement. Please look at the agenda of the conference here, and for registration, please click here. You can also email Ruchi at or Umesh at Call us in Noida at 120-4546988 or 4326053 – Umesh at Xtension 30; Ruchi at Xtension 33; Gaurav at Xtension 23; and Mohit at Xtension 25.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.


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