Karniz Packs adds best-in-class machinery to its business unit

Plans to venture into paper carry bags

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Packaging and printing samples from Karniz Packs. Photo PSA
Packaging and printing samples from Karniz Packs. Photo PSA

Founded in 1995, Alif Packs (renamed Karniz Packs in 2018) is a well-known name in Kerala’s packaging and printing circles. With over 22 years of experience in the industry, Karniz Packs is one of the leaders in offering best-in-class solutions to its customers. We met CI Nizar, chairman and chief marketing officer, and PK Abdul Kareem, chief executive officer, Karniz Packs to learn more about the company and some of the significant investments they have recently made in machinery to up their game in the highly competitive market of Kerala.

“Karniz Packs is a name that is synonymous with high quality printing and packaging. Almost 70% of our turnover comes from packaging and the remaining from commercial printing jobs. We have over 100 employees with us who oversee every aspect of a job to ensure our customers receive the best possible solution for their needs. It is owing to our employees and our distinct client base that we have been able to maintain our outstanding reputation as manufacturers and suppliers of printing and packaging materials globally,” says Nizar.

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PK Abdul Kareem, chief executive officer, Karniz Packs

The company specializes in the manufacture and printing of duplex cartons, corrugated cartons, danglers, labels, stickers, paper and paper products, etc. At its Peringala, Kochi unit, Karniz has state-of-the-art printing and packaging equipment, which include a Heidelberg SM74 4-color machine, a Kodak CtP, semi-automatic corrugation machines, die-cutters and stripping machines, lamination machines, etc. In terms of further investment, Nizar says he plans to go for another printing press, pasting machine, perfect binder and folder.

“We had almost finalized with Komori for a new press but then the floods came and we had to shelve our plans. Economy was badly hit and our business was also affected. The whole industry was shut down for over two weeks, leading to severe monetary losses. Almost a year on, the economy is yet to get back to normalcy and there is still little cash flow in the market. However, once the business situation improves for us, we plan to add a printing press to our unit,” says Kareem.

The company now plans to go for a used press and is currently in talks with Heidelberg for a 6-color press with UV and coater. If all goes well, Kareem says, they will install the press in this financial year. “The decision to choose Heidelberg came from the fact that they have an excellent name in the market for refurbished machines and after-sales support,” he adds.

In addition to this, Karniz Packs has added some postpress equipment in the last one year, which includes a brand new window patching machine from Wenzhou Hengtong, a paper lunch box making machine and automatic vertical lamination machine from Ruian, an automatic embossing, stripping and die-cutting machine from Longhua, and a POLAR high-speed cutting machine.

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The Longhua 1050DS automatic embossing, stripping and diecutting machine at Karniz Packs’ Kochi unit

Finally, talking about the company’s expansion plans, Kareem shares that they want to soon venture into carry bags manufacturing. “There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the ban on plastics. Tamil Nadu has completely banned single-use plastic and many states are following suit. So, we need to think of a future where we can have alternative solutions for plastic carry bags. In this regard, we want to start with a paper bag manufacturing section soon. People in Kerala are quite conscious of their environment and are increasingly demanding solutions for a plastic-free surrounding. This is an indicator that paper bags are the future and we are seriously looking at working in this segment,” concludes Kareem.

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.

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– Naresh Khanna

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