000 square foot plant in Navi Mumbai in 1997. There are 250 employees who work across all its units in Lower Parel and Navi Mumbai. Award mainly caters to the packaging needs of pharmaceutical companies and some of the biggest MNCs like GSK
Award Packaging started in the galas of Lower Parel in Mumbai and set up a 25,000 square foot plant in Navi Mumbai in 1997. There are 250 employees who work across all its units in Lower Parel and Navi Mumbai. Award mainly caters to the packaging needs of pharmaceutical companies and some of the biggest MNCs like GSK, Pfizer and many others are their clients. The company also employs sophisticated prepress and printing techniques for the brand security of these company’s products. These include water marks, line art printing, micro text, 3D embossing, coin-reactive printing, hidden text amongst others. Nitin told us that the research and development for the security printing and packaging applications for pharma products is done in house. Award has been one of the first companies in the country to introduce Braille embossing. “We understand Braille embossing on all packaging will become compulsory by 2010 in India like it has in Europe, US and UK markets,” says Nitin Shah.
In January 2008, the Award prepress unit in Lower Parel bought Esko’s, ArtiosCAD for Structural Design, PackEdge and ArtPro for full-featured packaging preproduction, DeskPack for Graphics Design, Plato for Assembly of Graphics and Structure and Plate Layout and FlexProof/E for colour accurate proofing. The company added a FlexRip in August 2008 to apply complex and combination screening techniques. The FlexRip also allows the transfer of the 1-bit TIFF to files to any third party CtP, as well as ink profile data to their CIP3-enabled presses. Moreover, Award has invested in a Kongsberg digitally driven samplemaking table. The Kongsberg enables them to fabricate short-run pre-printed samples, accurate mock-ups and also cuts blankets for spot varnishing.
The company plans to buy a CtP by January 2009. Krunal Shah, Rajesh Shah’s son, Executive Director of Award Packaging who joined the company in 2005 after completing his masters at the London College of Printing, says they chose Esko’s software as, “EskoArtwork is a one-stop provider for packaging pre-production solutions and it includes the complete workflow for commercial printing, flexible packaging and labels.”
While printing takes place at both locations most of the new heavy metal is installed at Navi Mumbai. At Navi Mumbai there is a used Heidelberg 102 5-colour press which they bought in 1998. In 2004 Award invested in a Heidelberg CD 102 7-colour press with inline coating. This machine is apparently the only one of its kind installed in Asia. The latest installation at their Vashi plant in July 2008 was the Heidelberg XL75 5-colour which began production on 25 August 2008. At their Lower Parel plant, they have 2 double-colour Heidelbergs and a single colour Heidelberg.
Their postpress equipment includes three Bobst die-cutters two of which are used and a brand new Speria bought at drupa04. There are 5 folder gluers, including 1 from Bobst. A Bobst with the latest Braille attachment will be installed in February 2009. In the Navi Mumbai plant there is also a Heidelberg foil stamping machine and a Heidelberg UV coating machine.
Plans for Flexo
Rajesh Shah, Director, Award Packaging who handles marketing and finance of the company says, personalization is key in this business, “The customer is king.” Shah spends a lot of time interacting with his customers to understand what exactly they need, which he believes is extremely important.
About the future, Shah says the company plans to buy more space in Navi Mumbai to start up a flexo division. The company also plans to get into direct exports. According to Rajesh Shah, the packaging industry is growing at a rate of 15% year on year while Award Packaging is growing at almost 10 to 12%.