Replika seeks its niche in carton packaging

Strong focus on manufacturing mobile phone boxes

Mobile phone boxes manufactured at Replika’s packaging unit in Sonipat. Photo PSA

Sonipat, Haryana based Replika Press is a leading print service provider specializing in book printing and high-end commercial print production supplying mostly to international publishers. After many years into business, the company sensed the pulse of the market and understood the demand for print was slowly depreciating. In 2016-17, the company entered the packaging business and has never looked back since.

“The overall growth in the printing industry over the past few years has become stagnant and so has the hope of increase in the rates and better profit margins. Once we saw that there is not much in it for us printers, and were being compelled to absorb the inputs which took a toll on our profits, we decided to diversify,” says Bhuvnesh Seth, managing director of Replika Press. He adds, “We entered into packaging observing its growth potential. Packaging has been improving over the years and has a promising future in India and hence, we decided to give it a shot. The main difference is that in book printing, everybody knows Replika by the brand that we have managed to create over the years, and they are also conscious of our consistency in terms of delivering quality jobs. However, in packaging, where we have to compete with some of the big names in the industry, it is a different ball game altogether. Nevertheless, the growth rate in case of packaging is higher. I think it will take another 4-5 years for us to be known and consolidate in the packaging segment.”

At the moment, Replika is focussed on making mobile phone boxes using Kappa board and similar solid boards that are laminated with high quality print on paper. For a start, the company took up projects for Oppo and Vivo. “This project came to us from China, as both Oppo and Vivo are Chinese companies. A lot of mobile phone manufacturers are Chinese and the demand for hard boxes in China is at an all-time high currently. We have tied up with a printing company based in China and we are making this project in collaboration with that company,” Seth shares.

There are around 6 to 7 main suppliers for Oppo. But looking at Replika’s quality and service, Oppo decided to offer the company with a lucrative contract. As of now, Replika is one of the top suppliers of mobile boxes to Oppo and Vivo.

All the machines used at Replika’s manufacturing facility have been imported from China. The company mostly uses Zhongke rigid box making machines at its facility. At the recently launched facility at Sonipat, Haryana, the company plans to install a Heidelberg CD 102, 7-color plus coater for packaging printing. The machine is currently in transit and its installation will begin shortly. For now, the company will continue to manufacture rigid boxes and is not looking to diversify any time soon.

“As I said, there is a lot of scope in packaging. I see a threefold growth in packaging and that is the reason why we diversified. Nevertheless, there is scope for improvement. As far as Replika, we are still new in this segment. With time, we will find our niche just like we did in printing,” concludes Seth.

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