SMC Packaging started in 1999 in Gurugram with three corrugation lines and by outsourcing its print work. In 2005, it moved to Baddi and purchased equipment for printing on corrugated boxes. Right from the start, SMC was involved in the production of packaging for electrical appliances. Unlike others who shifted to Baddi for its SEZ status, SMC shifted to Baddi in order to cater to its biggest then customer, Su-Kam.
Since Su-Kam had its plant in Baddi, it was only profitable to supply the packaging from nearby according to Shailesh Garg, managing director of SMC Packaging. Its next major customer at the time was Bajaj Appliances. Currently, SMC is the OEM supplier to Usha and Crompton, among others. In a month, SMC produces nearly 5 to 6 lakh litho laminated fluted cartons in a month. The major portion of these goes to Bajaj.
Diversify in order to grow
“Our focus is more on quality as compared to volume sales. We believe that quality service will more easily fetch customers than having to run after them. With the service that we provide, we have been able to grow our business by 10% to 15% every year for the last ten years. Our annual turnover stands at Rs. 15 crores,” shares Manish Garg, director of SMC Packaging.
“We believe that we will get business according to the manufacturing atmosphere in the country. If we want a drastic change in the market, we have to work towards it. We are focused on appliance packaging in the printed corrugated cartons segment. Right now, the only way we can expect a huge growth or drastic change, as I mentioned earlier, is by diversifying to other packaging segments.
“We are the older generation. We believe that in order to grow, young and fresh minds have to come into the picture. Both Manish’s and my son have joined our business recently after completing college. Again, we don’t want them to take things casually by giving them a top position in the company straight away. They work as interns at our office and with time, when they develop maturity, we shall think about giving them much more prominent roles in the company,” says Shailesh.
Future not bright for labels and monocartons
Shailesh says that 20 years ago, new imported offset presses did not dominate the market. According to him, currently, all the European used machines that are close to 20-25 years old have been dumped in India with more than 100 second-hand offset machines being installed annually.
“If we look at the label segment, the same scenario is repeating. For offset to reach a stagnation point in India, it took close to 10 years. I’m pretty sure that the labels segment will be affected sooner. All the commercial offset printers are diversifying to monocartons or labels, which will surely bring the margins down in the near future and the segments will no longer remain profitable. Those are the two areas which don’t seem to have a bright future. That is the reason why we want to continue in the corrugated box segment for now before taking any further steps,” says Shailesh.
SMC to invest in a brand new Komori
Currently, SMC has three corrugation lines including narrow and micro fluting. One of these lines has been imported from China, a fingerless corrugation machine. For printing, SMC has a 1998 model Komori Lithrone 6-color press plus coater and a Planeta 6-color press. Going ahead it plans to invest in a Komori UV printing press by next year.
SMC Packaging’s prepress business – Bwin Creation
Bwin Creations, which is a sister concern of SMC Packaging, had purchased North India’s first Kodak Flexcel NX Hybrid imager – a 30 x 40 inch plate-making machine for making flexo and offset plates. Its Digicap NX produces engineered flat top dots that help improve ink transfer in shadow and solid areas to achieve better overall print quality, allowing platemakers to mix solid areas and halftones on the same plate. The feature also helps to reduce setup times with plates that come to color more quickly for increased efficiencies.
The Flexcel NX runs in two eight-hour shifts each day to deliver plates to many of the printers in the region. Manish says that it takes 32 seconds to process an offset plate, adding that Bwin is looking to purchase another prepress system of a wider size from Kodak.