Bal Krishan Khindria, the founder and managing director of Memory Repro, passed away on 21 November 2016. In the last conversation that we had with him some months ago, he said that he was ill and that he was going in for more treatment in the next few days. Most of the industry knew Bal Krishan both as the managing director of Memory Repro and as one of the most active founder members of the Indian printing equipment manufacturers association known as IPAMA. He was recently elected as the honorary general secretary of IPAMA for the term of 2016-18.
We knew Bal Krishan from the mid-1970s, when he started manufacturing vacuum printing down frames for exposing conventional offset plates. In those days in India, these were mostly positive working deepetch plates while pre-sensitized plates were introduced a little later to the market by TechNova. So there is nothing really very new about ‘Make in India’ because many individuals like Bal Krishan Khindria began manufacturing printing equipment in the 1960s and 1970s that transitioned the industry from letterpress to offset.
What was interesting about Bal Krishan was that he was always looking for new products to manufacture that could help printers go forward in their modernization and automation efforts. He kept making new products and in recent years some of his most cost-effective and useful equipment included optical punch and bending plate registration systems for newspapers that need these to print process color. We had the honor to visit the Memory factory full of metal working and fabrication equipment, a few years ago. We met with the next generation of the company that was getting into serious engineering design using digital tools.
Our last meeting was in our office and he didn’t let on that he was ill; we could not have guessed although he talked about growing up in Kashmiri Gate and some of his memories of people that we both eventually knew. But he did tell us during our last phone conversation and he was quite frank about it. But just as he loved life, he was one of the few people who genuinely enjoyed their work in the print industry.
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