Security labels – a gold mine for brands

Kwality Labels install Gallus ECS 340

security labels
The new Gallus ECS 340 8-color narrow web flexo press installed at Kwality Labels

The 50-year-old Delhi-based security labels solution provider, Kwality Labels, recently installed a Gallus ECS 340 8-color narrow web flexo press. The new press has helped reduce downtime, thanks to its smooth and highly automated setup. Its premium matrix removal feature will produce complex label shapes efficiently.

“We have a long and old association with Heidelberg. Apart from the advanced market-leading features of the Gallus press, we also couldn’t resist because it is one of the best companies in business, Heidelberg. Heidelberg’s service support is one of the best in the industry and was one of the deciding factors for us,” says Rajeev Chhatwal, director of Kwality Labels.

Security labels market growing in India

“It is fascinating to see how the smaller vendors and manufacturers are also showing a growing interest in security labels. They recognize that these help a great deal in combating counterfeiting. The scope of security labels in India is on an upward trend because of growing counterfeiting. We are working with many healthcare and industrial brands that are making use of this technology,” adds Chhatwal.

One of the most important features of security labels is their track and trace capability that allows the gathering of consumer data and geolocation, itself a gold mine for many brands in understanding consumer behavior. Another advantage is that brands can use security labels to offer cash-back and to run various promotional campaigns that make the product even more attractive to the end consumer.

“We had a small client who manufactured small auto parts and marketed these through distributors. He benefitted when from the introduction to our security solution. We gave him a customized app with all the consumer data and analytics. The codes or tokens printed on the labels were impossible to copy, which helped him increase sales and improve brand value. Hence, the solution is not only for bigger brands but can also help smaller ones grow their business,” explains Chhatwal.

COVID-19 offers opportunities but may inflict lethargy

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown that affected the business of big and small companies alike may bring losses to Kwality Labels losses of as much as 15% – 20% by the end of the current financial year. The government has lent a helping hand to the MSME sector by offering a stimulus package to grow business. “We are somewhat happy with the kit but would have appreciated some waiver in fixed costs such as electricity charges and salaries. There has been complete silence from the government on this. MSMEs would have appreciated the government sharing this burden for some time until the situation stabilizes.

“We also anticipate many new trends emerging in the market as a result of the pandemic. We believe that clients will now look to decrease their monthly stocks. It seems like more companies will diversify to personal care and healthcare segments to grow their business. We already have several new inquiries from these two segments. Concepts such as variable data, personalized labels, and dual labels may witness a rise. As label converters, we will focus on innovation and will always strive to offer new solutions to our customers so that they can stay ahead.

“The market is not at its best now, even though we have started getting new inquiries. I feel it will take another couple of months to bounce back. For us, it is important to focus on emerging market segments due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Tougher times always offer plenty of opportunities. The long term implications of this pandemic are likely to be crises in cash flow and workforce, a decrease in market share, and more lethargy. We hope the market recovers soon, and the pandemic ends as well,” Chhatwal concludes.

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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