Five Star installs Komori Enthrone 426

Kochi-based company opts for Bobst Novacut 106 diecutter

Sabu KP, owner of Kochi-based Five Star Offset Printers. Photo PSA
Sabu KP, owner of Kochi-based Five Star Offset Printers. Photo PSA

In the Southern part of India many printers are expanding their business with the installation of world-class printing and converting machinery. Founded in 1991, Kochi-based Five Star Offset Printers is a family-owned business that meets the demands of commercial printing including leaflets, brochures, catalogs and reading books for government, institutions and corporate clients. Sabu KP, owner of Five Star, says, “We have made few investments on converting machinery. As commercial print margins shrink and hypercompetition grows, many printers are venturing into packaging printing. We have plans for the carton segment and have placed an order for a Bobst Novacut 106 diecutter and Visionfold 80 A2 foldergluer in order to meet the demands for quality packaging.”

In 2015 Five Star invested in a Komori Enthrone 426 press for better productivity with faster turnaround of orders. “Our production unit is around 12,000 square feet and we wanted a compact machine that could easily fit in a limited space. Apart from the Komori Enthrone 426, the unit is equipped with a Heidelberg CtP in prepress, CD 102 and PM 74 presses and flatbed diecutters. We even contemplated buying a Heidelberg press but cost was a major deterrent. The strengthening of the Indian Rupee against the Japanese Yen and attractive financial schemes aided us in the buying the Komori Enthrone 426,” states Sabu. Speaking about his company’s performance, Sabu points out, “2015 has been a  difficult year which saw marginal growth. In the previous years we have managed to clock some progress. However, work has shrunk significantly due to the slowdown. Hence, we are more interested in the markets in Africa and USA. Another outcome of the go-slow is the sharp drop in margins.

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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