Mudrika aims to be among the top three label players in India

New plant brings narrow-web, gravure printing under one roof

Mudrika aims to be among the top three label players in India
Gallus: Karin and Ferdinand Ruesch inaugurate Mudrika's new plant. Photo PSA

They are natural innovators. As partners they keep you on your toes,” Samir Patkar, MD, Gallus India, commented on Gallus’ relationship with Mumbai-based Mudrika Labels. Patkar was speaking to Packaging South Asia after the official inauguration of Mudrika’s swanking new plant in Vasai. Mudrika has been a leading player in the label manufacturing industry and has had a long association with Gallus. “When we first associated with Mudrika our goal was to help the company shift from letterpress to flexo. They knew about the label business and our job was to take them to an alternate technology that was flexo,” Patkar added. And Gallus has indeed been successful in its endeavour. Mudrika has come a long way, especially in the last decade, under the dynamic leadership of three brothers Manish Desai, Vipul Desai and Sandip Kadakia

The 50,000 square foot plant, which was inaugurated by Gallus’ Karin and Ferdinand Ruesch on 7 March 2016, has six Gallus presses out of the total 11 that operate in the premises. The new plant consolidates the label business under one roof. Before moving to the new plant, Mudrika’s flexo and gravure operations were based out of two different plants in Vasai. It was in 2015 that the management began the process of consolidation. “Mudrika has been a very aggressive company and the fact that there are six Gallus presses here speaks volumes about our relationship,” Patkar said.

Targeting top three players in the label business
Mudrika was already among the top five players in the label industry but with the new investment cycle that began last year, the company now has an ambitious plan to break into the top three. “We have the capacity, capability and confidence. Mudrika will now aim to be among the top three label players. After bringing all narrowweb and gravure printing under one roof, we expect better synergies in our operations,” Manish Desai said. The company added Gallus ECS 340, its sixth Gallus, last year and the combined installed capacity now stands at 50,000 square metres a day.

Mudrika Labels, Gallus, Gallus ECS 340, flexo printing, self-adhesive labels, gravure operations, Manish Desai, Samir Patkar, Ferdinand Ruesch

The company also bought a Gallus EM 280 last year before they bought the ECS 340. “It was our customers who pushed us to buy the ECS 340. The kind of jobs they were offering needed such investment,” Desai said about the reason for buying the ECS 340 after investing in five EM 280’s before that. “Apart from having qualities such as short changeover time, lower wastage, buying ECS 340 was a part of our upgradation in technology. Customers are now intelligent and demanding.” Mudrika generally operates at 75% of capacity because there exists a seasonal demand in the label industry. Explaining the reason for having this spare capacity, Desai said, “The 25% spare capacity is very important because of certain demands that arise seasonally. For example, there is a spike in jobs from our customers in the agricultural sector during the monsoon season. We need to meet the demands of such customers. In a competitive environment it is important to have such spare capacity.”

Focus on systems
Desai agrees that investment in physical infrastructure is vital but investment in systems is equally important. A large number of companies do pay a lot of attention on how to maximize optimization of their machines. Having recognized this fact, Mudrika will be going for massive investments in 6 Sigma, Kaizen, ERP and SAP in the next five to six months. “You can have machines but it is the systems that will tell you how to utilize them optimally and efficiently,” Desai stated. In 2016, the company also plans to invest in an ink matching system and build a full-fledged prepress department.

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.

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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