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“Indian screen printing industry has a very bright future,” says Abhishek Print Line MD
Category - Articles(Screen)

 “Indian screen printing industry has a very bright future. The only issue which we need to address is continuous improvement in our quality and quantity which can be achieved by deploying new machines and technologies, now easily available in India”, says Chander Prakash Paul, Managing Director of Abhishek Print Line (APL), a leading manufacturer, supplier and exporter of printing machine including screen printing machine.
“Our Indian machine manufacturers are also producing good machines and equipments at very low price as compared to imported machines,” says APL’s MD. APL is a manufacturer and exporter of industrial printing machines including industrial screen printing machines, pad printing machines, UV curing systems, UV coaters and other products related with the printing industry.
Touching upon the birth and growth of the company, Mr. Paul says: “Our beginnings can be traced back to 1960 when Paul Group started printing business in North India. During that phase we worked for a group of reputed industries like Dabur India Ltd. This led to the exposure of decorative printing on plastic containers in India and we are the pioneers in this industry in India”.
In 1991, they started manufacturing screen printing machines. In 1993, the unit had been shaped into ‘Abhishek Print Line’ (APL). “We started manufacturing screen printing machines, UV curing systems and other products related to this industry. Slowly, our progress led us to make international quality machines not only in India but also in the streams of International market”.
APL has its own R&D centre. Its plant is located at HSIDC Indl. Estate, Faridabad (Haryana). Early this year, APL had also opened up a new plant at Haridwar in Uttrakhand. In all the company employs around 160 people and rolls out 40 machines per month (in all segments). APL’s revenue basket comprises - 70% domestic sale and 30% export sale.
“We are spreading our legs more into export now” says APL’s MD, Mr. Paul in an interview with editor recently. Excerpts from the interview:
Early this year, you had opened a new plant at Haridwar. What is the rationale behind setting up this new plant?
The reason behind opening this new plant was to increase production capacity by three fold and to pass on excise benefit to small printers.
What was the investment made at Haridwar and what is the present capacity and what is the manpower strength at this new unit?
The total investment was Rs.5 Crore (Rs 50 million) in land and building, another Rs. 3 Crore (Rs 30 million) in plant and machineries. The plant capacity is to generate Rs 2 Crore (Rs 20 million) turnover per month and we have employed around 100 people in this new unit.
What are the products rolled from this plant?
Fully Automatic Screen Printing Machine, Fully Automatic UV Coating and Curing machine, Large format screen printing Machine and other machineries which are above Rs.300,000 and big in size.
What about old plant in Faridabad?
Old Plant is still running with production of small machines. It is now a demo centre and a corporate office.
Considering the slow down, was the timing was right for setting up the new plant and what is the outcome now?
Yes. The outcome has resulted towards our growth. We are almost achieving the desired objective of growth despite of slowdown and for this we want to thanks all our esteemed customers.
What is the future of screen printing?
I think screen printing industry has got a bright future in India as compared to other countries. Abundance of growth is foreseen in future in India. It is growing in terms of business in all segments for us. We can say that out of hundred screen printers only 2% screen printers are using machines. This means there is a lot of chance to innovate and sell more machines in Indian market.
As per your knowledge, what is lacking or what are the problems faced by Indian screen printers?
In India, people think that Screen Printing is a cottage Industry. So screen printers are not getting the right price for their product and that is why they are afraid of adopting new machines and technologies.
What is the importance of training as far as screen printing industry is concerned? Do you any have specific training programme?
We have special training program at our Faridabad Unit for those who book the machines of our company. Training is a very important factor. It gives awareness to printers about the latest developments happening in the printing industry and how they can save their time and money by adopting new technology. It also builds confidence among printers about screen printing process.
Your company regularly participates in various expos, what is your experience as far As the visitors are concerned, are they serious about screen printing, did you find growing interest in screen printing?
Yes, sometimes they are serious and sometimes they visit just to gain knowledge about printing. By participating in various exhibitions, printers can see new innovations in screen printing machines. They can discuss their problems related to printing face to face and accordingly they can make their mind to buy new products.
What is your experience in terms of screen printing in the countries where you are doing business?
Screen printing is widely increasing in all countries. In many countries screen printers are very good at their jobs.
Why do you think in India still screen printing is done manually?
Screen Printing is done manually because it requires a small capital. But these printers can be made aware of new technologies by putting seminars and exhibitions. They may shift to automation if the banks provide them loans for buying machineries on lowest rate of interest.
There is a growing trend (unity) in digital arena. Some digital machine makers have tie up with print head makers, and both of these have some understanding for inks with ink manufacturers. Similarly, do you find some wavelength happening among screen printing machine-screen ink-consumables producers to provide better service to screen printers. What you think?
Yes, we are trying to make a common platform where printers can get vast knowledge of inks, fabric, prepress and post press equipments and other consumables. We have few people on our panel to guide printers from time to time.
Do you find any stiff competition between screen and digital?
I think, both can fulfill print buyers’ need, neither digital can take over screen nor screen can take over digital. Both have their own role. There are some industries where digital cannot replace screen ie. PCB, Glass, Wood, Metal, Deccals, Garments, large quantity of small outdoor equipments, Direct printing on appliances, printing on plastics, Printing on non-woven bags, printing on stationary instruments ie. scales, slates, pens and Spot UV.
Do you find some synergy happening between screen and offset? What is your experience as far print finish jobs such as special effects and SPOT UV?
Yes spot UV is growing like anything. I think every second UV jobs is going for UV Spot Coating and most of them with screen only.
What is the state of screen inks and consumables supply?
There is availability of good screen inks in India and sources are being developed for betterment.
Though little late, can you please express your view on the recent budget in connection with screen printing business?:: I think after increasing the price of paper, the budget doesn't suit to printing industry and also there is no concession in excise and sale tax to manufacturers.
Every industrial sector in India have their own association who influence on the government for industry benefit. So who will garner support from government for screen printing or printing in general? :::There should be a very strong association in India who can influence the Government and familiarize the problems faced by them. For growth of the printing industry, the support of the Government is necessary.
Your message to screen printers in India::: I can say that the screen Printing Industry is the only industry which can be started with a very low investment. I wish all screen printers a bright and prosperous future.