The Rs.200 crore publishing business sets an ambitious target to double its turnover in a few years. The recent Kodak CtP installation is a major boost.
Navin Prakashan Mandir was started by Mr. Piyush Agarwal’s father, Late Mr. Satish Chandra Agarwal in 1960. He lost his salaried job and with a meager saving of Rs.10-15 he laid the foundation of his own business. Initially he rented a shop, which was a fire-ravaged place, painted it with his own hands and started framing pictures. It couldn’t keep his interest for long, so he started a book shop where he would trade in new as well as old books. That business flourished with round the clock rush of customers keeping the cash registers flowing. He could manage to save around Rs.20,000 and decided to venture into publication. It was in the year 1967-68 when he bought land for his publication setup. Starting from publishing one book initially from his 400sq.yard plot, to gradually adding the numbers, he acquired business knowledge about selling and marketing; entered into deals with other publishers for sales; and spread the business across the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Around the year 1975 he had stepped into the academic guides’ publishing segment. This business carved a name in the UP and Uttaranchal region as one of the leading publishers which remained so for almost a decade till 1985.
Piyush Agarwal joined the business at a young age of 14 years in 1984. Mr. Satish Chandra observed his son had little interest in academic studies so he asked him about his interest in joining the family business. Mr. Piyush readily agreed, and Mr. Satish Chandra initiated a printing setup for him with two Adast Dominant machines from J Mahabeer. The imported machines were – one single colour 714 and another740-model dual-colour, both of 19×26 size. The press got named after Piyush’s mother – Vinita Printing Press and Piyush started looking after the printing business with great interest running the presses 24×7. Vinita Printing Press would print books while binding was handled by the other unit with a capacity of around 2000 books (per binder) manually sewn and bound per day. In contrast, today’s ‘Green World Publication’– the present name of the publication – is capable of churning out one-lakh perfect bound 800-1000 page single to 5-colour books from start to finish, perfectly packed and dispatched each day.
A journey of binding around 2000 books (manually) per day to today’s churning out of one-lakh perfect bound 800-1000 page single to 5-colour books from start to finish, perfectly packed and dispatched each day.
In two years’, time, they added another Kolkata-made single colour machine of 24×36 size. After continuing for some time, the publisher in Piyush revolted from being limited to just printing and he ventured into publishing – this time into children’s books. He contacted various writers of children’s books and soon came up with at least 150 titles for children.
A major turning point came when Mr. Satish Chandra gave away the publishing business to one of Piyush’s cousins. Since Piyush’s heart was in publishing, he once again established two new firms to follow his dreams. Along came Ganga Jamuna Offset Printing Press in the year 1986. He also established Navin Group of Publications for the publication business around the same time.
Unfortunately, after so much success Piyush once again faced the teething problems of a new business and suffered many losses doing various jobs – while printing for other publishers, printing text books and test papers for universities etc. In 1992, Purvanchal University came into being and also proved a ray of fresh hope for Piyush. He re-launched his printing publication business by deciding to print text books and guides for the university.
Four years down, Piyush faced the greatest turmoil in his personal and business life. The year was 1996 and his father suffered a heart attack, the family got separated and business got revamped.
Piyush once again had to start afresh – this time with one web press, one sheetfed press, one of their first presses as a memento and an office. Doing varied jobs for the market as well as publishers for around four years, they gradually gained pace. Soon they added government tenders in their portfolio and the year 2000 was a new beginning for Piyush.
Green World Publications
Green World Publication (GWP) started in the year 2000. The name Green came for Piyush’s inclination towards environmentally friendly practices as well as his love for nature. The firm got registered in Allahabad and progressed from there. After a couple of years, Piyush realized that the firm had limited scope because of its registered office being in Allahabad which appeared more localized especially on a national sphere. He decided to move to Delhi – a proper centralized location –so that he can expand the business pan India. In 2007 he shifted to his new office in Dariyaganj and today Green World Publication is an organization run from its registered office based in Delhi. The company looked no back from there and kept writing new chapters of success to its story. Down the lane, they also took agency of P.C. Jewelers, which is also another success story with an annual turnover of over Rs.50 crores in Piyush’s business journey. Later he further diversified into an altogether different business and opened a Hotel with the name of Navin Continental. A couple of other projects are in the pipeline or coming up including restaurants, bars, banquets etc. which are scheduled for the coming two years.
As we saw, GWP started with the duo of the existing web machine and a sheet-fed machine, in the year 2003, Piyush felt the need to expand and consequently the need for a bigger facility. Eventually, he added 6-7 “bigha” land which he bought on the outskirts of Allahabad. This was done with the single aim to bring all the production from printing to binding to dispatch under one roof and manage corporate office work from a separate location. The resulting production facility came out as one of the best set-ups with state-of-the-art machines and equipment for printing to finishing. It boasted Manugraph’s Citiline web machines – a total 4 webs of 32-page size; there was another 4 colour web of 16-page size of 578mm cut-off; one machine was a 4-high tower from Aim Graphic Machines; two Webking machines were 2×2 and there were also two black & white bi-colour machines from the brand. Though most of the machines were of Indian make, many of them had been bought by him from either Kuwait or Australia.
KODAK VERISET T800 Platesetter: the stability and reliability of Kodak’s thermal CTP technology
The plate needs were initially met by getting imaged plates from a partnership arrangement which did them on a Technova Violet Platesetter. Later Piyush got an opportunity to get a Violet CtP in exchange for one of his idle lying online binding machine. The machine got installed to churn quality plates for GWP for almost 5 years. In between Piyush got the diodes replaced a couple of times and after 5 years, he felt the need to upgrade his plate production capacity. He started gathering information about various products by consulting many of his industry friends. He took feedback upon real world working of various brands by talking with and visiting to actual customer sites. There were a few friends who had been working with multiple brands and they advised Piyush to simply go for Kodak. Instantly a meeting was fixed with the Kodak / Insight team and the deal got finalized. Within one month the KODAK VERISET T800 Platesetter that delivers the stability and reliability of Kodak’s thermal CTP technology, was duly installed and was fully functional at GWP. The device has been installed by Insight Communications, an agent of Kodak India and it will also look after its service and maintenance.
The machine features full online remote support and access by Insight engineers. The machine is efficiently handling a production of around 200-250 plates per day for GWP. The entire plates, consumables, chemicals etc. are being provided by Kodak / Insight. The device is capable of using media of any brand (after adequate calibration). Up to 16 different media (calibrated) can be used at a given time without the need for subsequent recalibration. The KODAK CtP is one of the best CtP devices in the world and the world-class printed product quality is being provided by GWP in India. Moreover, the device is fully upgradable. The current model is an F model with speed of up to 22 plates/hr. It can be upgraded to the higher X model which comes with a speed of up to 34 plates/hr.
The Rs.200 crore Navin Group of Publications has been doing printing publication jobs for books, guides and other material and the major part of that comes from tenders – including those from NCERT. The recent slump and Covid-19 related slowdown cost them almost 50% fall in turnover last year. But, with the new KODAK CtP in place and going by the growth of the first few quarters, Piyush expects to level up the turnover this year. If things move as per his plans, he has a target of doubling up the production in coming three years. The main force behind his confidence is his belief in his team, his managers and their supervision. He has a total dedicated team of people who hardly need his intervention in day-to-day affairs of GWP. Of course, he regularly checks with them and keeps in touch with every department through access to a network of cameras and persistently communicates with his managers through various channels.
We found Piyush relaxed and mostly in cheerful spirits, a rare sign in the hectic schedule of a printer. He told us that his business has clean working, as tenders are online and he keeps margins low. This way he keeps orders flowing and also makes the products easily available for students of even lower economic class. “There’s no corruption, no headaches!” he states.
Piyush finds the publishing business as a promising business. He believes that there is much scope for growth in this field and in other businesses also for that matter in India. When asked if there is still room for new entrants in the already bloated publication industry, he has a simple reply, “If I can see growth in it, anybody can. What they have to always keep in mind is to maintain quality, do hard work and get the right people to grow.”
“If you produce a good product, it will sell. New entrants have to be extra careful. Success takes time. One should be careful with money because money once lost costs time and time is very crucial in business,” concludes Piyush with this veteran advice.
The printing publishing business took off well from Delhi. It not only set-off old losses but also grew to become a healthy profit-making business. Recently, Piyush has imported a few more machines to expand his capacity further. He plans to add more books to his portfolio and penetrate deeper into academic publications and other books. His confidence and dedication make his target of Rs.300 crore turnover in coming 3 years appear nearer.
Newly Launched Kodak VERISET Platesetters: excellent print quality is a given for every job
VERISET Platesetters use Kodak’s proprietary light valve imaging technology to produce a precise, accurate dot, leading to higher tonal stability and exposure uniformity. Consistency, predictability of plates and excellent print quality is a given for every job.
The option to choose and select a plate that fits individual budget and business requirements is an advantage that can’t be ignored. VERISET Platesetters are open CTP systems, compatible with a wide range of thermal plates. Kodak’s new Lens Contamination Avoidance (LCA) technology enables compatibility with low to medium debris-generating plates, so you can reduce plate costs without needing to add a debris removal system. The LCA technology keeps debris from the imaging laser through an active air curtain and a removable, easy-to-clean window.
The VERISET Platesetter offers three options for automation making it more flexible and productive, as well as reducing platemaking time as well as errors caused by manual plate handling.
As for Kodak VERISET CTP, this beauty is a 830 nm platesetter with Kodak’s Light Valve Imaging Technology (TH5 thermal head), external drum and the T800 model (which is installed at GWP) has a maximum plate size of 1038x838mm and gives a throughput of 22 plates per hour at 2400dpi resolution.