With Somerset as investor, Printmann aims to double revenue

Printmann who bagged the Packaging Company of the Year - Folding Cartons (Boutique) during the PrintWeek Awards 2023, announced the induction of Somerset Indus Capital Partners as a minority investor in the business as well as a new subsidiary Pakcellence. The announcement was made in the presence of Printmann's employees, customers and packaging partners during an event in Navi Mumbai on 13 February. The aim: To be the world's most preferred packaging partner

13 Mar 2024 | By Ramu Ramanathan

The Tannas of Printmann along with the Somerset team

"Our goal is to double our revenue in the next four years with full focus on the bottomline." So says Bipin Tanna, the founder of Printmann.

The occasion was: Printmann, a pioneer in manufacturing paper-based packaging products such as cartons, leaflets, labels and foils having announced the induction of Somerset Indus Capital Partners as a minority investor in the business.

During the occasion, Bipin Tanna, said "The funds would be deployed to accelerate Printmann’s growth, through pursuing both organic and inorganic growth initiatives". In addition, Printmann also announced a new initiative - the subsidiary Pakcellence which would make "in-roads into innovative and sustainable solutions like the Gable Top business etc."

Printmann came into being on 13 February 1987. Which is why the event, 37 years later on 13 February 2024 at the Taj Vivanta, had special significance. The theme of the evening was Printmann 2.0, signifying "a new growth path of continuing to unlock new opportunities whilst enhancing the operational capabilities with an ultimate objective of maximising the value for Printmann and all its stakeholders."

When probed further, Tejas Tanna said, "The key to responsible and sustainable scaling up is strengthening the relationships with clients and vendor partners, building the right team and having the right growth partners." He added, "We are constantly building the right team who have seen such growth and the hurdles which come with that. Also in Somerset we have found the right growth partner who will help us achieve our vision of being the world's most preferred packaging partner."


Printmann’s exclusive tie-up with Galdi, Italy for sales and service support from Pakcellence will accrue benefits in Gable Top packaging

Highlighting the collaboration, Avinash Kenkare, Mayur Sirdesai and Sharad Ladha, all partners at Somerset Indus Capital Partners said, As we embark on this exciting journey with Printmann, we remain committed to leveraging our resources, expertise, and extensive network to support their strategic initiatives. We are excited about the prospects of this partnership and look forward to a fruitful collaboration with Printmann’s talented team."

A strong dose of pharma

During the presentation, both Tejas and Ankit Tanna alluded to the future of Printmann. There are two focus areas: infra outlay and the tech transformation at Printmann. Ankit Tanna says, "In our industry tech transformation is closely associated with the infrastructure you build and the machinery you choose." Ankit Tanna adds, "In terms of choosing the right technology as well as machinery  we have always opted for the latest technology available globally. In the true sense of partnership, once we have chosen the right technology partner, we have multiple solutions from the same partner. Going ahead we believe our partners will keep coming up with new technology and we intend to keep adopting the same."

The Group's focus has been pharma. Ankit Tanna says, "We are truly the only 360 degree pharmaceutical and healthcare printed packaging solution provider in India. We take pride in holding a packaging patent and we don’t intend to stop with only one patent" Tejas concurs, "We believe that the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector is at the cusp of a multi-year double digit growth trajectory. Printmann Intends to be an important cog to support this growth so that India continues to remain the pharmacy to the world."

The siblings have plans for the future. For one, Printmann intends to represent the Indian packaging industry globally. Ankit says, "We have been participating at the CPHI Global in Europe since the past two years which is the biggest pharmaceutical and healthcare exhibition globally." After its debut at CPHI Frankfurt 2022, Printmann marked its presence at the CPHI show at Barcelona in 2023. The Group exhibited its product range for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector. At that time, 85% of Printmann’s revenue originated from the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector. With a view to increase direct exports from 7% to 20% in the next two years  Printmann is targeting to tap customers in Europe, North America and Latin-America.

When asked as healthcare systems around the world put pressure on drug prices, the pharma majors are looking for ways to cut costs. In this sense, how does Printmann's knowhow settle the jitters on this front?

Tejas Tanna, director of Printmann Group, responds, “India has been growing as a manufacturing hub with an increasing number of pharmaceuticals either importing packaged drugs from their Indian units/CMOs or packaging solutions from India.” He adds, "We shall continue to represent India by participating in more and more exhibitions in the coming years." Tejas explains, "At Printmann, we have over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Pressure on costs is not a new phenomenon. How one needs to differentiate is to see how we can innovate not only in product but also in the process. If our innovation can increase the output of our clients by 20-25% that itself is a cost saving measure. The focus is adding value to your customers' constraint areas rather than just decreasing your product price."

Differentiation with Gable Top

Printmann announced a new initiative - the subsidiary Pakcellence which would make "in-roads into innovative and sustainable solutions like the Gable Top business etc. Bipin tanna says, "For quite some time, we at Printmann , were pondering over various projects to chalk out our future growth path and go beyond pharma centric packaging domain."  There were several ideas and some of it totally in a new terrain but as Bipin Tanna says, "Our strong belief was that a successful diversification can be built by playing out the core strengths to our strategic advantage and borrowing from like-minded people who bring in complementary strength ."

This is how Pakcellence was born.

Subhasis Roy, the chief mentor at Pakcellence concurs, "On the one hand Printmann has an impeccable strength in terms of operational excellence in a regulatory environment with strong packaging design knowledge and our advisory and leadership team who have got associated with us in a seamless manner over the last 12 months come with huge technical and sales exposure both at the national and international level including knowledge of upstream processing in the food and allied sector including a profound understanding of primary and aseptic packaging."

Roy outlines the strategy, "Liquid packaging and more specifically  Gable Top packaging in India has already few players and we being a late entrant, have to adopt a different strategy to create our own identity. Thus we delved into deeper understanding of what could be the key value drivers for this business and thus thought of offering a complete value chain solution , starting from hand holding support in up stream processing , partnering with right filling machine who have a strong R&D foundation and also at the substrate level with robust strategic alliance.

Roy continues, "Our aim for differentiation will be research driven approach both for application and filing system and selection of the right substrate befitting customer application but keeping an eye on quality and cost optimisation through best manufacturing practices . In that sense our partnership with Galdi holds very high promise, as they are in a market leadership position in mid-capacity machine range especially in Europe, Mid East, Africa and SEA." Galdi has a whole-owned subsidiary called Fill Good which provides hand holding support to develop specialised filling system and can go a long way for new product development in collaboration with Printmann.

Roy points out, "This could be a very interesting proposition for many startups who are looking at developing sustainable packaging solutions."

Innovation the best defence

Is innovation the best defence in these times? Both Subhasis Roy and Pavan Singh, the CEO of Pakcellence say, yes.

Singh says, "It may not be out of place to mention that Printmann has chosen the most advanced hot-air based sealing technology for the Gable Top carton." He points out, " This is not the naked flame sealer which is somewhat outdated and can cause certain qualitative issues in the packaging sleeves." Perhaps the first such converting machine for Gable Top in India. Singh adds, "As per our understanding, this is the same hot air sealing technology that is followed by the global leader in aseptic packaging.

From the market side, Roy adds, "We believe that Gable Top packaging can be extended beyond the present known applications and also the aseptic segment for liquid packaging to carve out a space for itself." The good news is: One such project is signed off where Pakcellence could offer a solution. 

Roy says, "This can open up a completely new market in India with excellent product attributes." So basically, Pakcellence and Printmann are aiming at category creation and making the pie bigger for Gable Top rather than a price war. Roy explains, "This is what is called positive sum competition."


Printmann plant

The way forward

But Gable Top is just one of the few initiatives under Pakcellence which is the proverbial ‘ low hanging fruit’ . Roy says, "We have several such ideas in the drawing board but in order to fructify such ideas  it must satisfy three fundamental questions.

The three boxes that need to be ticked are.

- What larger problem is it going to solve to enrich quality of life. Roy explains, the Pakcellence offering will be a sustainable packaging solution and it could be related to either food, health or hygiene
- How can Pakcellence create a unique differentiation with man, machine and material
- Lastly, whether the market is ready and whether it can become another growth driver for the Printmann Group, thereby creating value for all the stakeholders

All this resonates with one interesting thing Ankit Tanna had shared during a Print and Beyond seminar a few years ago. He told the delegates in Kochi: Always be keen to disrupt the market before someone disrupts you. When we ask Ankit if Printmann's move is a step in that direction, Ankit Tanna smiles and says, Oh, Yes!

Printmann and the Somerset funding - At a glance

The Somerset Indus Capital Partners’ investment philosophy is to partner with dynamic companies poised for transformative growth and this investment further solidifies their commitment to fostering growth and innovation within the pharma and healthcare industry.

Printmann has a leadership position in the paper packaging industry especially in the pharma sector and this investment from Somerset Indus Capital Partners will fast-track its growth trajectory in new markets and in other high growth sectors and accelerate new product development initiatives.

Printmann looks forward to a fruitful collaboration with Somerset in the years to come.

Printmann looks forward to leveraging Somerset’s resources and expertise as we further fortify our presence across markets and build a brand name for Printmann globally.

EY acted as the exclusive sell-side advisor to Printmann, DSK Legal acted as the legal advisor and Marathon Edge provided vendor assist services on this deal.

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