Pragati Offset again makes India proud

-becomes Sappi International Printer of the Year for the third time

It would have been a real moment of pride for Pragati family while its founder Hunumantha Rao, receiving the coveted award from Sappi International for being declared the International Printers of the Year 2010 for the category of ‘Packaging & Labels’ in the presence of august gathering of over 700 invitees including Dr Geeta Reddy, honorable minister for information and public relations, Govt of Andhra Pradesh, and Chiranjeevi - top film actor and chief of political party ‘Praja Rajyam’ in Hyderabad on October 28, 2010. The award was presented by Wayne Rau, CEO, Sappi Trading, Hong Kong. SK Khurana, editor-Print & Publishing, who also joined these happy moments, briefs. Sappi International Printers of the year Since the inception of Sappi Awards in the year 2001, Pragati Offset Printers have been the proud and perhaps the only printer in the world winning these awards every time in one or the other categories. To date the number of awards Pragati has won comes to forty three, including twelve as gold; twenty six as silver and five as bronze. Narendra Paruchuri, speaking on the happy occasion, also going little emotional thanked Sappi for providing them a platform to show their performance and made Pragati known internationally. ‘Quality is Prime’ – with this sole message coming from his father Hanumantha Rao and uncle - mother’s younger brother - Neelakanteswara Rao (who unfortunately died few hours prior to the event, thus could not witness the great moments), Narendra did not forget to acknowledge and thank them, apart from all his clients and venders, some of them were present to share the moments of joy. Narendra also whole-heartedly appreciated the team members for their all time positive spirit at their printing plants to produce quality of highest level without which this would have not possible.

Latest machines/equipments are with every printer, but it is the people at Pragati who actually made it happen. Hanumantha Rao, who started Pragati 48 years ago was indeed happiest person on the occasion with his wife Sitalakshmi, sons Narendra and Mahendra (MD of Pragati Offset), Narendra’s wife Sasi Kala, and grandsons Harsha and Hemanth to share the joy of printing third elephant in Hyderabad making Indian print industry proud. Lee Chin Eng and Sandy Chong from Sappi Singapore, and Ramoji Rao - media baron - owner of Eenadu newspaper, ETV and Ramoji Film City also graced the occasion.

Sappi recently announced the names of eleven printers from across the globe as deserving winners of the prestigious awards, include: Eberl Print, Germany; Trident Press, South Africa; Druck Pruskil, Germany; Grafica Facform Impressos Ltda, Brazil; Courvoisier, Switzerland; Imprenta Mariscal, Equador; Lechte Medien, Germany; Thieme Groep, The Netherlands; Emirates Printing Press, UAE; Pragati Offset (Hyderabad), India; and Benatzky Druck und Medien, Germany. Held every second year, the much awaited 2010 announcement was made by Ralph Boëttger, chief executive officer, Sappi Limited.

Pragati Offset won this coveted award for the third time. This year in Packaging and Labels category, their winning entry was ‘Black Dog Reserve - 18 Years Whiskey - Rigid Box’, printed on the Sappi Magno Satin 170gsm. Earlier, in the year 2008, Pragati won in Printer’s Own Promotion category (wall calendar) in the international competition (held in Cape Town, South Africa); and in the year 2006 in Budapest (Hungary), they were conferred this award in ‘Catalogue’ category. So far only Pragati and Thomson Press have reached to the competition in international awards, whereas up to Trading region many printers like Pragati, Thomson, Ajanta Offset & Packaging (New Delhi), Rakesh Press, MWN, JAK Printers, Silver Point have already received the awards.

Sappi officials with team Pragati

The awards recognise, reward and honour the printers’ craftsmanship and attention to their work and understanding of their clients’ brief and designs. Each winner receives a coveted cast-bronze elephant trophy created by world-renowned sculptor Donald Greig, symbolising Sappi’s South African heritage. Over 6,000 entries were received from participating countries in this year’s four qualifying regional Printers of the Year competitions in Africa, North America, Europe and the Sappi Trading region of Australasia, Asia and South and Central America. The categories were: annual reports, books, brochures, calendars, catalogues, general print, digital print, magazines – sheetfed, magazines – web, packaging and labels, printer’s own promotion (2010 saw the introduction of new categories in recognition of their increased importance, namely digital print, sheet-fed magazines and web magazines).

Regional gold award winners competed against each other in their respective categories and were judged by an international panel of independent judges, ensuring impartiality and the broadest spectrum of technical expertise in print. Each entry was judged on overall appearance, quality of finishing and general difficulty of the print job, as well as factors such as dot sharpness, ink density, registration, screen ruling, stitching and die cutting. The judges, who hail from the four participating regions, were Dieter Geiss (Europe), Bill Garno (North America), Johan Swanepoel (Africa) and Greg Grace (Trading).

“Despite the press extolling the virtue of electronic media and the demise of print, the printed word remains powerful and pre-eminent in all forms of communication, be it for marketing purposes or just for pleasure. Each year printers set new standards of exceptional quality and Sappi is proud to honour these achievements. I am sure that the winners, and indeed all the finalists, will enjoy the recognition of their peers as well as their clients,” said Ralph Boëttger, congratulating the winners, “The entries for our 2012 Sappi Printers of the Year awards have already opened and I would encourage everyone with a great piece of print on Sappi paper to enter it to help us celebrate excellent print and the power of printed communication.”

Notably, South Africa-based Sappi, organizer of the awards, is the world’s leading producer of coated fine paper and largest producer of chemical cellulose, with capacity to produce 6.8 million tons of paper, 3.3 million tons of paper pulp and 800,000 tons of chemical cellulose annually. The name ‘Sappi’ is synonymous with environmental responsibility – underscored by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all 541,000 hectares of owned, managed and leased forest plantations by the company in Southern Africa and ISO 14001 certification for all Sappi’s mills around the world. They have manufacturing operations on four continents, sales in over 100 countries and 16,400 employees worldwide.

Appreciating endeavours…

What Girish S Mondkar (GSM), vice president (production), Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd and TSR Gautama Buddha, senior director, packaging development – Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd said about Pragati Offset in discussion with SK Khurana.

SK: What do you think about Pragati Offset’s achievement?
GSM: With Pragati since many years, for all our prestigious jobs involving high end colour reproduction, I am not surprised. They deserved it. They are the company with continuously on the technology upgradation path.
TSR: Yes, with the ongoing initiatives being followed at Pragati, this kind of achievement was bound to come.

SK: What does Sappy award to Pragati Offset mean for the Indian printing industry?
GSM: In fact, it brings Indian printing industry on the international platform, where it can proudly show their print excellence.
TSR: As the minister said in her address, Pragati Offset has brought laurels to Indian print industry in a big way.

SK: What makes Pragati Offset for such a successful printing business?
GSM: It is simply their quest for innovation, which makes them stand apart from others.
TSR: Since their total involvement is always seen from the inception stage of all our packaging jobs, customers like us feel very comfortable at all levels.

SK: Will you use Pragati Offset for your future printing requirements and why?
GSM: For sure, we always give preference to Pragati for all our high quality books like Coffee Table or other colour jobs to be produced on coated papers.
TSR: Why not, we shall like to be Pragati as our top of the line vendor’s list. We get guaranteed quality and personalised attention.

SK: Do you have a personal message for Pragati Offset?
GSM: Having put in so much of efforts in achieving this laurel, Pragati should continue to keep it up.
TSR: Yes, I would like them to become more and more innovative and offer exclusive services.

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