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  • 08 May 2017

Zircon Technologies invests in new plant

Sanjeev Sondhi, director of operations at Zircon Technologies, speaks about the Indian converter’s latest investments.

Zircon Technologies has invested approximately 7.5 million USD in a new plant in Dehradun, India, and in the expansion of its existing facility. It has also shifted its Chennai plant to a bigger space of 18,000 sq ft. The company now aims to clock a turnover of 30 million USD by March 2020.

This investment includes installation of a new 12-color 17-inch Mark Andy Performance Series P7 printing press and the third Omet press, a 10-color 14.5-inch Xflex X4, in Dehradun in 2016. A 17-inch Rotoflex VLI 430 and a VSI 330, both with 4k Nikka cameras, have also been installed at the factory. A 10-color 13-inch Mark Andy Performance Series P7 press, along with a Rotoflex VSI 330 with Nikka 4k camera, will be installed at one of the company’s plants later this year. Two Xeikon 3500 20-inch digital presses and SPGPrints rotaLEN direct laser engraver, both signed during Labelexpo India 2016, are also a part of this investment.

Speaking about the company’s growth, Sanjeev Sondhi says, ‘We have to optimize our investment. The company is currently growing at 25-30 percent a year, but it will be difficult to continue this pace of growth with large volumes. We aim to generate 22.5 million USD of revenue from the pressure-sensitive business and the other 7.5 million USD from print diversification that we are looking at seriously to increase profit margins.’

Zircon is focusing on brand protection and its sister company, SecureDibs, has developed a sophisticated printing system for the same. Sondhi says that product authentication at the consumer’s end is a myth. ‘It is not practical. The label with anti-counterfeiting features should be easy to produce and difficult to replicate. Printers will have to develop their own technology. No one will develop and hand a fool-proof solution to the printers that cannot be replicated. The technology has to be developed and evolved in-house. Your specialty should become a necessity of your print buyer. It is only then that you will get profit margins.’

He also indicates the importance of labels offering a functional benefit to the brand owner. ‘Your product must contribute to their profit percentage in some way. Only then will the brands stay with you for a long time.’

Citing the example of the growing industry for printed electronics, he adds, ‘the labels are integrated in the gadgets and are improving the consumers’ quality of life, so the market is witnessing good growth. We must focus on offering value to brands by introducing brand security and adding other innovations.’

Global business

Export continues to contribute 8-10 percent of the company’s business. ‘We are trying to build our global business and want to reduce our dependency on single economy. The company will continue to increase its export percentage and improve the bottom line,’ Sondhi explains.

Zircon is also developing its team to take final decisions independently. ‘We are investing in our people by giving them more exposure to new technology and by sending them out in the market – both locally and internationally. I plan to take a team of people from my company to Labelexpo Europe this year and make joint technology decisions with them for better investment in the company,’ Sondhi says.

The company firmly believes in the empowerment of women and offers good posts that enable them to make important decisions in the company. Many important divisions at Zircon, such as pre-press, production, finishing, quality control, human resources, among others, are headed by women; and the biggest press in the factory is run by a female operator with the help of male assistant.

The company has redesigned and renovated its employees’ work and recreation areas, including an in-house café, to provide a better space and infrastructure for its team.