Meet V Vaidyalingam, director, Suba Solutions Pvt Ltd

–in conversation with D Ramalingam of Print & Publishing.

V VaidyalingamV Vaidyalingam, director, Suba Solutions Pvt Ltd, is a household name in printing fraternity all over India. Always smiling, he builds a rapport with any one he meets. A BE Printing from Anna University, Chennai with PGDM from National Institute of Sales and Digital Marketing from NII, he knows his job well. Presently, he is director - marketing in his company Folding Carton Division providing print finishing for paper board packaging production. D. Ramalingam (DR) from P&P finds out more about Vaidyalingam (Vaidy), his business and other interests in an exclusive interview.

What did it take to opt for B E Printing?

Vaidy: Honestly I was never sure about what I should be doing in my career. I got admissions on merit in an engineering college in Coimbatore initially and after I had joined Coimbatore Institute of Technology I got admissions in College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University to some programs like Leather, Mining and Printing. I chose printing because I wanted to get back to study from my home in Chennai and chose printing over the other two options I had in Chennai. That time, I did not have a clue about what printing held for me. So essentially the decision was an accident.

Right from beginning, you seem to be interested in Sales & Marketing. Does it reflect your personality?

Vaidy: Neither I was cut out for marketing nor did I choose it. Since I was never sure what I wanted to do, I was literally thrust into that position when my career with TechNova began. And slowly I found my feet. Luckily the companies I had worked for, TechNova for a short period and largely Proteck gave me space and time to understand, learn and grow in my profession. Importantly since I had the motivation to keep learning, I could evolve, progress and try out my ideas without any restriction. It laid the foundation for my entrepreneurship. I also had the opportunity to interact with owners of companies that elevated my thought and confidence.

Having said that, I basically like to interact with people. I have my own opinion on a subject that is independent on what other people may say or like which actually may not be an advantage in marketing.

What made you look to China?

Vaidy: In 2003, China was fast emerging as machinery maker of the world. In our industry, machines had started to come into India and Sri Lanka. While in Proteck, I had seen a Chinese machine or two during one of my visits to customers in Sri Lanka. Having been in marketing for about 10 years by then, I had a fair understanding of what was required for printing industry in India. The following were my observations at that time:

  • There was a clear lacuna in print finishing equipment.
  • Quality suppliers / manufacturers at that time in India were few.
  • I believed that print finishing held the future.
  • I could also make out that not all jobs, particularly in commercial printing, would pass through the same finishing process. So the capacity utilisation of print finishing machine would not be high in many cases. Therefore for high cost machines, viability was simply not there. So customers would like to have affordable investment and reasonable performance.
  • Once you want affordable automation, the way to go was obviously China.
  • I could also understand that with my very talented, experienced and committed partner, Balaji, we can bring in Chinese equipment into the country and support them well. That was the key to success.

So, I thought it would be a good business model to start off and we began contacting and evaluating good Chinese companies.

What do you think about print industry fairs now held in every nook and corner of our country?

Vaidy: We pick and choose our fairs. We work with committed partners. Our sales team size is very small. So good fairs give us an opportunity to talk to our customers and understand their constantly evolving needs.

These days it is getting a little too much like everything else, but that is the way the world is. We need to make our choices.

Tell us something about your demo centre?

Vaidy: When we took up agency business in 2003 we had three verticals for print finishing: print finishing for commercial printers; print finishing for book printers; and print finishing for packaging printers.

Somewhere in 2010-11, we thought that the future lies in packaging and decided to focus on the same. Actually the demo centre is an offshoot of that fundamental decision. We have a folder gluer in our demo centre. It is basically used to train our people and the operators of our customers. The production facility helps in the same.

Tell us about your Paper Board Packaging section?

Vaidy: We have three divisions: folding carton division which I head, Corrugation brown box making division headed by my co-director Naresh; and Manufacturing division headed by co directors Balaji and Senthil.

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