DESPITE repeatedly being turned away by financial institutions, GTV Label Master owners – Ravi, Ricky and Vernon Pillay – were determined to succeed. With sheer resolution, a streak of luck, and a bit of brotherly love, they managed to turn the business into one of Durban’s most prosperous printing companies.
In 1989, Thangvaloo Pillay and his three sons founded Label Master, a Durban-based label converter. After Thangvaloo’s death in 1992, his sons, Ravi, Ricky, and Vernon took over and renamed it GTV Label Master, in honour of their father’s courage and spirit. Back then the business was set up with a single 60-year-old UK-built Hall Kelly three-colour press and flexo die cutter.
’The business was struggling at the time,’ says co-owner and production manager Collin Naidoo. ‘Every cent we made was ploughed back into the company.’ He fondly recalls the turning point in the business. ‘The company needed to expand but lacked the capital to purchase machinery. We were laughed at. They (machine distributors) told us don’t even bother, you don’t have the money to buy these machines.’
In an attempt to turn their fortunes around, the Pillay brothers headed to the Wild Coast Sun Casino with only R1 000 to their name. As it happens, Lady Luck smiled on them, and they hit the jackpot, winning R80 100 on the slot machines. The money was eventually used as an initial down payment for a printing press. The rest, as they say, is history.
With hard work and a bit of luck, the Pillay brothers were empowered to purchase the necessary equipment required to grow their business. They turned to ROTOCON the only machine distributor that didn’t laugh at but respected them and established a 20-year partnership based on trust and shared values. GTV Label Master has since made ROTOCON its primary machine distributor, with 90% of the machinery on its floor currently supplied and installed by ROTOCON.
The business has since seen steady growth, which culminated in the brothers building their own state-of-the-art factory in 2004 in Clare Estate, Durban, which now boasts an impressive array of equipment. Pride of place goes to the ROTOCON ECOLINE RFP 340 flexo printing press (with complementary ECOLINE Pro Mount plate mounter) and the recently purchased SCREEN Truepress Jet L350UV SAI S digital printer, courtesy of ROTOCON.
Tried and trusted
Collin says after working with ROTOCON for many years, and successfully using its ECOLINE slitting, inspection and rewinder systems and digital printed label converting and finishing systems, it was a no-brainer for GTV Label Master to invest in the RFP 340. ‘The flexo press was immediately put to work thanks to the simplicity of its design and easeof-operation, which enabled our team to adapt easily.’
The press features an advanced servo drive and control system, while each printing unit is driven by a separate servo motor. These units are designed for optimal ink transfer and pressure adjustment to guarantee crisp-dot printing in high line counts, text, linework, solids, adhesives and varnishes. ‘If fine-tuning is required,’ he explains, ‘it can be done quickly, by adjusting the corresponding pressure setting device on both sides.’
Collin says investing in the RFP 340 and the Pro Mount at the same time has eliminated the need for manufacturing brackets to use on existing plate mounters. ‘The RFP 340 requires a different way of mounting plates and the Pro Mount, which is also user-friendly, enables mounting of flexo plates on different cylinders, without having to change brackets.’
The future of SCREEN
In an attempt to penetrate new emerging markets, GTV Label Master took the leap and recently purchased a SCREEN Truepress Jet L350UV SAI digital label press. Collin reveals while he’s more ‘old-school’ and used to flexo technology, the SCREEN machine has been a ‘revelation to the business’.
He says besides being an advanced and intuitive piece of equipment, the SCREEN has changed the team’s way of thinking when it comes to label printing. ‘The innovative inks maximise the machine’s already outstanding quality, stability and compatibility with a wide range of substrates. It’s undoubtedly the most flexible and automated label production system in its class.’
While GTV Label Master is still fairly new to the digital printing game, sales manager Vernon Pillay says the machine’s ability to deliver faster turnaround times and quality labels has already secured the company a steady stream of business from new customers. According to him, the SAI S series’ improved colour reproduction as well as superior scalability, enables it to meet an even wider variety of market needs. ‘Digital printing is the future, and this press will allow us to be at the forefront of digital label printing in the Durban Metropolitan area.’
A prosperous partnership
Ricky commends the consistent support and service received from ROTOCON over the years. ‘The after-sales and technical support has always been of the highest standards. The Durban branch has been a major contributor to the success of our business. Whether its spare parts or technical support, we can always count on the team to delivery quickly and efficiently.’
He says working with ROTOCON group CEO Michael and sales director Pascal Aengenvoort is a major benefit for the team because of their extensive market knowledge. ‘But more importantly, it’s their commitment to ensure that everything runs smoothly that we really value.’
Pascal reports that ROTOCON has supported GTV Label Master from the start. ‘The company, including its owners, display values that resonate with our own, and we knew that this was a partnership that would withstand the test of time.’
So, what is the secret to GTV Label Master’s ultimate success? Ravi says love, health, safety, family and unity have kept the business together through the tough times. ‘My father wanted us to be together. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but we persisted, and with sheer determination, and unwavering support from the likes of ROTOCON, we’ve managed to grow our business.’
PDF of article»» as featured in PPM
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