April 01, 2017
Dev Dutta

Zero-credit business model driven by eCommerce

Paras Printpack - a startup that deals mainly with startups

Paras Printpack is about two-and-a-half years old, having started operations in July 2014. Prior to its launch, the founder, Pradeep Jain, was partner in a company called Paras Packaging, for over 17 years where he mainly did job work for companies like Paharpur, Uflex and a few others. The job work involved mainly pouch-making, which brought in decent profits over the years and provided him the necessary financial stability to launch his own startup. Today, he focuses primarily on the food & beverages, pharmaceutical, confectionery, home care, personal care and automobile industries.

Paras Printpack - a startup that deals mainly with startups

Pradeep Jain, founder of Paras Printpack, at his office in Greater Noida. Photo PSA

Capitalizing on the startup segment
During his early years of handling bulk jobs for converting majors, Jain had come across scores of customers with very small and specific requirements that the major converters would not accept. This led him to come up with Paras Printpack. Jain devised a unique plan wherein he decided to just service this segment and ride the growth curve with strong revenues rather than huge production volumes.  

Jain’s confidence was based as much on his own experience and abilities as it was on his reading of the market segment he was targeting. At the outset, he laid down the rules by which he would play—zero credit. This was a typical eCommerce approach where the buyer pays upfront for a product or service. The fundamentals of his target market seemed favorable since the young and restless entrepreneurs running startups did not mind paying upfront for consistent quality and delivery and also because of their familiarity with this kind of a business model.

After almost three years of strict quality, delivery and fiscal control, Jain is convinced that his track record is strong enough for venture capitalists and major angel investors, or even the more conservative banks and financial institutions to start bankrolling his much-needed capacity overhaul involving larger plant, advanced machinery and, most importantly, professional manpower. Jain asserted that he does not have a marketing or sales team to tap the market and that he relies entirely on digital marketing to procure business. He has serviced over 700 small customers over the last two-and-a-half years and claims 5% repeat orders, which he expects to rise in the days ahead. Some of his small customers have also grown fast and are ready with bigger orders.

Standy zipper pouch-making machine at the Paras Printpack plant

Paras Printpack has been running entirely on Jain’s personal equity to set up a high growth track record of good fiscal discipline where revenues are entirely based on upfront payments. In return, Jain claims not to refuse orders as small as 1,000 pouches for which he ensures good quality. Here, Jain’s extensive experience of working closely with major converters came handy. The other major factor that helps him control quality in such short-run jobs is that he has taken great pains to have the printing infrastructure entirely in-house.

The company’s manufacturing unit, based in Greater Noida, is equipped with best in class infrastructure like specialized Galaxy roto gravure printing machine (up to 10-color printing with customized design), lamination, pouch-making machine (also Galaxy), spout-fixing machine, etc. The overall infrastructure is good enough for a much higher level of production but right now Jain is keen on maintaining fiscal discipline by following a zero credit policy, which is not compatible with bulk orders. Competition is the least of Jain’s worries because he feels even the new market segment where he is operating, will always have a shortfall of suppliers.

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