Print and packaging units based in the city invest 5% of their input cost on designers to ensure global quality and avoid attrition.
KARNAL: Karnal's print and pack units are giving rise to a steady demand for both in-house and freelance graphic designers in the region. Around 250 Karnal-based designers are working for Rs 450 crore printing and packing industry and the numbers are growing.
Chandra Gupt Dhingra, president, Karnal Print and Pack Association said, "There are around 300 pack and print units operating in the region, of which around 25 are operating on a large scale, 50 are medium-sized and rest are smaller ones." The large and medium sized units employ one to two in-house designers, while the smaller ones outsource their designing work. "Currently there are around 150 freelance designers working in Karnal."
In the last three years remuneration of designers has increased five fold. In-house get a monthly salary ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 30,000. The rates of freelance designers have also gone up by around 500 percent to 600 percent. This hike shows the quantum of business growth of the print and pack units in Karnal.
Amit Arora, vice president, Karnal Print and Pack Association said, "We are spending around 5 percent of our input cost on the designers because it is the backbone of our business. Since, there is a dearth of efficient designers in the city, we need to put in more money and outsource some designing work meant for our high-end clients to designers in Delhi and NCR." "We work on an average margin of around 10 percent thus, our net expense on the designing gets fixed at around Rs 20 crore per annum," said Arora.
Elaborating on the salary range of in-house designers and freelance designers; Vinay Taneja, director (marketing), Karnal Print and Press Cluster said, "Salary of in-house designers depends upon the size of unit with which they are associated. If they are associated with medium sized unit, the salary will be low. Similarly, if the designer is associated with a larger unit, salary will be high."
The client list for these units includes host of industries such as, agro implements, paints and chemical, electrical, pharmaceutical, fertiliser etc, along with institutions like NDRI, IARI, NBAGR, DWR etc. The small units are mostly serving schools and designing marriage cards, while the medium-sized units are working for the Karnal-based industries. Larger units are the specialised ones sticking to one industry.
"If a larger unit is serving the pharmaceutical industry, they will not take up electrical or agro implements industry work," said Taneja. Sanjeev Makkar, general secretary, Karnal Print and Packaging Association said, "Pharmaceutical industry is the highest paying in the region, followed by paint industry, chemical and agro implements industry. But majority of the designing assignments come from the universities as they provide sustainability to us."
QUALITY INSTITUTES NEEDED
The industry requires more designers in the region to keep its growth momentum on track. Dearth of quality designers in the city is forcing some of the units to outsource designing work for high-end clients to Delhi and other NCR regions. "We need quality designers from Karnal but it is the lack of designing institutes equipped with all the facilities in the region that is giving rise to this problem," said Makkar.
Currently Karnal-based print and pack units are forced to absorb the designers being trained by the local private designing institutes. However, Common Facilitation Centre (CFC) which is expected to become operational by the end of 2013 is going to train the designers as per industry requirements.