PANJIM: Parag Loliyekar a native of Mashem, Canacona travels from a life of being an IT professional to becoming an entrepreneur. In the last 18 years he has managed to become a leading printing company in the State.
An IT person and a mathematics lover, Loliyekar was home sick. Coding was his forte but the love for Goa overpowered the decision of staying back in Bengaluru. He had to change careers, as Goa hardly had any opportunities in IT industry back then. Today Paragraphics and Sai Art are two business ventures which are primarily into printing and packaging are headed by Loliyekar.
The major breakthrough in the business was way back in the year 2003 where he got his first order from the Indian Navy. As customer confidence grew, 2 years down the line he established a full-fledged printing unit where he could take walk-in customers and cater to day-to-day printing needs.
Paragraphics was initiated in the year 2010. Expanding from screen printing, they undertook digital and offset (single and multi-color) printing orders at a larger scale and established their expertise in multi-color printing. Now they cater to almost all industries but the focus for Loliyekar has always been pharmaceutical, hospitality, automobile and the education industry.
During the pandemic, Loliyekar tried to understand what products can be added and would be required. There was a good demand for packaging item like food packaging boxes and paper bags. The resorts were opening operations and they developed innovative products for their guest, like printed pouches for mask and cutlery, disposable pouches and many others. Loliyekar made sure he capitalised on this demand in the market and grew his business during the pandemic.
He proudly says they did not lay-off any staff and paid their entire salary for the lockdown period. Loliyekar adds, “the success lies in the happiness of our employees and that has been his primary focus since inception of the company. Also, I used this time to reconnect with my customers and understand their business and their wellbeing which helped develop trust further.”
Loliyekar has also been a part of BNI (Business Network International). He says after joining BNI, his business has grown multi-folds. More than 50 per cent business comes from BNI referrals now. BNI has given lot of other benefits in terms of mentors and networking. He also got an opportunity to be part of the Regional Team of BNI which has helped to build a bigger network.
More than 40 printers from Margao and the surrounding areas outsource their work to Paragraphics. Loliyekar further says, that in spite of all the efforts, printers from Kolhapur and Belgaum take bulk orders for printing from Goa. However the printers in Goa have the potential to cater to every need. We must have a strong association to stop this outsourcing.
The next expansion plans are in Verna Industrial Estate where they are planning to set up a plant to manufacture printed carton boxes along with paper bags. This will help us supply to the needs of pharmaceutical companies and other production units in the Verna Industrial Estate.
Parag concludes by saying his aim to generate employment for about 500 Goans at least, retire from mainstream work at the age of 55 and retire to live a village life at his native Mashem.