Print industry is bullish: say Dr Alok Bharadwaj, Vipin Tuteja and Puneet Chadha

Friday, September 16, 2011

PrintWeek India speaks to a cross-section of industry experts at Ipex, and solicits their views

Dr Alok Bharadwaj, Canon India

The print industry seems to be bullish because the fundamental drivers continue to be strong. For Canon, two things add to our bullishness. Our acquisition of Oce, which is helping us to gain added superiority over technology and expand the range of our product portfolio and the fact that Canon has now risen on the experience curve and put a comparative edge on the service capability and customer understanding.

As compared to the 50% growth in the previous year, this year the growth has been impacted due to slowdown in the B2B segment. However, some of our divisions including digital printing; transactional and wide-format have grown phenomenally. Half of our digital business has come from Oce. This year too, we are looking at an equal contribution.

Globalisation has an impact on the cost, the price, and the like, and it is also creating unpredictability. Never ever in the world, including the Indian market and the printing industry, has had so much of unpredictability in the business. Sometimes there is surplus supply and sometimes, a bottle-neck in the supply. It is impossible for any company to predict as to what will happen three months from now. Business management has become complex.

Care for environment and commitment towards community, led by good companies and good leadership is bringing about a change. Initiatives by major companies will pave the road for others to follow. One such example is Repro India; the Repro plant in Mahape, has a huge score board determining the carbon footprint for each day.

Digital printing targets four main segment: transactional, book publishing, commercial and photo albums. Digital camera business and photography is growing at a phenomenal rate and if some part of this can be converted into photo albums segment, it will be a big driver in the industry.

Vipin Tuteja, Xerox India

The Indian packaging industry, currently valued at over US$ 14-billion, is growing at 14-15% annually. Digital printing, estimated to grow at double the rate of the conventional printing, makes us extremely bullish. Adaptation to newer technologies, workflow solutions and web-to-print solutions help print service providers improve efficiencies and overall productivity.

In the years to follow, I envisage the co-existence of digital and offset printing. Interestingly, there are many applications that are best suited for a combination of the two: such as a digitally printed, personalised colour book cover that is bound to an offset printed book block!

Green printing is the way forward. Xerox’s new printers, based on the solid ink platform produce 90% less waste than laser printing. Under our waste management initiative, we sign contracts with customers to recycle wastes and take them off to our warehouses to dispose it in an eco-friendly manner. We have also earmarked education and training programmes for our internal team and channel partners to communicate the benefits of green printing.

Xerox promotes return and reuse/recycle approach for toner/consumables empty cartridges. The latest technology in the toner segment is the Emulsion Aggregation (EA) toner which is a breakthrough technology for producing black and colour toner. It is a chemically grown toner that reduces the amount of energy and waste associated with printing and ensures 60-70% energy saving per printed page.

The coming quarters are an exciting phase for Xerox India. We will be strengthening our solid ink, laser and LED categories. We will also be launching a new colour press and innovative solutions.

Puneet Chadha, HP India

HP is extremely bullish about its latest investments that cater to the mainstream printing space and emerging printing paradigms. Productivity is a function of demand; we believe that it’s the demand for a product that increases the production rate. Today, productivity is directly valued with customer expectations and hence productivity has to evolve time and again. But, productivity can be best attained if it is supported by better workflows that ensure delivery of quality service at faster rate.
There are always expansions and contractions across the market but it’s very exciting to see that this works in favour of short-run printing, print-on-demand and high quality prints. HP has not seen any negative impact or any contraction this year as well as in the past in the Indigo and signage market in India.

As the mantra of ‘Go Green!’ gains momentum in the corporate environment, companies are paying more attention to their carbon footprint. HP reinforces the green commitment of the company by offering latex-based printing, that ensures less energy consumption as compared to other medias of printing. HP offers water-based dyes that ensure no harmful emission in the environment.

A simple equation we follow and has worked for us is that if our customers are profitable, we are profitable. Someone has said...If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange that we’ll still have one apple each but if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange that will double our ideas. This has been the philosophy behind our success.

HP as an organisation puts in a significant investment in technology and innovation and would continue to do so. As Indigo, Latex and HP Scitex UV become a standard benchmark for the photo, signage and premium print industry, one can expect a continued shift to digital platforms.


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