Exhibitors at Pamex speak about print

Friday 04 November 2011

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Rajeev Tiwari, Canon India; Deepak Chawla, TechNova; Bhargav Mistry, Grafica Flextroica; C N Ashok, Autoprint; Neeraj Dargan, Galaxy Propac and Sangam Khanna, Insight Print Communications

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Rajeev Tiwari, Canon India


There has been a slowdown in the early part of 2011 in India. How do you rate your performance?
The slowdown of the economy has been in the western world and more to do with the American and European markets. Although the large-format market has been growing at rate of 8-9 % YOY for the first half of 2011. However, Canon large-format business grew at a rate of 131%. Although this is encouraging from Canon’s perspective, we are seeing these growth numbers on a smaller base.

One exciting space is digital print. Do you agree / disagree? Which other segments are exciting?
Digital print is indeed an exciting space to work and I completely agree with the same. However, there are other areas in printing which are exciting too. Some of these segments are out-of-home advertising.

Most firms have become pan-Indian and have an out-reach across the length and breadth of India. What have you gained from your customers during your travels?
Indian geography is very dynamic and it becomes sometimes very difficult to reach out to the whole length and breadth of the country. However, since my travels take me to a lot of these customers, what I have learnt from them is, irrespective of their diversities all print providers think alike.  They all value quality, productivity and versatility of print engines they buy.

We are seeing a lot of action in the b-tier and c-tier cities in India. What are your long term goals for these cities?
Canon is already well entrenched in these markets because we are already selling our camera, printers and office equipments in these markets through resellers and national level distribution partners. We are a known and leading brand across the population of any B- and C-class city. But the printing industry buying behaviour is quite different and typical. They mostly rely on the success stories built by their industry competitors.
 
One final question. Clearly it’s difficult to predict the future, but based on your knowledge, do you think print will be around for another 100 years?
Print has been there for more than three centuries and will continue to be there. In spite of periodic threats like email, e-bills etc, the volume of print is growing by the day. But yes, print as a medium of communication will continue for a very long time, may be till the end of this civilisation, Amen.



Deepak Chawla, TechNova

There has been a slowdown in the early part of 2011 in India. How do you rate your performance?
We have been struggling.

Do you see Pamex as being able to provide a boost to your fourth quarter numbers?
I believe that it will take much more than a Pamex to do that. Having said that, Pamex 2011 might well be a turning point.

One exciting space is digital print. Do you agree / disagree? Which other segments are exciting?
I agree. It is exciting and challenging at the same time. The other area that i see as becoming more and more relevant is that of safety, health, environment and energy (SHEE) for the Indian printing industry.

Most firms have become pan-Indian and have an out-reach across the length and breadth of India. What have you gained from your customers during your travels?
Why pan-India, many Indian printers have become truly global and made us proud. I think boundaries now exist only in maps. With the NexGen entering the printing business, they are thinking global. However, there are many challenges, especially of the mindset, that need to be overcome before India can truly become a global printing hub.

We are seeing a lot of action in the b-tier and c-tier cities in India. What are your long term goals for these cities?
That is where the growth is. We definitely have both short- and long-term initiatives planned for these cities.

What have you identified as areas of potential growth for the company. Which project / customer has been the most satisfying one for you?
Our focus has always been on what the Indian printer needs to be globally competitive. We have always made each of our own product obsolete before its time and continued with our passion for innovation. Keeping in line with this philosophy we have some very exciting ‘green’ products in the pipeline for small, medium and large commercial, packaging and newspaper printers. We are very clear that our growth will come from offering innovative products at affordable prices to the Indian printer, backed by 24x7 total technical support.
 
One final question. Clearly it’s difficult to predict the future, but based on your knowledge, do you think print will be around for another 100 years?
I certainly hope so. If not for the science of it, then at least as an art form!




Bhargav Mistry, Grafica Flextronica

There has been a slowdown in the early part of 2011 in India. How do you rate your performance?
First, I would like to explain about the screen printing industry in general. About 40% of players belong to textile, 40% in industrial screen printing and remaining are graphic and commercial applications, which includes offset printers. We did not see a slow down last year, in fact, last year we made a growth of more than 30% and this year even we feel it is better and stable.
 
Most firms have become pan-Indian and have an out-reach across the length and breadth of India. What have you gained from your customers during your travels?
This is a good trend. Becoming pan-India shows their might, it shows their strength and we are one of the few companies in screen printing arena with all India presence (global presence as well) .

We are seeing a lot of action in the b-tier and c-tier cities in India. What are your long term goals for these cities?
Yes. In fact our Nano range of products is a part of our long term goal to cater the b- and c-tier market segments and constantly participating in local exhibitions is also one of the opportunities to offer better products and ideas to those customers coming from b- and c-tier cities.

What have you identified as areas of potential growth for the company. Which project / customer has been the most satisfying one for you?
For us it’s always the industrial and textile screen printers.

Print has become a part of IT operations – and this will be the next step in the print industry’s evolution. Your views.
Good, but will need a lot of education considering the kind of skills that exist in our industry to make use of the technology to its optimum. Owners need to also pay attention by providing training to their existing people.
 
One final question. Clearly it’s difficult to predict the future, but based on your knowledge, do you think print will be around for another 100 years?
There will be definitely a big slow down in printing business in segments like newspaper, book publishing, catalogue and brochure printing not due to digital printing but due to fast internet communication available 365 days 24x7, on your palm. The more the world moves towards computerisation and use tablet PCs, the more screen printing industry will be benefited, because don’t forget screen printing is very strong and very much in use in industrial printing applications.




CN Ashok, Autoprint

There has been a slowdown in the early part of 2011 in India. How do you rate your performance?
As compared with 2010 financial year, we have been quite stable and on a growth path(order growth 50%). We have carry over orders from 2011. Apart from this we have lot of commercial activities during the period of four months from November 2011 to January 2012.
 
Most firms have become pan-Indian and have an out-reach across the length and breadth of India. What have you gained from your customers during your travels?
We are a true pan India company with over 133 engineers across India serving more than 8750 customers. Our value driven relationship is constantly helping us with feedback from customers and we have gained with insights for new product development based on their exact needs and demands. Recently, we have initiated a nationwide programme Go-Extra-Mile (GEM), where we meet our existing customers to collect their feedback, suggestions and inputs in terms of after sales service, spares, training, upgradation and future needs of their technological needs of the customers.

We are seeing a lot of action in the b-tier and c-tier cities in India. What are your long term goals for these cities?
For the last 19 years, we have been committed to our pan India customers. We have a customer in almost every district of India. We have always believed in Tier-B and Tier-C markets and this belief has been vindicated. Our long term goal is that every Pin Code in India should have Autoprint product presence with installations and satisfied customers and keep our 8750 and growing customers happy.

What have you identified as areas of potential growth for the company?  
In offset, short-run four-colour jobs is a potential area with much growth prospects. We have a grasp for this segment and market and we feel that the customers from our expertise. The main issues for this segment for printers is – space, power, labour, time, investment and ROI. We have a solution in our pet project and product, the Autoprint Dion 450. Secondly, because of the offset technology, productivity has gone up but we have to equalise and match the speed of finishing as well. Autoprint has highly economical and affordable solutions in all these areas.

One final question. Clearly it’s difficult to predict the future, but based on your knowledge, do you think print will be around for another 100 years?
Yes off-course, why not. We don’t see any threat of extinction.




Neeraj Dargan, Galaxy Propac

There has been a slowdown in the early part of 2011 in India. How do you rate your performance?
Despite the apparent slowdown, our performance could be better although being an infant company it is satisfactory.
 
Most firms have become pan-Indian and have an out-reach across the length and breadth of India. What have you gained from your customers during your travels?
Packaging finishing segment is looking at automating the process for reasons of consistent quality, productivity and waste reduction. Customers all across India share same sentiments in different ways.

One exciting space is digital print. Do you agree / disagree? Which other segments are exciting?
Digital and packaging print finishing is another segment alongwith value-addition on the product with eco-friendly processes.

We are seeing a lot of action in the b-tier and c-tier cities in India. What are your long term goals for these cities?
Non-metro cities are the hub of activity now and will figure as important centres in our future plans.

What have you identified as areas of potential growth for the company. Which project / customer has been the most satisfying one for you?
Our focus area is packaging finishing and value addition to the printed product.

Print has become a part of IT operations – and this will be the next step in the print industry’s evolution. Your views.
The borders between print and IT are fading faster than we imagined, there may be few steps forward together which are difficult to assume. Let’s wait and see what Drupa 2012 showcases for us all.

One final question. Clearly it’s difficult to predict the future, but based on your knowledge, do you think print will be around for another 100 years?
Although print and electronic media is merging fast but surely print will be around in one form or the other for 100 or more number of years. Let’s wish print and media a long and healthy life !!!





Sangam Khanna, Insight Print Communications

There has been a slowdown in the early part of 2011 in India. How do you rate your performance?
We did not feel the slowdown in Komori and on the contrary we did better than ever before. We are very happy with our last six months performance and have overshot our annual targets.
 
Most firms have become pan-Indian and have an out-reach across the length and breadth of India. What have you gained from your customers during your travels?
Respectability to deliver and meeting expectations beyond their expectations. I have many such experiences but one of them I get to hear from most customers is that "this purchase is the biggest buy in my life term please be careful as I can’t afford to go wrong". And it is across buyers, from entry level to high-end heatset web press buyer.

One exciting space is digital print. Do you agree / disagree? Which other segments are exciting? Do you’ve qualitative data (number of installations, growth numbers, b/l statements) etc) to prove your point?
I agree that digital has become an exciting space. The other segment that excites me is H-UV. Komori has developed the H-UV system and is just rocking the world all over. Komori had developed the H-UV technology little less than two years and has sold over 110 machines around the world and with over 90 machine orders being met in the factory, H-UV is the biggest demand we see in the commercial, semi commercial and packaging segments.    

Print has become a part of IT operations – and this will be the next step in the print industry’s evolution. Your views.
Yes its already very IT sensitive and printers in India are yet to understand the long-term benefits of purchasing, maybe a colour or press management system.  I am yet to come across a good IT savvy printer in India.
 
One final question. Clearly it’s difficult to predict the future, but based on your knowledge, do you think print will be around for another 100 years?
I can never read 100 years but the next 10 to 15 years will see what the graphic arts has not seen in the last 100 years. 

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