Fast growing photo album market in MP’s tier-2 cities

Two C71hc installations in Madhya Pradesh


Focus on value addition and adoption of high-end printing technologies, especially in the realm of digital printing, are gradually becoming popular among printers in India’s non-metro towns. In September, two print houses in the MP’s cities of Ujjain and Dewas installed Konica Minolta C71hc, a third-generation high chroma production printing system. The press can print up to 71 A-4 ppm at 1,200 dpi. Both these printers aim at expanding their presence in the fast growing photo album market in tier-2 cities. 

Dewas-based Bala Color Lab installed the C71hc in the latter half of September after many years of using smaller, entry-level digital printers. This would be the first production-level printer in the city. “If one has to remain competitive by giving best services to customers, it is imperative to invest in latest technologies. With demand for fancy photo albums on the rise in cities like Dewas, I made the decision to go for the C71hc,” says Bala Se of Bala Color Lab, who did extensive research before finalizing the deal. He went for demo at two users of C71hc in Indore as well as attended roadshows organized by Koncia Minolta in Indore. 

Dewas being a small town, there are no big print volumes and therefore the C71hc installed at Bala Color Lab would also be utilized for other commercial printing jobs. “We have been using the press only for a couple of weeks now but the initial feedback that we received from customers has been encouraging. The colors are very vibrant. We will look to utilize the press in a much more creative manner as we go along.”

Shubham Arora of New Super Color Lab in Ujjain also has similar reasons for opting for the C71hc. Until now Arora was using smaller machines from Fuji and Epson. “Not only was I looking to cater to the photo album segment but I was also looking to upgrade to a production printer. After talking to my peers and attending demo sessions, I decided to go for the C71hc,” says Arora.

The C71hc at New Super Color Lab is in the process of being installed and is likely to be fully ready during the first half of October. 

Commenting on the trends visible in smaller towns of Madhya Pradesh, Shiv Bhadouria, sales manager for the state, says that customers even in tier-2 cities in the state are opting for customized photo albums for numerous occasions such as engagements, birthdays, wedding and anniversaries. “Disposable income is rising in smaller cities. Also, there is high influence from bigger towns when it comes to valueadded products like photo albums. Even print service providers are big influencing agents. All these factors are fuelling the demand for photo albums,” says Bhadouria. In terms of patterns visible in press installations, he said that a lot of orders come from the same town after one printer has installed a machine. “A city like Ujjain has about five production printers in total. The moment the first machine gets installed, other printers follow suit.”

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