Mumbai canvassers bring digital print capability in-house

Two Ricoh digital printer installations in Mumbai

Hitesh Shah of Thrive Prints

Demand for short-run print jobs has been on the rise for some years now, resulting in many traditional printers boosting their digital printing infrastructure. Customers now want quick delivery and customization. This trend has also led to proliferation of digital print shops in not only bigger cities but also tier-1 and -2 cities across the country. The installation base for digital printing presses continues to grow in India’s commercial center of Mumbai. Recently, two Mumbai-based print canvassers decided to bring digital printing capabilities in-house to have better control on the services they were providing to customers.

Cotton Green based Image Compu Art has set up a new division called Thrive Prints, which will handle all print-related work. Earlier, Image Compu Art was handling the whole chain, from designing to delivery. All printing jobs, both offset and digital, were being outsourced to third-party printers but looking at the growing demand for short-run jobs, Image Compu Art decided to buy a Ricoh PRO C5100s and bring the digital printing part in-house under the new entity. While the designing part will be taken care of by Image Compu Art, all offset printing jobs will continue to be outsourced to third-party vendors.

“Although about 65% the jobs we get are still offset, the point to note is that this share was about 80% few years back. Share of digital print jobs has been steadily rising, which led us to buy a digital press,” says Hitesh Shah, who manages both Image Compu Art and Thrive Prints.

With the new digital press in-house, Shah hopes to make better returns compared to what he did when jobs were outscored since it will eliminate the share which went to the third party. He also expects to serve his customers better as he can now have a better control of the process. Image Compu Art has customers in pharma, garments and cosmetics segments for whom it prints brochures, catalogs, promotional items, etc. “We have invested in an entry-level printer since we wanted to get familiar with the digital printing process. Now our aim is to recover the cost of this press as fast as possible and then upgrade to a more advanced press,” Shah says.

The Ricoh PRO C5100s can print full-color or black-and-white documents at up to 65 prints per minute and has color image resolution up to 1200 x 4800 dpi. It can manage a wide range of media up to 13 inch x 19.2 inch.

Shah informs that in the next phase of investment, he wants to bring finishing capabilities in-house. This year Shah expects to buy lamination, punching and cutting machines.

Andheri-based Soham Enterprises installs Ricoh PRO C7100

Another Mumbai-based canvasser, Soham Enterprises, has bought a new Ricoh PRO C7100 4-color production printer. Just like Image Compu Art’s Shah, Soham’s Ratilal Gami too has witnessed rise in demand for short-run jobs in the last couple of years.

“The volume of short-run print jobs has expanded significantly in recent years. So, it makes sense to have a digital print set up in-house than have those services outsourced. Not only does it make financial sense but also operational sense,” Gami argues.

Ricoh PRO C7100 has a speed of 90 color prints per minute with a resolution of up to 1200 x 4800 dpi.

“We saw demonstrations of Ricoh PRO C7100 at a couple of printers in Andheri East and found the printer to be well suited for jobs that we do such as posters, visual aids, etc.,” Gami states.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

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