From page making to content automation

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From page making to content automation

On 12 July 2017, Quark Software based in Denver in the United States announced its acquisition by Parallax Capital Partners, LLC (Parallax), a Southern California based software-focused private equity firm. The new owners intend to help Quark accelerate the adoption of its transformational content automation solutions through investment in organic growth and acquisitions.

(Editors note: Quark was for many years the defacto page-ma king software for newspapers and magazines in India. Under owner Fred Ebrahami, who bought the company from founder Tim Gill in 2000, it also made considerable investments near Chandigarh in software development. The Ebrahmi family subsequently sold Quark to Platinum Equity in 2005.)

Recently selected as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Content Services and a 2017 SIIA CODiE Award finalist for Best Multi-Channel Publishing Platform, Quark has quickly emerged as a global leader in content automation. Quark’s content automation solutions enable organizations to deliver business-critical content to any format and any channel—mobile, print, web, and more. At the same time, Quark claims it has reinvigorated its QuarkXPress software business, consistently putting customers first and out-innovating its competitors.

“Quark is having a transformational impact within a wide range of industries, completely redefining how organizations create, manage, publish and deliver business-critical content,” said James Hale, managing partner at Parallax. “This is a company with outstanding talent and leadership, innovative technology and acclaimed customer base. Parallax is looking forward to bringing its experience and expertise to help Quark take its enterprise content automation business to the next level.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of our employees and customers in reaching this milestone,” said Quark president and chief executive officer Ray Schiavone. “Quark has achieved what so many established brands fail to, which is to reinvent our company in the face of insurmountable odds. Through content automation, today Quark enables some of the world’s largest organizations to transform customer experience, reduce time-to-market, improve compliance, and reduce costs. In Parallax we believe we have a partner that shares this vision for organizations to realize the true value of their content.”

Piper Jaffray, a leading investment bank and asset management firm, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Quark in this transaction.
 
About Parallax Capital Partners
Parallax Capital Partners, LLC is a private equity firm focused on acquiring and operating application software and related services companies. Since 1999, Parallax has acquired over 20 companies and has built an exceptional track record of transitioning divisions, subsidiaries and product lines into successful stand-alone entities.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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