TOI adds 4 x 1 towers in Chennai and Pune plants

TOI adds 4 x 1 towers in Chennai and Pune plants
Srinivas Ch

According to its managing director Sudeep Bhattacharjee, manroland web systems completed three installations of Regioman 4 x 1 tower extensions last month at The Times of India’s Chennai and Pune plants. In addition, the company is all set to complete the installation of three more 4 x 1 Cromoman towers at The Times of India Kolkata and Airoli (Navi Mumbai) plants by the end of July 2017. “In India, we had a pretty good month,” says Bhattacharjee.

Recently, manroland sold a registration cut-off system to Amar Ujala, which will be mounted on a Manugraph M360 press. The installation is expected by September 2017. Last year during WanIfra 2016 Conference in Kolkata, manroland sold a registration cut off system to Lokmat.

Speaking about the service projects that the company has taken up since last year, Bhattacharjee says, “Worldwide, we started service projects since drupa 2016, when we laid special emphasis on the service part. Subsequently, we did a big project in America. In India, the project has begun to gain momentum since the last edition of Wan Ifra in Kolkata.”

Global commercial web offset sales
Bhattacharjee further shares that manroland web system has sold five commercial heatset web offset presses across Europe, Australia, Iran and America in the recent past. “As far as commercial web offset sales are concerned, this year we had a very good sale worldwide—in terms of annual sales, we have almost 90% of the entire market. That is a good thing that has happened in this segment.”

Bhattacharjee said that Indian newspapers are growing with healthy sales figures coming from the regional newspapers. In fact, since April 2017, the newspaper industry in general is experiencing a good run with many dailies investing in Indian manufactured presses as well. “If we talk about imported newspaper presses, a few customers are now looking at investing in double-width (4 x 1) presses; although it’s taking some time, it will surely happen. There has been a sudden rush of double-width presses in the southern part of the country. In fact, if we look at the top South Indian language dailies, they have already converted to double-width,” says Bhattacharjee. I also feel that there is good opportunity in the northern part of the country. In the North, the newspapers are growing at a healthy rate and the circulations are going up. I think there will be a time very soon when they have to think about double-width (4 x 1) presses like their southern language counterparts.”

Last year, manroland installed a Cromoman 4 x 1 press at Hyderabad-based Namasthe Telangana, which went into production in December 2016. “We are talking to people and they are looking at various projects. There are good things in store but that would take some time to happen,” concludes Bhattacharjee.

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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