Imprints looks to acquire customers beyond Mumbai

Imprints looks to acquire customers beyond Mumbai
Paresh Shah

Bhiwandi-based book printer, Imprints has seen a robust growth since it began operations a little less than three years ago. The company, which is based in Bhumiworld industrial park, has steadily added capacity and in 2016-2017 financial year printed about 20 lakh books having an average 1000 pages. Most of the books that Imprints prints have been in the educational segment. Two years ago, Imprints started with a brand new 4-color web offset press by Mudrika. With increasing work load, last year another brand new Mudrika 4-color press was added to the printing department.

Paresh Shah, managing director of Imprints, has been previously associated with the successful Natraj Offset which is based in Ahmedabad. Imprints currently prints educational books for a third party that exports these books to Africa under a project supported by World Health Organization.

More upgrade in infrastructure
After adding two presses in the last two years, this month Imprints has added two postpress solutions from Welbound, a 6-clamp perfect binder, Welbound 2000 and a 3-knife trimmer, Trident E20 to strengthen its postpress department.

 “We have been associated with Welbound for many years at Natraj Offset. So, it was natural to opt for Welbond solutions at Imprints as well,” says Shah.

Welbound 2000, the 6-clamp perfect binder, runs at 2000 cycles per hour and travels in an oval-shaped path, where the spine is in line with the crucial binding station. The binder has calibrated book clamps with thickness indicators; it features single knob adjustments, which makes job changeovers easy. It also has three roller gluing system with reverse spinner; calibrated head and tail end cut-offs to avoid adhesive squeeze out. The Welbound 2000 has an automatic pile type cover feeder with on-line creasing attachment.

With 20 cycles per minute, the Trident E20, 3-knife trimmer handles large formats of books and conforms to international safety standards. It handles books with maximum size of 440 mm x 300 mm and has a PLC-based control system with diagnostics.

 In the next couple of months, Shah says another Welbound 6-clamp perfect binder is expected to be installed. The press section will also see capacity addition as another press is likely to be put into operation.

 Stepping out of the comfort zone
Up until now Imprints has been working with local Mumbai customers but now wants to venture beyond the Mumbai market and is looking to acquire clients from other cities like Delhi and Bengaluru. Shah will be travelling to Delhi to meet publishers and will also be visiting the Delhi Book fair next year.

 “Mumbai is a very small market compared to Delhi when it comes to book publishing. So, we want to start interacting with publishers in the national capital,” Shah informs.

Imprints is also looking at the export market with focus on Africa. “Just like in India, the educational books segment is witnessing robust growth in the African region. We hope to be part of that growth as our infrastructure is strong enough to handle the demand.

 Shah wants to build on the growth of last three years and turn Imprints into a one-stop shop.

“If a customer comes to us with an idea, we should be capable of offering him the final product, with all the processes done in-house—right from designing to final product in hand. That is want Imprints is aiming for,” Shah says. 



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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