Roland at Media Expo 2017

Nikhil Dogra

Roland came to Media Expo 2017 with five different machines—the Soljet EJ-640, VersaEXPRESS RF-640A, VersaUV LEF-300 and True VIS SG and VG series. The Roland Soljet EJ-640 comes with staggered printheads and an industrial design. It works with DG EJ INK that reduces costs by 35%. The VersaEXPRESS RF-640A is a large format inkjet printer while the VersaUV LEF-300 is from theVersaUV LEF series printers. Roland attended Media Expo 2017 with the primary objective of displaying their premium machines to customers.

“As the first day of the event was a weekday, we received lesser footfall than expected but the number of visitors increased over the next two days. We have received a healthy number of queries and good response at the show,” said a company representative.

Sharing his views on the Chinese participation in Indian market, he said that on any given day, a Roland, an HP or a Colorjet would be far ahead of any Chinese company in terms of quality and output. “Roland products come with a three-year outdoor life. This is one major factor to be considered as the customer can be sure of the longevity of the product,” he said.

The gifting sector in the Indian market is also increasing considerably, creating new dimensions to explore. The representative further said, “The technological advancements in this sector are driven by the demands of the customer. The modern-day customer is always asking for something new. They demand better products at lesser costs and that is where we come into the picture. Brands like Roland and Colorjet are constantly striving to fulfil the customers’ demands. We bring a certain premium-ness to our products, which a Chinese manufacturer might not be able to deliver.”

According to him, the wide array of options available to an Indian customer, such as low-cost, affordable and ephemeral products, is the only aspect that bothers Roland. The company strongly feels that the Indian market still doesn’t quite believe in good quality, long-lasting products as they are quite costly.

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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