Komori India begins with Hirofumi Hoshino as MD

Komori acquires majority in Insight’s offset press sales operation

L-R: Satoshi Mochida, Yoshiharu Komori, Sangam Khanna, Eiji Kajita, Hirofumi Hoshino

In February 2018, the formidable Japanese press manufacturer acquired a majority stake in its Indian distributor’s offset press sales operations for an undisclosed consideration. The new joint venture between Insight Communications and Komori is called Komori India PL and headed by Hirofumi Hoshino as managing director. The new company held a press conference in Delhi on 20 April 2018, which was attended by senior executives from both partner organizations. The presence of Yoshiharu Komori, chairman and chief executive officer of Komori, attests to the importance of the Indian printing press market in the company’s future plans.

The new managing director of Komori India is a mechanical engineer who joined the company in 1977 and has been involved in both press design and manufacturing. A core member of Komori’s global sales and service, Hoshino has worked in Komori America and Komori Europe. At the press conference in Delhi, he spoke optimistically of Indian GDP growth to 2050, which is projected to establish the country as a major economic power. He also projected printing press sales that envision Asia and India as major markets.

Apart from projecting the importance of the Indian print and press market, Hoshino spoke about some of the benefits of the company’s direct presence. Essentially, these are better communication and responsiveness to printers and the direct presence of senior Japanese engineering and training personnel. The implication is that the increased bandwidth of the company in the Indian market will also mean expansion of its sales of software, cloud based data collection and services, as well sales of its digital presses, specialty application presses and equipment and consumables.

Hirofumi explained Komori aims to provide, “A customercentric consulting approach including technical reviews of sales specifications in which our customer’s expections are exceeded. The India office will also be the hub for Bangladesh and East Africa and in the coming financial year we hope to achieve revenues of Rs. 200 crore (approximately US$ 30 million).”

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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