Marks Print invests in a Bobst Gidue 8-color flexo press

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Dhirendra Rawat of Marks Prints
Dhirendra Rawat of Marks Prints

Marks Print in Indore started up in 2006 with an investment of Rs 10 lakhs in a rented space. With support from financial bodies, Dhirendra Rawat managed to buy a second-hand 5-color Heidelberg press in the first year. The company took on commercial print work for advertising agencies, telecom and newspaper companies. Dainik Bhaskar is one customer for Marks Print among many in and around Indore. The company provides all kinds of booklets and pamphlets that are inserted and distributed along with the Dainik Bhaskar daily and other local newspapers.

Apart from the 5-color press, the company now also owns a 4-color Heidelberg offset press. “Though the machines are second-hand, we prefer to stick to Heidelberg. The main reason behind this is the performance and longevity of the machine. We have been running both the presses successfully and haven’t encountered any hiccups over the years. Also, the service support from Heidelberg India has been phenomenal. We’re also using a Stahl folder and Polar cutting machine that are also serviced by Heidelberg India,” Rawat says. “As you know, we started with a very small investment and limited resources. I began this business in a rented accommodation and over the years managed to earn enough for us to move to a 10,000 square foot self-owned building. All in all, the journey so far has been successful and fruitful.”

Diversification to label printing
Working for a limited set of clients and targeting niche segments, the printer plans to look out for wider markets and has started diversifying to the label and packaging segment. Marks Prints recently imported an 8-color Bobst Gidue UV narrow web flexo lable printing press. Recently installed and commissioned, the company is currently doing trial label runs.

In order to complement the narrow web flexo label press, Marks has imported some ancillary equipment manufactured in China including an offline die-cutting machine and a slitter rewinder from BST eltromat. Planing to install quality inspection cameras on its equipment the company is currently looking at various options available in the market. “Investment in our flexo machine was done in order to enhance our printing abilities. The offset and flexo machines would compliment each other and will enable us to offer a variety of print and label products to a wider segment of customers. We will now try to generate new clients through the flexo to whom we will offer offset jobs as well,” Rawat adds. “The major concern for us printers at the moment is the fluctuation in paper prices. The paper that was being imported from China at cheap rates has now stopped. India as we all know, isn’t self-sufficient in paper. The drastic demand and supply gap has affected paper prices and it would be better if the government intervenes.”

According to Rawat, packaging in India is growing. “The labels segment has witnessed a significant growth as well but commercial printing has become stagnant. In fact, I’d say that the demand is decreasing day-by-day. People who were in both commercial printing and packaging have now stopped doing commercial printing work and have moved to packaging because there is no day-to-day pressure of completing a set of jobs and delivering it to the customer. Once you plan your job, you’re done for a week or for a month but with commercial printing, you have to plan for each job separately and the margins are also not high.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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