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

Commercial printers turn to labels and packaging

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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.”

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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