SS Book Binding starts operation with Welbound WB2000

New bindery in Navi Mumbai

Sanjiv Singh and Dayashankar with the Welbound WB2000
Sanjiv Singh and Dayashankar with the Welbound WB2000

SS Book Binding is a new venture started by two young entrepreneurs with background in engineering and paper trading. The Navi Mumbai-based bindery was established in January this year by Sanjiv Singh, who has an engineering background and Dayashankar, who also has a waste paper collection and trading business. SS Book Binding operates from a unit in Pawne MIDC in the Navi Mumbai’s industrial belt of Turbhe.

“Since we were new to the printing industry, we did not want to take big risks and plough in a large amount of capital. Therefore, we thought of starting with a bindery and then gradually expand in the print industry,” says Singh.

Currently, SS Book Binding has about 15 small and big machines with the showpiece being a brand new Welbound WB2000 six clamp perfect binding machine. In addition to the WB2000, the shop floor also has folding machines, cutting machines, pinning machines, corner cutting machines and embossing machines, among many others.

Asked why the company invested in a brand new Welbound WB2000 from the very start, Singh said, “Although we have started small, our main focus is to provide quality work and make on-time delivery. So, we had to go in for a brand new Welbound perfect binding machine. We had the option to buy a much cheaper machine, but we were told by our colleagues and many other printers that investing in a Welbound will be the best bet. Yes, Welbound comes at a very high premium to other Indian brands but it is worth it. The productivity and accuracy of the WB2000 is amazing.”

SS Book Binding is running the WB2000 for about 10 hours every day with a speed of 2,000 books per hour, the maximum speed that the machine offers. The bindery is producing about 600,000 books of various sizes per month. Important features of the Welbound WB2000 include strip milling system which eliminates dust, three-roller gluing system with head and tail cut-off, separate side gluing, online cover feeding and creasing.

Consignment waiting to be dispatched
Consignment waiting to be dispatched

Strong growth in orders
Although SS Book Binding is just about six months old, the growth in the orders has been very strong. The company produces a range of educational books that are exported to Africa. Singh believes the company will need to expand capacity soon.
“Yes, we have seen a very strong growth in orders and the way our orders are growing, we will soon need to add more capacity. We may add another six-clamp perfect binding machine. Or, it can be a 10-clamp machine as well. Yes, it will most likely be a Welbound,” he added.

Diversifying into printing
The duo of Singh and Dayashankar has plans to expand beyond binding once they achieve a certain level of size. They are looking at moving into printing and plan to set up a printing press soon.

“We have just begun in the printing industry and at the moment the focus is fully on SS Book Binding. But yes, we have thought of setting up a press after a few years when we know more about the industry. As we interact and work with printers, we will understand the print side of the business and how it works. But for the moment we are completely focusing on the binding business and working on making it a success,” concluded Singh.

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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