manroland Goss web systems

Alexander Wassermann, chief executive officer of manroland web systems
Alexander Wassermann, chief executive officer of manroland web systems

On 17 August 2018, manroland web systems and Goss International announced the completion of a transaction to combine their businesses. The new company will operate under the brand name ‘manroland Goss web systems’ with claims to becoming the strongest supplier to web printing companies worldwide.

Alexander Wassermann, chief executive officer of manroland web systems, will become chief executive officer of the new company with global headquarters in Augsburg, Germany. The company’s North American headquarters will be in Durham, New Hampshire. Mohit Uberoi, the previous chief executive officer of Goss International, will stay connected with the business as a board member and assist the management team with business integration.

One understands that the merger priorities and details would come first in relation to the North American and European markets with other markets’ operational details to come later. As for India, manroland web systems currently has its own Delhi-based subsidiary in the country while Goss is sold and serviced by distribution by Mumbai-based SL Kulkarni Cyril Graphics.

Contiweb and manroland web production not part of merger

The shareholders of manroland web systems and Goss International, the Lübeck-based Possehl Group and NY-based American Industrial Partners (AIP) respectively, will both remain shareholders of the new company supporting the established business-building strategy. The Contiweb business as well as the manroland web production business developing the hybrid Varioman series are not included in this transaction and will stay independent as AIP and Possehl portfolio companies, respectively.

Synergies, innovation and optimized services

Alexander Wassermann, chief executive officer of manroland Goss web systems said, “Both manroland web systems and Goss International were on a sustainable path to success. We will strengthen this path by increasing our global reach, continuing our innovative and focused R&D activities, and enhancing our market presence through targeted consolidation. Our customers will be able to choose from an even broader portfolio of products and services, supported by the industry leading eCommerce platform MARKET-X.”

The merged manroland Goss web systems company will concentrate on four main business areas: System Solutions (highly automated press and postpress equipment including pre-owned offerings and press relocations), Engineered Solutions (mechanical, automation and closed-loop solutions for all types of presses), Service Solutions (best-in-class service in parts, labor, tele-support and performance-based service agreements), and eCommerce Solutions (electronic marketplace for efficient ordering and logistics performance for all suppliers to the web offset industry).

The starting point for the merger is the combined expertise of its 1000+ employees and its suppliers. Both manroland web systems and Goss will leverage their successful structural and technological developments in recent years within new product development, expansive aftermarket product offerings and development of a lean business structure in line with overall market trends to build a strong business platform for the future. At this point there is no clarity on redundancies in either of the formerly competing components of the newly merged company.

Furthermore, with its broad range of products and services, the new company aims to be the high-performance partner for all web printers with a ‘best of the best’ approach. Starting 17 August 2018, the combined company will work actively with all customers on a positive development of the web-fed printing business.

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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