The newspaper industry has had a tough time in 2017 mainly because of the twin shocks of demonetization and then the introduction of the new tax regime of goods and services tax (GST). By early 2018, the economy had begun to settle down after the impact of demonetization and GST were mostly absorbed. However, at the same time the newspaper industry was faced with another major headwind in the form of rising cost of newsprint. Amid all this, Mumbai-based Technicon India has been working to help the newspaper industry cut cost by providing automation solutions such as inserters, overhead newspaper conveyors, counter stackers, under wrappers, plastic bundle wrappers, online sheet under layers, van loading telescopic loaders, flow turns and log stackers.
In the recent months, the company is working on an innovative and exciting product. It will further help newspapers automate their mailroom operations. This machine will help automate the process of sticking sample shampoo and similar type of pouches on newspapers. The process at present is being done manually and is a highly labor-intensive and time-consuming process.
Rising need for innovative advertising to generate revenue
“This will be a first-of-its-kind machine in the world; we have applied for a patent for the same. This machine will for the first time ever automate the process of sticking sample pouches and similar products,” says Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India.
With the newspapers facing severe cost pressures, it becomes imperative to look for avenues to generate revenue from newer sources. Technicon’s new machine that will be launched in September is one tool to generate revenue by adopting automation.
If newspapers have to boost their revenues and carry more advertisements, they will have to increase pages; according to Gandotra, it is not an easy job given the high cost of newsprint. Newspapers will now have to execute innovative advertising ideas such as inserting pouches, stick-ons, special inserts, etc.
Not only pouches but the same machine can also stick add-on advertising material such as die-cut pictures, cards, booklets and flat merchandise, among others. These products can be printed by third-party printers for better quality prints. “The quality of newspaper printing is still not at par with what brand owners desire. Now with this machine available, the advertisers can get their advertisements printed using high-quality printers and get them pasted in the newspapers. These advertisements can be given a 3-mm cardboard backing to achieve a 3D effect and real life feel. I believe this product will completely change and enhance the feel and experience of the reader,” Gandotra argues.
Technicon is currently in talks with leading dailies like The Times of India as well as multiple advertising agencies. The machine is expected to be in the market by the first half of September.
Big success in Bangladesh
Not only is Technicon India working on producing innovative solutions for the mailroom, the company has been notching up successes with its established products as well. Recently, the company bagged an order from Bangladesh to supply 13 stackers and 13 conveyers to Bangladesh-based book printer Barotopa. This is Technicon’s first entry into the Bangladesh market.
“Barotopa is our first customer in Bangladesh and we are very focused on executing this project successfully. We got this order thanks to Saurabh Gupta of Prakash Web. We will finish the project in another couple of months,” shares Gandotra.
Asked if Technicon is looking to further expand in the Bangladesh market, Gandotra says that the market is definitely growing. However, the company will only think of approaching other potential customers after it has completed the Barotopa project. “We would like this project to be the showcase project that we can pitch to other potential customers in Bangladesh,” he says.