Xerox’s Iridesse makes key inroads in India

A 4-color plus 2 special station digital press from Xerox

499
Xerox India
Shankaracharya Laskar, marketing director, Xerox India

Xerox’s recently launched Iridesse digital press has gained traction and has seen positive feedback from the Indian digital print industry since it was unveiled at the PrintExpo 2018 in Chennai in June, according to Shankaracharya Laskar, marketing director, Xerox India.

he Indian launch of the Iridesse production press came very close to its global launch in May in Poland.

“We launched Iridesse in June in India. And, every customer we have met said that it has opened up new possibilities for them. So, the reaction from the industry has been very positive; this gives us confidence in the way we are bringing technology to the market,” says Laskar.

Iridesse is a high-speed, 6-station color press that combines 4-color printing with up to two specialty dry inks in one printing pass. According to Xerox, the Iridesse production press is the only digital press that can print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass. The press can print at speeds up to 120 A4 pages a minute and handle media up to 400 gsm. It can print at resolution of 2,400 dpi and uses Xerox’s High Definition Emulsion Aggregate toner.

Xerox launched the press in India soon after its global launch and alongside other emerging markets. Laskar says this happened because Xerox’s initial assessment showed that Iridesse was considered a very strong product. “We are now witnessing strong traction in the Indian market,” Laskar states. Xerox India has been able to make inroads into India’s key cities. “We now have Iridesse installations in all major Indian metros; that has given us hope and confidence that this will take us forward to even bigger numbers in the future,” Laskar adds without sharing details about the actual number of installations of the Iridesse production press. We are in fact aware of Iridesse installation at Siva Prints in Chennai.

In terms of the profile of Iridesse customers, Xerox says they are a mix of new and existing Xerox customers. Some existing customers have moved to the Iridesse platform as they saw better value. There are also some first-time customers who the company says have replaced older presses of other brands with the Iridesse. According to Laskar, Xerox India is looking at a variety of potential customers, “We are targeting printers who are looking to add value as well as printers expecting volumes.”

Xerox India’s growth rate is very robust

Xerox says the dampening effects of demonetization and GST are over. It can be seen from the GDP growth rate of 8.2% for the first quarter of financial year 2018-2019. According to Laskar, most of the printing segments are showing robust growth rates as well saying that the rate at which Xerox India is growing is very strong too.

“Most of the market segments are growing. This year will be a much better one for the printing industry as compared with last year. This applies to the production printing market as well. As for Xerox India, we are growing at a rate which is faster than the overall market. It will be safe to say that our growth rate is in high double digits,” Laskar claims.

Rupee depreciation is a cause of concern

Due to global factors such as the US-China trade war, rising US interest rates and turmoil in the Turkish economy, emerging market currencies have seen a sharp decline vis-à-vis the US dollar. The Indian rupee has also been impacted and has depreciated by more than 10% since the beginning of this year. Since a lot of printing machinery including digital presses are imported, a weakening rupee increases the cost of the purchase.

“Yes, rupee depreciation is a matter of concern as it impacts the industry. But we at Xerox India are trying to minimize that impact for our customers so that they can maintain their business momentum,” Laskar concludes.

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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