G7 Expert Aniket Rane of Maximus installs Konica Minolta 6501 digital press

An eye for quality – a head for standards

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Aniket Rane with the Konica Minolta C2060 digital press installed at Maximus in Shah & Nahar in Lower Parel in Mumbai. Photo IPP
Aniket Rane with the Konica Minolta C2060 digital press installed at Maximus in Shah & Nahar in Lower Parel in Mumbai. Photo IPP

G7 Expert Aniket Rane has installed a Konica Minolta 6501 digital press at Maximus in the Shah & Nahar industrial estate in Lower Parel in Mumbai. One of the first G7 Experts trained and certified in India, for the past several years Rane has quality controlled and supplied offset and digital print work for his commercial and packaging customers from here.

Over the years he has worked in the areas of photography, prepress, color management and standardization. He took part in the various demonstrations and trainings conducted by Steve Smiley in both Delhi and Mumbai for the G7 method of standardizing and optimizing color in offset and digital printing. Rane also participated in the 5-day G7 Certificate training conducted by Smiley and IppStar in Mumbai in September 2016 and of all the 25 candidates achieved G7 Expert certification score on the first try.

As the first Indian G7 Expert trained and certified recently, Rane has done some good work with G7 calibration and standardization for printers in Mumbai and Chennai but the demand for professional training and standardization which he can provide is not strong. Printers attend seminars but are reluctant to implement even when local professional consulting services are available. In the meanwhile, Rane was keen to widen and deepen his company’s print work while still hoping for the demand for professional color management and standardization to pick up.

In early 2018, Maximus purchased and installed its first press – a digital Konica Minolta C2060. Apart from the Konica Minolta spectrometer, Maximus also bought an X-Rite spectro. With these tools it has been able to fine-tune and standardize the digital press to a high level across the substrates that it prints on for a variety of work from brochures and calendars to CD covers and packaging. Apart from improving the efficiency of its own operations, Rane feels that the use of  color management technology on the Konica Minolta 6501 will greatly benefit his print customers in terms of quality and repeatability. When required, the process in place will also be able to quickly and closely match the digital and offset versions of the same project.

Aniket Rane is a member of the JJ School’s cohort that graduated in 2004. This is an interesting group that has pursued its technical ambitions in various ways while confronting the reality of earning a livelihood. Over the years Rane apprenticed in the Mumbai print industry till he decided to venture out on his own and become a print broker – what the local industry calls a ‘canvassar.’

Mumbai is still the stuff of dreams for many of the print graduates from its schools such as the JJ School of Printing. At one time many of them got jobs in ad agencies or some of the big printers and nowadays they migrate toward the packaging converters or consumer product companies in the city or to sales and service positions with the equipment vendors. Sensing the growing opportunity in packaging, some are able to pursue further education at the Indian Institute of Packaging or even go abroad.

However, the good news is that a steady stream of printing graduates have become entrepreneurs in Mumbai because of its varied and thriving print markets. Rane’s installation of the Konica Minolta 6501 is one such feel good story.

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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