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.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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