MN Pandey, director of Delhi-based Avantika Printers, was a school teacher of Sanskrit and Mathematics before he took up a job with an advertising agency. A few years later, Pandey secured a job with a magazine publisher and in the year 2001, started his own company, Avantika Printers. Initially a screen printing unit, Pandey was quick to realize the demand for short-run work and he set up a digital printing unit as well. What started as a five-member team, the company has now grown to its current level of 75 employees.
As Avantika grew, it was run from seven different locations in South Delhi. Soon Pandey found it difficult to administer the business operations on a day-to-day basis and he decided to bring everything under one roof. He moved the whole business to a single larger space in the Okhla Industrial Area a few years ago. The new space houses everything – right from prepress to printing and postpress unit, including finishing and binding.
Investment in a new Canon digital press
Recently, Pandey decided to replace Avantika’s Canon C800 digital press with a Canon C8000VP color digital press. The C8000VP offers a resolution of 2400 x 2400 dpi and prints up to 80 A4 ppm or 40 A3 ppm. The new press will be installed at Avantika’s Okhla facility in February 2019, soon after Printpack 2019 where it will be shown at the Canon stand. Currently, Avantika owns four digital presses – two from Canon, one Oce VarioPrint 6160VP and one from Ricoh.
“The demand for short-run work grew in 2005. In this fast-paced world, the decision-making process has become more spontaneous. Even the behavior of the customer has changed. For the customer, quality has always been a prerequisite; cost has remained the same but delivery has become the differentiator. People no longer want to wait for getting their jobs done. In such a scenario, digital printing is the ideal solution to offer. I have designed the entire setup in a manner which is ideal for short-run jobs. In fact, this setup has helped me generate more demand from the customers despite the fact that I do not have any marketing or sales team,” Pandey says.
Automation to be the norm in future
In order to reduce manpower, automation in printing, finishing and binding has become the norm in the West. The trend is slowly catching up in India as well. “Postpress is an area that requires a lot of manpower (in case one uses manual machines for each step). The cost of manpower is increasing day-by-day. The government has raised the minimum daily wages by 40% and the input prices have also gone up by 25-30%. So in the long run, automation is the way out. Reducing manual intervention also helps reduce imprecision and wastage,” Pandey explains.
“We Indians are more or less hesitant in adapting to change. I started our PUR binding and finishing unit in 2012 but no one was ready to accept it. The demand was next to zilch. Although the technology is extremely good, people didn’t want to go with it mainly because they didn’t know much about that technology. In reality, it is an extremely good technology. Using this technology, bound products can sustain temperatures as low as -20 degrees and as high as 60 degrees. PUR binding costs money but saves a lot of time in the case of perfect binding. I personally think that the new technology wasn’t the problem; it was the cost associated with it. In every case, the problem in accepting a change is the cost associated with it. If change and automation are pocket friendly, I don’t think people will have a problem with it,” Pandey concludes.