Polykam Offset buys Komori Lithrone G37

Another 8-color Komori press in pipeline

Jasveer Singh, proprietor of Polykam Offset alongside the new Komori Lithrone G37 sheetfed offset press
Jasveer Singh, proprietor of Polykam Offset alongside the new Komori Lithrone G37 sheetfed offset press

Jasveer Singh, proprietor of Polykam Offset, purchased his first Komori 4-color sheetfed
offset press – an Enthrone 29 – in 2016. His second new Komori – a Lithrone G37 4-color – was delivered in December 2018 and started operation on 1 January 2019.

Singh gained experience as an employee in local presses such as Mehta Offset and Ajanta Offset for 8 years. He then graduated to the position of production manager of Archies greeting cards. Thereafter, Singh began his own business as a freelance print canvasser.
Over the years, his print industry friends urged him to set up a printing business. Following their advice, Singh set up Polykam Offset in Naraina in 2008. Polykam acquired its first press – a single-color Heidelberg 25 x 36 inch – in 2011 along with a folder, cutting and stitching machine.

Eventually, he felt the need to invest in a 4-color press and decided to purchase a used Heidelberg MOV. “But the print quality of the used press wasn’t as good as we expected but we continued to use it for nearly one-and-a-half years. The hunt for a better 4-color printing press began yet again in 2015. At the time, our company had not yet taken any bank loan and a good second-hand 4-color press was priced between Rs. 60 and 80 lakhs. That is when I realized that it would be smarter to buy a new machine if we had to take a loan anyway,” says Singh.

Polykam decides to lean on Komori

Polykam bought its first 4-color offset printing press – a Komori Enthrone 29 – in 2016 for nearly Rs. 1.8 crores. The work kept increasing and Polykam profitably kept running its Enthrone 29 in double shifts for nearly 2 years. However, it quickly realized the need to purchase a second new press.

“This time, we looked at RMGT as well. But, the trust and reputation Komori built with us over the years compelled us to purchase the Lithrone G37,” Singh says. Polykam’s new Komori began printing on 1 January 2019. For a month it ran for a single shift and then from February it was put into double shift operation.

Why Komori?

A Komori user for the past three years, Polykam has not suffered a breakdown even once on its first new press bought in 2016. The machine’s rubber rollers are to be replaced this year and apart from that, according to Singh, the machine has been performing without any breakdowns. “The Komori press is serviced once in every 6 months. The rollers of the Enthrone 29 that need to be replaced this year came with the machine, says Singh.

Commerical printing business on the rise

According to Singh, he hasn’t witnessed a decline in commercial printing. In fact, it is commercial printing business that has helped his company grow. He says it is all about planning the business correctly. “One must be tactical in one’s approach. The demand is there. One must also utilize the available resources very smartly in order to flourish in the print business. All these years, we have made good profits. If commercial printing was actually down, it would have taken a toll on our business, but you see, we’re growing. If you’re smart, you will be able to grow but if your decisions are taken hastily, you will perish,” Singh shares.

At the same time, he doesn’t deny that getting new customers has become a tad difficult for him in the past year or so. “But that hasn’t taken a toll on my aggressive approach. I realized that I needed a marketing person. I hired one and he helped me gain new customers. I’ve even heard people saying that the margins in commercial printing are squeezed. Frankly speaking, I think there is a way out. Even if the margins have reduced, the production speed of these new presses are pretty high. I think that should help printers to increase their print runs and supply to more customers. That way they can maintain their profits,” Singh explains.

Polykam’s growth plans

In about a year or year-and-a-half, Singh plans to shift to a completely new premises where he can bring all his machines and processes under one roof. He also plans to purchase a new 8-color press and is planning to approach Komori for the same. In 2018, the company’s business grew by Rs 2 crore to 2.5 crores. With the new Komori Lithrone G37, it plans to double its profits this year.

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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