Ashirwad’s KM c1085 helps boost revenue

No margin for error in digital print

Rajeev Khandelwal, owner of Ashirwad. Photos IPP
Rajeev Khandelwal, owner of Ashirwad. Photos IPP

Established in 1984, Ashirwad is an early adopter and one of the first digital printers of Indore. Over the years, Ashirwad used Xerox digital presses apart from presses from other manufacturers. Realizing the importance of keeping up with new technology, it has bought new presses every 4–5 years. There is good demand for short-run print work in Indore according to Rajeev Khandelwal, the owner and chief executive officer of Ashirwad.
“Being the longest in digital print, I have seen many printers come and go all these years. Most of them couldn’t sustain the business. We have been able to stay in the market and operate profitably because we have always focussed on quality services. It is not just about setting up a printing unit, a lot more goes into making a venture successful. One must have complete knowledge and understanding of the market one services. In today’s scenario, there is no margin of error. If one fumbles, one has to take the hit,” says Khandelwal.

Konica Minolta bizhub c1080 digital production press.
Konica Minolta bizhub c1085 digital production press.

Khandelwal also says that the cost of the digital presses that are shooting up with constant changes in technology to improve the quality of print is affecting the printers a lot. “If a printer purchases a Rs. 20 lakh digital press but is able to print only around 40-50 printed sheets daily, he is bound to struggle. When I installed my first digital press 20 years ago, I faced similar problems. But, I managed to come out of it because digital printing was not as famous as offset back then. In those days, there was more competition in offset as compared to digital. Nowadays, because of a steep fall in the commercial print business, more and more printers are turning to digital. Those who already have a goodwill in the market and are servicing a particular set of clients for many years are surviving,” Khandelwal explains.

Fasma works

Ashirwad has a Konica Minolta c1085 digital production press. Khandelwal believes that the concept of fasma contract has been a boon for the digital printers. The c1085 digital production press owned by Ashirwad was purchased under fasma contract. “Fasma liberates you from all the tensions related to machine maintenance. What else does a printer need? You don’t need to worry about the toner, parts and engineers’ service charge. I’ve been using Konica Minolta for the last three years and I have been extremely satisfied with the services provided by the company,” shares Khandelwal.

He believes that there has been tremendous growth in digital print. His own volume at Ashirwad has grown from 400 to 500 prints a day at the beginning to a minimum of 4,000 prints daily currently. “This machine from Konica Minolta has helped my company grow and to increase the print volume. The quality of print is extremely impressive and it is helping me retain many customers. I have even managed to establish a strong relationship with some new customers,” Khandelwal says.

In 2018, the company registered tremendous growth. “We are registering growth day-by-day. When I purchased this machine, our print volume was 20,000, which has now gone up to 1,10,000 printed pieces daily. We’re looking for a new project for 2019. We want to take up a project which is somewhat similar to digital. The main issue with my setup is that I handle this single-handedly and I cannot take up a huge project. That would require more than one person to manage the project,” Khandelwal concludes.

Correction issued on 28 August 2019.

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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    • I am sure Konica Minolta, Canon and Xerox would be interested. If you need help in contacting them for some reason, please contact us. Editor


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