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.

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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    • 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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