Kaira makes repeat investments in Konica Minolta presses

Digital print margins squeezed in Bhopal

NK Sitlani, owner of Kaira Color Print. Photos IPP

NK Sitlani, a printer for 40 years, set up Kaira Color Print 22 years ago. Initially Sitlani joined his father’s printing business. Right from the start Kaira Color Print was a digital print business which Sitlani decided to expand in 2009, with a Konica Minolta c252 digital production press. He also purchased inkjet printers from HP and Oce. Subsequently, he purchased Konica Minolta c6501, c6000, c1085 and c2070 digital presses, by sequentially replacing the older model with the newly available one. Kaira currently uses three Konica Minolta digital presses – the c3080, c1085 and c458 digital production presses.

Konica Minolta AccurioPress c3080 at Kaira Color Print in Bhopal.
Konica Minolta AccurioPress c3080 at Kaira Color Print in Bhopal.

“The demand is fine but the margins have decreased. Printing is slowly turning into a cost-sensitive market. Printers in Bhopal are reducing the margins by a rupee or two per print to attract more customers. Some of these printers in the market have completely disrupted the market and shattered the hopes of many others by offering services at extremely cheap rates,” says Sitlani. Moreover, he adds that the last financial year wasn’t very profitable for the company and they will focus on growing business in FY 2019-20.
“We do have a positive reputation in the market and are associated with many of our customers for many years who believe in the quality we supply. We are knowledgable and that helps us gain an edge over the others. Many of our trusted customers do not worry much about a marginal difference in price and are pretty happy to pay more for good quality work,” says Sitlani.

The company doesn’t take up any value addition for its digital print. Sitlani asserts that Bhopal is not yet a mature market for value-added printing. Not many people are aware or know about the possibilities and hence have few requirements for it. On the postpress and finishing side, Kaira has a thermal laminator, while the cutting machine is being replaced with a new one. “I have not installed much postpress equipment because I don’t want to employ more people for this job. Postpress is laborious. However, in the future, I will try to look into the postpress side a bit more,” says Sitlani.

Explaining his repeated and serial investments in Konica Minolta digital presses, Sitlani says, “I have had a good experience with the KM team. Most of the other brands haven’t stationed their engineers locally, which is a big problem for us printers. KM’s service engineers reach in hours and the fault in the press is generally quickly taken care of. Moreover, the Konica Minolta print quality is unmatched. That is the reason why they have a major market share.” He adds that all the presses purchased from KM are under fasma contracts.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here