Arrow Digital at Gartex 2019

Indian distributors for EFI Reggiani and Kornit Digital

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The Arrow Digital team at Gartex 2019. Photo IPP
The Arrow Digital team at Gartex 2019. Photo IPP

Arrow Digital, a distributor of materials and equipment for the digital printing and cutting markets based in Ahmedabad, represented EFI Reggiani and Kornit Digital at Gartex 2019. Established in 1993, Arrow Digital was participating at Gartex for the 17th time. The company started distribution for Reggiani and Kornit in India in 2018.

The company explained the features and specifications of the Kornit Storm HD 6 direct-to-garment machine and Reggiani dye sublimation machine on its stand at Gartex.

Speaking about the Kornit Storm HD 6 printer, Ambika Yadav, brand manager for Arrow Digital said, “It is difficult to print on dark garments with screen printing machines. But with direct-to-garment machines by Kornit, you can print on dark garments and different types of fabrics, even on denim. Kornit machines are ISO certified and use water-based inks.”

Ashish Singh of Arrow Digital, who undertakes the sales for EFI Reggiani machines, added, “Reggiani machines are a pioneer in textile printing. Reggiani started with conventional printing and shifted to digital textile printing with time. In 2018, the company launched a single pass machine with productivity of 1 lakh meter a day. D’decor uses Reggiani machines. Reggiani has 40% market share.”

Sharing her views on the industry, Yadav said, “The overall textile printing market is dull because of the country’s economy. But 80-90% textile printers still use screen printing machines. Customers are starting to explore direct-to-garment machines but there is an issue of the cost. Screen printing takes several days to print while a digital printer can do it in a few minutes. We are hopeful that conventional printers will divert to digital printing because of its sustainability benefits.”

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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