Sigmarq Technologies sells two Crusader towers this year

Sigmarq’s web offset technology

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Rajesh Ghorpade and Pradeep Shirale, directors at Sigmarq Technologies. Photo IPP
Rajesh Ghorpade and Pradeep Shirale, directors at Sigmarq Technologies. Photo IPP

Kolhapur-based web offset press manufacturer Sigmarq Technologies has had a decent financial year so far and has sold two of its flagship product Crusader towers with a couple more expected to be sold by year-end, Rajesh Ghorpade, the company’s managing director, said. The Crusader was launched in 2014.

“This year has been good so far. We sold two Crusader towers in the first quarter. One has been supplied to Telugu daily Vaartha and one to Jagran. Vaartha will be installing the tower at its Kadapa plant while Jagran will be installing it at its Bhopal plant. Commissioning process for both the towers will start in September,” shared Ghorpade.

Sigmarq Technologies is also in talks to sell two or three more Crusader towers in the immediate future.

“In addition to the two we have already sold, we are in talks to sell two or three more in the coming months. So, for us this year will turn out to be decent with moderate growth,” he added.

Situated in the Five Star MIDC, about 30-minute drive from the city of Kolhapur, Sigmarq Technologies has been making a mark in the web offset industry in the recent past. The company is managed by Ghorpade and Pradeep Shirale. Sigmarq now caters to some of the well-known names in the newspaper industry, such as Dainik Jagran, Vaartha, Eenadu, Gujarat Mitra, Malayala Manorama, Daily Thanthi, among many others. Jagran has been one of the most consistent customers for the company.

Sigmarq participated in Printpack for the first time, which was held earlier this year. The company displayed the Crusader tower along with its accessories like motorized ink zone control system and sneak type webbing up system. However, there were no live demonstrations. Sigmarq received a very good response and going forward, the company expects some leads to convert into concrete orders.

“We exhibited at Printpack for the first time and got very good response for the Crusader. We got multiple leads from the newspaper industry and we expect a few of them to convert into orders by the year-end,” Ghorpade said.

Talking about the trends in the newspaper industry, Ghorpade said that there is definitely some slowdown in the capital expenditure. Also, the fact that imposition of 10% duty on newsprint just after the global prices had begun to cool off may put further pressure on the industry.

Book printing press launch next year

At Printpack Sigmarq Technologies told Indian Printer and Publisher about its plans to launch a press for book printing by 2020. Ghorpade said the project is progressing well.

“Yes, we are moving as per schedule and will officially launch the press for book printing next year to cater to the fast-growing book market. We met with many book printers during Printpack and see a lot of opportunity in this segment; not only in India but also neighboring countries like Bangladesh,” he concluded.

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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