New kid on the block

Skytek at Media Expo 2019, New Delhi

Kamalnath Y, sales director, Skytek Asia Pacific

Skytek Technologies Incorporation, based in Bangalore, is a manufacturer of UV roll to roll printers, UV flatbed printers (large and small), textile sublimation printers, and direct textile printers. The company was established in 2016 and spent two years on the R&D of UV printers. Based on its experience and findings, the company developed and designed its range of UV large-format printers that were introduced commercially in the market in September 2018. Since the commercialization of its products, the company has sold over 14 machines in India.

At the moment, the company has 8 series of UV inkjet printers — Storm 3300, Gravity 3300, Crust 1800, Magnum 1800, Hercules 2513, Magical printer. The MagicalPrinter can print directly on over 100 different substrates of 170 millimeters with 3D effects.

Speaking about the company’s products and services, Kamalnath Y, sales director, Skytek Asia Pacific, said, “We believe that our customers should be happy before and after purchasing our product. We don’t sell our machines to a customer until we understand what they require, what they do, and how our machines can help them. We ensure that our customers get the right machine for their business and get ROI. We don’t chase the monetary benefit but aim at helping our customers use the machine to the optimum level.”

The company also provides after-sales services to its customers. “After-sales services are essential in the printing industry. We have highly skilled service engineers across the country. Our service team is decentralized in major metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai, from where we cater to Pan India operations,” Kamalnath explained.

During Media Expo 2019, New Delhi, the company displayed Hercules 3020 UV flatbed printer, MagicalPrinter 6090 UV flatbed printer, Crust 1800 UV roll to roll printer, Storm 3300 UV roll to roll printer, Magnum 1800 UV roll to roll printer, and Gravity 3300 UV roll to roll printer. The Crust 1800 printer was launched for the first time at the exhibition.

“In the Indian context, a 6 feet machine printing at the speed of 320 square feet per hour is a mindblowing speed. Not everyone has the space to set up a huge industrial machine. This machine is suitable for them. The machine is equipped with industrial Ricoh Gen5 heads,” Kamalnath said.

Participating for the second time at Media Expo, the company had sold most of the machines on display to customers, including Xpress Digital, Hyderabad, M/S Navadurga Graphics, Hyderabad, and Supra Digital, Bangalore. “Media Expo helps us to meet our existing and prospective customers and get feedback on our products and services. We have sold most of our machines and have generated positive leads,” Kamalnath added.

Skytek will also participate at Media Expo 2020 in Mumbai and is gearing up to launch its hybrid UV printer, Versa 3300, at the event.

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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