Pune’s Marleshwar Graphics diversifies into digital printing

Established in 2008 as an offset printer

Kishore Dhavade, owner of Marleshwar Graphics, with the new Canon imagePRESS C650. Photo PSA
Kishore Dhavade, owner of Marleshwar Graphics, with the new Canon imagePRESS C650. Photo PSA

Pune-based offset printing house, Marleshwar Graphics has recently ventured into digital printing by installing a brand new Canon imagePRESS C650. Marleshwar Graphics, which was established in 2008, till August this year was fully focused on offset printing. However, with short-run volumes rising in recent years, it became imperative for the commercial print service provider to bring in a digital press.

“In recent years we saw the number of short-run jobs increasing at a fast pace. A lot of work we got required us to print less than 200-300 impressions. Also, customers wanted a quick turnaround time. This was not possible with our offset presses and that is why we thought it was time for us to buy a new digital machine, which was commissioned in late-August,” says Kishore Dhavade, owner of Marleshwar Graphics.

Marleshwar Graphics is located in Pune’s printing hub of Shanivar Peth. The new digital press has been installed on a premise that is about 500 square feet in an area where a flex printing machine is also installed. The offset division is located in a separate premise at a short distance from where the digital operations take place. It prints items such as leaflets, brochures, business cards, and danglers, among others.

Offset printing work happens at a premise of about 2,000 square feet where Marleshwar Graphics operates four 4-color offset press – two from Shinohara, one from Komori and one from Ryobi. It also has a fully loaded post-printing section with various finishing equipment which include two Polar cutting machines.

Talking about the reasons for buying a Canon digital press, Dhavade says that his decision was influenced by the fact that a lot of printers in Pune had invested in Canon and the company’s installation base in the city is very impressive.

“There have been a number of Canon presses getting installed in Pune in the past few years and we took a demo of the machine at one of our friend’s shop. And we liked what we saw. The quality was very impressive,” he says.

The imagePRESS C650 prints at 65 pages per minute and is built on the same platform engine as the imagePress C850 Series. It offers two-knife booklet trimmer, a paper folding unit, a document insertion unit, a booklet finisher, a multi-hole punch including creasing and a stapler.

Dhavade says he is satisfied with the performance of the press and expects to increase the print volumes in the next few months. “We are at present printing about 1,000 impressions every day and I am confident of significantly scaling up the volumes in the near future,” he sums up.

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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