Canon sells imagePRESS C8000VP to Mumbai-based Commercial Art Printers at Pamex 2020

New launches – imagePROGRAF 541S and imagePROGRAF 541

Canon imagePRESS C8000VP sold to Commercial Art Printers in Mumbai. Photo IPP
Canon imagePRESS C8000VP sold to Commercial Art Printers in Mumbai. Photo IPP

Pamex in Mumbai is one of the larger exhibitions in the printing industry that one cannot ignore. Canon has been regularly exhibiting at the show at full force. Puneet Dutta, senior director – Sales and Marketing at Pamex says, “Pamex is one of the biggest shows in India. It has always given us a good return on investment.”

Canon displayed all its flagship products at Pamex 2020. It also launched its new AI-enabled large-format printers, the Canon imagePROGRAF 541S and the imagePROGRAF 541 at Pamex. In addition, the company is also test-marketing its light production press at the show, the Canon imagePRESS C165. Taking feedback and reviews from customers and visitors attending the stand, it will decide the right market strategy for this press depending on the visitor feedback.

The imagePROGRAF large-format printers introduced by Canon at Pamex 2020 come in two variants – as 8-color, and 10-color inkjet output devices. “When you print on plain paper, the machine detects it, and instead of using 8-colors, it uses only 4-colors for printing. It means that people can use the least amount of ink for best results. The other good feature is that the printer is capable of detecting the length and type of the paper automatically once it is loaded. This is unlike the conventional method of feeding data to the engine and does away with possible errors,” explains Dutta.

Canon sells imagePRESS C8000VP to Mumbai-based Commercial Art Printers

Canon has sold its imagePRESS C8000VP to Commercial Art Printers in Mumbai. “The customer wanted to see the press before buying it, and we told him that it will be on display at Pamex. He came yesterday and after due diligence decided to buy it within an hour. We are also giving some small offers on our flagship models but they are for the customers who want to have a serious discussion,” adds Dutta.

Puneet Dutta, senior director - Sales & Marketing at Canon. Photo IPP
Puneet Dutta, senior director – Sales & Marketing at Canon. Photo IPP

Dutta feels that the Western market is extremely promising for digital print as Canon has seen good growth in this region. “Maharashtra has been the hub for us. But we’ve also seen good traction from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. We are looking to expand in these regions soon where we do have some direct presence and have also found new partnerships. With this, both growth and the market look promising,” he highlights.

Growth in digital print volumes vis-a-vis production press sales

Expressing his opinion on the growth in digital print volumes in comparison to production printers sold in the country, Dutta explains, “If one looks at the last three years, the digital printing industry has been growing at 10% to 12% year-on-year. The digital print volumes may be growing at 15% roughly. But we’re yet to see a drastic increase in the print volumes. There surely is an increase in print volume but so are the installation numbers. Nobody actually tracks the refurbished press market. It is a largely unorganized market.”

In FY19-20, Canon grew by nearly 15% in the large format inkjet printer category and has grown at 10% in the color digital press category and more than 15% in the monochrome digital press category. The company did this with the help of its own resources as well as channel partners. Concluding the discussion, Dutta emphasized the company’s scope to grow further given its almost unmatched presence in about a hundred cities out of the 350 potential locations in India.

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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