RMGT installations in Delhi and Udaipur

Textbooks remain a staple for commercial printers

Himanshu Chandna and Naresh Chandna of Sai Printo Pack with the new RMGT 920ST sheetfed offset press
Himanshu Chandna and Naresh Chandna of Sai Printo Pack with the new RMGT 920ST sheetfed offset press

Delhi-based Sai Printo Pack opened a new plant in Noida recently, wherein it installed an RMGT 920ST 4-color offset press and a Welbound 12-clamp perfect binder. The deal for the latest press was signed with Provin at Printpack 2019 last January as Naresh Chandna, owner of Sai Printo Pack, handed over a cheque for an initial payment.

Chandna started his printing career at ATS Printing in 1983. He worked as a printer for several years before setting up Sai Printo Pack in 2000 with a Manroland RPT 2C sheetfed offset. He also installed a complete bindery setup along with the press when he started the company. In 2017, the company introduced its first 4-color Ryobi offset press that was supplied by Provin and purchased from a previous owner in Surat.

“Our first RMGT was a fairly new press. When we purchased the press, it was only six months old and had just 7 million impressions. There has been a constant demand for a 23 x 36 inch sheetfed offset press in the market. That press helped us gain market share,” says Chandna.

Commercial print slows – Textbook market still alive

Impressed by the RMGT’s performance over two years, the decision for the new RMGT was made at the Printpack 2019 exhibition, held in Greater Noida in January 2019. “RMGT was always a preference for us, mainly because the size of the RMGT press is ideal for the printed work we supply in the market. We also installed a 12-clamp Welbound perfect binder in November 2019 – the same that was highlighted by the Impel Welbound team at Pamex 2020,” adds Chandna. Impel Welbound has sold four of its new 12-clamp perfect binding machines in India so far.

Sai Printo Pack’s total annual revenue is close to Rs. 15 crores. Talking about the commercial printing market, Chandna says, “Commercial printing has become a slow market. Nevertheless, textbook demand is still very much alive. Most of our work accounts for textbooks and law books. We supply nearly 15,000 printed books in a day. The demand for textbooks from private publishers has not gone down. But then, textbook printing is a seasonal business. In the other part of the year, we generate revenue from other commercial printing jobs,” explains Chandna.

Waiting for digital inkjet to mature

With commercial printing in doldrums, most printers are now diversifying to packaging or spreading their wings to digital to complement their offset setup. However, Chandna has a different view on this subject. He says, “The demand for commercial printing has certainly gone down, and shorter runs are growing day-by-day. In my view, the problem with digital printing is the currently widespread drum and toner based technology, which is perhaps nearing the end of its life cycle. While inkjet technology in digital printing is upcoming, it is in a very nascent stage and is very costly, with hardly any return on investment. I don’t want to increase my costs by investing in toner-based technology. I will wait for inkjet to develop and will then think about installing a digital setup to complement my offset business.”

Chandna also thinks that digital, in some ways, has blocked the growth path of offset by snatching the market for shorter runs from 500 to 1000 copies. “Digital has, in a way, killed the printing industry. A business feels good as long as it has the scope and is competitive. Right now, commercial printing is neither. The demand in this segment vanished all of a sudden,” says Chandna. Concluding the discussion, Chandna noted that packaging is on his radar, and he may plan to set up a monocarton packaging plant in the future.

L-R: Rajesh Sharma, Hemant Seth and Amit Agarwal with the new RMGT 4-color sheetfed offset press at Prime Scan in Udaipur
L-R: Rajesh Sharma, Hemant Seth and Amit Agarwal with the new RMGT 4-color sheetfed offset press at Prime Scan in Udaipur

Udaipur’s Prime Scan installs RMGT 4-color press

Udaipur-based Prime Scan, run by partners Rajesh Sharma, Hemendra Seth and Amit Agarwal, recently installed an RMGT 760ST 4-color sheetfed offset press. The 23 x 30 inch press is capable of running at 13,000 sheets an hour. The company decided to buy the new press to target the commercial printing and packaging markets.

The company provides print work to many corporates across the country and has a significant customer base in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The main aim of Prime Scan is to enter the packaging market, and with the new RMGT press, it plans to move to the monocartons segment since the press supports printing on substrates as thick as 400 GSM. Apart from the new RMGT, the company also has a Xerox digital printing press and an Epson wide-format inkjet printer.

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

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here