Ankita Communications buys new Xerox Iridesse

Enhancement and personalization drives print

New Xerox Iridesse installed at Ankita Communications by Monotech Systems. Photo IPP
New Xerox Iridesse installed at Ankita Communications by Monotech Systems. Photo IPP

As reported in the February 2020 edition of Indian Printer & Publisher, Monotech Systems finalized several deals at its stand at Pamex 2020. One of these was Ankita Communications’ purchase of a Xerox Iridesse digital press. The Xerox Iridesse has just arrived at Ankita’s pressroom in mid-February. “Xerox has launched a flagship machine in the market after long that has in a way brought life back to the brand,” says Lalit Gupta, the owner of Ankita Communications. “We were already supplying value-added printed products in the market with our Scodix that we purchased in 2016. The new Xerox press can print gold, silver, and white and will help us move to short-run packaging jobs. It is also handy and easy to use for our recently launched eCommerce platform for personalization. I’m working with roughly 250 customers in and around New Delhi. With the new press, I intend to target all my customers looking for value-added printed work. A unique feature of the Iridesse is that it can create overlays and underlays of metallic shades and print metallic colors – any color combined with either gold or silver results in a metallic effect that has a higher value in the market. eCommerce platform

The company launched its online platform just a couple of months ago to sell and enable customization to print buyers with products such as photo albums, envelopes, diaries, notebooks, and board games, and coloring books for children. “There is a great scope of generating business through an eCommerce platform with everything becoming digital. Currently, we have seven items listed on our platform and right from designing to the finished product, everything is done in-house,” says Gupta.

New Delhi’s first Scodix Ultra Pro with foil

In 2016, Ankita Communications purchased the first digital embellishment press in New Delhi, the Scodix Ultra Pro, for UV foiling. Both Scodix Ultra Pro with foil and Xerox Iridesse were purchased from Monotech Systems. Ankita Communications enjoys a long relationship with Monotech Systems since they first bought BasysPrint CtCP system from Monotech Systems back in 2010. The Scodix is the high-quality solution for producing tangible enhancements for a wide variety of applications, including marketing literature, stationery items, book covers, premium packages, and photo albums with VDP capabilities based on a barcode system.

“At the time, I saw an urgent need to diversify from the existing business model because it wasn’t helping us gain higher profits. Since we were supplying plates, a large number of printers were our customers. We didn’t want to install a press and become competitors to our customers. The only two options were to diversify to value-added printing services or to move to packaging. I chose the former as the demand for foiling and embossing was growing back then,” explains Gupta.

The need for embellishment

One has to agree with Gupta that the demand for print beyond CMYK is growing. While some conventional printers seeking growth migrate to packaging, others look at offering value-added printing services. “In the longer run, one has to think about both these verticals to sustain. Those who don’t change with changing times do not succeed.”

“The print plus enhancement work that earlier took a week to complete now takes hardly a day. Also, the quality and accuracy of Scodix are on a different level. One can never achieve the accuracy and the same quality with an offline foiling unit. Thanks to the Scodix press, we’ve managed to consolidate our presence in the market. However, I would also admit that it wasn’t so easy since the competition in this segment shot up all of a sudden. A few years ago, we were the only ones offering embellishment services, but now, there are six others in New Delhi competing with us,” concludes Gupta. Apart from Scodix Ultra Pro, Ankita Communications also has a Konica Minolta c73 high-chroma press and a Canon c650 for short and variable data printing.

Monshu Gupta and Ankita Gupta along side the Scodix Ultra digital embellishment press. Photo IPP

A visit to drupa 2016 helped Gupta to finalize Scodix

drupa provides crucial impulses for print, media, packaging production, and industrial applications – especially in vertical markets. It also serves as a great learning platform, and Gupta went to drupa in 2016. Even before going to drupa, feedback from the market told him that Scodix was the most reliable option available in the digital enhancement press segment. “I went to drupa to have a look at the other options available in the market. But Scodix looked most promising to me, especially because of the sturdy nature of the press. Frankly, I found it much better than the other options. Immediately after coming back, I decided to buy it,” he says.

Lalit Gupta started Ankita Communications in 1987 in New Delhi. The printing diploma holder did this after working for an advertising agency for three years. For the first fifteen years, he outsourced all his printing work till, in 2002, he established the company as a pre-press service bureau. In 2005, Gupta bought the company’s first CtCP (computer to conventional plate) machine.

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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