Ricoh India revival plan contested by Kotak Investment Advisors

Postscript – Ricoh India resolution-revival

Ricoh India Ricoh Pro c7100x in Mumbai (2016)
Ricoh India's install base includes digital production presses. Shown here is Nor Enterprise’s Nitin Nor with his newly installed Ricoh Pro c7100x in Mumbai in 2016. Photo IPP July 2016

News comes to us that the resolution of the Ricoh India insolvency and revival plan could take a bit longer. The resolution plan of the Dharamshi-Jhunjhunwala consortium approved by the NCLT in Mumbai is being contested by Kotak Mahindra’s private equity investment arm, Kotak Investment Advisors.

On 11 December 2019, Kotak Investment Advisors challenged the NCLT ruling in the Bombay High Court, arguing that the entire resolution and revival plan was flawed. KIA’s plea to the NCLT was rejected as was its appeal to the Mumbai High Court, which ruled that “the petitioners have an ‘alternative’ and equally efficacious remedy’ of appeal to the NCLAT.” There are indications that KIA may move the Supreme Court challenging the approved bid of the Dharamshi-Jhunjhunwala led consortium.

The battle to be the Indian lead partner in Ricoh India’s revival is because it is seen as a technology company with substantial revenue potential. While it suffered governance issues and losses of Rs. 1,123 crore in Financial Year 2014-15, the company won a project to digitize 130,000 post offices across India in late 2014 that is said to be still under implementation. 

The company has a significant installed base of equipment, including digital production presses in the country on which it continues to earn maintenance and consumable annuity income. In FY17-18, it reported a revenue of Rs. 680 crore and a net loss of Rs. 894 crore. While Ricoh India has considerable debt, it is reportedly, mostly, to its parent company in Japan.

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