Rajkot Color Lab installs Canon imagePRESS C710 digital press

The press was commissioned in early-June

Mahesh Desai - proprietor of Rajkot Color lab

Rajkot Color Lab, one of the oldest digital print service providers in the city of Rajkot, recently commissioned a brand-new Canon imagePRESS C710 digital production printer. The press comes with the latest EFI Fiery G250 kit, EFI ES-2000 spectrophotometer, POD decklite, copy output tray, and a stack bypass tray. The press was supplied by Innova Systems India who is exclusive channel partners for Canon digital presses in Gujarat.

“We commissioned the press in the first week of June, immediately after we reopened post the easing of lockdown. We were familiar with the quality of Canon presses as well as the company’s after-sales service. As a result, we did not hesitate in buying the imagePRESS C710. The best part of the press is its color registration, it is really excellent,” says Mahesh Desai, the proprietor of Rajkot Color lab.

The imagePRESS C710 can print at the speed of 70 pages per minute with a resolution of 2,400 dpi x 2,400 dpi. It can handle a variety of paper stocks such as plain, heavy, coated and specialty, from A4 to 13X51-inch size. In addition to the EFI Fiery G250 kit, the printer also comes with the option of having an IPR kit for printers who want a more economical option.

In addition to offering commercial printing services, Rajkot Color Lab also does wide format printing. It also offers framing services and ships framed photos and paintings to customers across India. Iskon is among its major customers. The photos and painting that it supplies are a mix of printed and handmade ones.

Recovery by August-end

Like most of the printers across the country, Rajkot Color Lab was completely unoperational during the lockdown that was imposed on 25 March to contain the spread of Covid-19. Although things have begun to open up in Rajkot, according to Desai, there is still time before things get back to normal.

“We have started seeing some businesses open and therefore demand for print services is also picking up. However, I feel there is still time before things come back to normal. My assessment is that we should be back to pre-lockdown levels by the end of August,” Desai argues.

Big focus on staff and customer safety

It is becoming apparent that businesses are changing the way they run their operations during these times of pandemic. Rajkot Color Lab is giving utmost importance to the safety of its staff and customers. The number of staff present at the store has been reduced. It has become mandatory for staff as well as customers to wear a mask while being inside the shop premises. Overcrowding is also being discouraged.

“For us the safety of our staff and customers is most important. That is why we have taken all the required precautions. This is the new normal and I feel we will continue work like this in the near future,” concludes Desai.

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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