Stability in print demand expected from July

Color Waves installs Canon imagePRESS C10000VP

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Kamal Garg, managing director of Color Waves alongside Canon imagePRESS c10000VP

New Delhi-based Color Waves recently installed a Canon imagePRESS C10000VP digital press. Started as a designing and prepress unit in 1994, Color Waves began its digital print business in 2010. “The main reason we bought the Canon imagePRESS C10000VP is because of Canon’s service support. The company’s solid service team addresses the problems in digital presses pretty soon. Timely service support is one of the mainstays of the Canon brand,” says Kamal Garg, managing director of Color Waves.

The iPR C10000VP is the company’s first 100 ppm digital press. Canon claims that the iPR C10000VP is designed to address the evolving demands of professional printing. “This press is potent to handle a variety of print substrates and has exceptional color consistency. All the printer must do is to maintain the press well and follow the procedures given by the Canon team.

“I’ve been following the maintenance steps since the press was installed in January. We have not had a single complaint with the performance of this press. It has helped us increase our production by a huge margin and has also helped us gain customers and profit,” adds Garg. Color Waves has printed up to 2000 copies in a single run on the new press in the past, and Garg was fully satisfied with the results. The iPR C10000VP has a 2400 x 2400 dpi resolution with a choice of the EFI Fiery front-end platform. It handles substrates ranging from 60gsm to 350gsm.

Covid-19 lockdown affects business

“We pulled our shutters down on the day PM announced Janata Curfew on 22 March 2020. We have remained shut ever since, just like most other printers in the city. It is difficult to assess the loss that we must have incurred due to this lockdown. Once the lockdown is lifted, we have to sit and evaluate everything. We are waiting for the government’s order to open the lockdown. I don’t see a point in continuing it anymore. I believe it’s time we open and resume our business. The main problem right now is that nothing is clear. There is no clear instruction or news if the printers can start functioning, and the government has to decide on this matter soon,” he says.

Garg expects some support from the government. He also hails the decision taken by the government recently to help the MSMEs gain momentum and bounce back in the market post this lockdown. “Everything now depends upon how the market reacts after the lockdown opens. I don’t expect the market to fall back on track almost instantly. I believe the print market will take at least a month to stabilize and start functioning normally. I think that things will start gradually improving from July if the lockdown opens soon. It could take longer if the government doesn’t allow the businesses to open up by the end of this month,” explains Garg.

Color Waves achieved decent growth in FY 2019-20. The company also plans to install a digital embellishment machine but Garg believes that this is not the right time to decide on any new investments. Garg said that he would focus on growing his business as the situation in the market improves and the demand starts coming back.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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