Commercial print volume falls in Bareilly due to Covid-19

Vardhan Printing Press installs Komori Enthrone 429

Manoj Arora, owner of Vardhan Printing Press and the Komori team with the newly installed Komori Enthrone 429 sheetfed offset press

Vardhan Printing Press, based in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, recently invested in a Komori Enthrone 4-color sheetfed offset press capable of printing 13,000 sheets an hour. Manoj Arora, the owner of the 37-year-old company, ordered the press much before the Covid-19 outbreak. However, the installation was delayed because of the sudden announcement of the country-wide total lockdown on 25 March 2020. During unlock 1.0, which began on 8 June, the Komori India team quickly installed the press.

“We wanted to upgrade our technology to help us sustain the business. Hence, we opted for Komori. We are known for quality in the market and wanted to maintain our reputation. Even though the business situation is a little shaky right now, we are hopeful that once the market situation stabilizes, we will start getting good demand from the market. The new press can print on sheets with thickness varying from 0.4mm to 0.6mm. It shortens the changeover time between light and heavy stocks significantly because no transfer-cylinder gripper-pad adjustment is necessary. In short, the press enables working efficiencies that result in higher margins and business growth,” says Arora.

In the past, the company has used 4-color, and a 5-color used Dominant offset presses for printing. The Komori is Vardhan’s first brand-new press. “We have not taken any loan to buy this press and bought it from the company’s savings. For a long time, we have wanted to purchase a brand new press. Since our print business comprises job work for customers in the market, the print runs are shorter. We also looked at other brands, but in our view, they weren’t as good a fit for shorter run-lengths and are hoping the new press helps us boost our business,” adds Arora.

The Covid-19 situation has crippled the printing market of Bareilly. “The demand has fallen by more than 75% ever since the lockdown was announced. I believe that this pattern will continue until the end of this year. Even though there is a slight improvement in demand, it doesn’t look very encouraging to me. We used to print and supply nearly 10 lakh (1 million) sheets a month, which has fallen drastically due to Covid-19. We hope that the situation improves soon,” Arora concludes.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

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