Naitik diversifies with MGI JV 3DL

Over the counter Pharma wants embellished packaging

Naitik Sheth with his new B2 format MGI JetVarnish 3DL
Naitik Sheth with his new B2 format MGI JetVarnish 3DL

Naitik Enterprises in Surat installed a B2 format MGI JetVarnish 3DL just two days before the nation-wide lockdown in March. “The market situation right now is extremely tough. We have no clue when it will recover. We do have another company dealing in the supply of offset plates, inks, and chemicals to the mainstream printing market.” says Naitik Sheth, owner of Naitik Enterprises.

Sheth adds, “After a point to time, it becomes difficult to sustain a business, and we felt this is the right time to diversify to a value-driven segment like digital embellishment. Hence, we diversified to printing and embellishment with the new MGI JetVarnish 3DL machine. However, the market response isn’t too encouraging right now. Frankly, the market is operating lazily right now, and we haven’t had a chance to showcase our product to customers because of the lockdown.” 

As long as the Covid-19 pandemic’s uncertainty prevails, Naitik wants to spread the word about its new investment to create prospects in the market. “We are utilizing this time to set up a fully functional website, develop sample catalogs that can demonstrate the possibilities to the prospects, and develop a database of potential customers interested in this technology. Targeting the saree and other apparel packaging boxes segment, we are currently experimenting and are trying to achieve the best results on the MGI,” he adds.

Detailing is the key

Naitik is also gearing-up for longer print-runs on the MGI and trying out various experiments to check the print consistency of the machine in longer-runs. “Detailing is the key to this segment. The enhanced effects and detailing the machine can produce have to be visually appealing, and we are trying to demonstrate these. We will target niche segments in the market with the new machine, and the pricing is also going to be higher. In such cases, the customer wants the best, and we are striving to achieve the best results,” Sheth explains.

Digital embellishment price-performance Surat tends to be a price-sensitive market, and the challenge for Naitik is to introduce the print embellishment service at a competitive price-performance range. The city’s textile market witnessed massive labor migration during the Covid-19 lockdown that significantly affected operations and new services. Recognizing the constraints, Sheth is working closely with the KM team in an attempt to provide a stimulus to the demand for print enhancements. He is also exploring the city’s well-known jewelry market to offer embellished premium packaging.

Interest from over the counter pharma segment

“We are also witnessing demand from the pharma segment. Some of the players in the market supplying over-the-counter pharma or wellness products such as vitamins and protein supplements are looking to shift from conventional print to digitally embellished packaging print. These companies have shown interest in upselling certain products with the help of embellished packaging. Within the growing pharma segment, the health supplement and wellness suppliers in the market are looking to stand out on the shelf with attractive packaging,” says Sheth.

Vijay Kamat, production manager at Konica Minolta India, explains the pharma sector’s new interest: “We were earlier under the impression that embellishment won’t be a viable option for pharma, especially since there are no short runs in that segment. To our surprise, we have seen that some mid-sized pharma companies aiming to grow the over-the-counter business are showing interest in brand-building and retail shelf impact. The packaging of health supplements manufactured in smaller quantities can also be viably enhanced on the MGI. The Vapi, Daman and Silvassa belt near Surat, has over 500 small, medium and big pharma manufacturing establishments. The area has a huge potential and has so far delivered a promising response. The local companies supplying masks have also shown interest.” Apart from the possibility of pharma, Naitik also plans to target corporates such as Titan and other luxury packaging users in Surat and adjoining areas.

New JetVarnish 3D1 yet to launch in India The MGI JetVarnish 3D1 digital embellishment machine is the newest to feature in the long list of MGI’s proven technology for the print enhancement market. The JetVarnish 3D1 is yet to launch in India. Konica Minolta India, the distributor and service provider for MGI technology in India, said that it is working towards launching the new machine in India. 

The new JetVarnish 3D1 will feature an offline foiling option, unlike the 3DS that comes with inline foiling. The machine is expected to be more affordable, targetting some of the smaller and mid-sized players in the market.

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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