Gulbarga’s Somu Digital installs Konica Minolta C1100

Digital printer recovers to 60% level since 1 June

Manjunath Kalgi, proprietor of Somu Digital and Somu Photo Lab with the new bizhub Press C1100
Manjunath Kalgi, proprietor of Somu Digital and Somu Photo Lab with the new bizhub Press C1100

Gulbarga-based Somu Digital has recently installed a brand-new Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1100 color production printer to add to its array of Konica Minolta presses. The press was installed during the Covid-19 lockdown and has been operational since June 2020.

“From the time we started our services, we have been using Konica Minolta digital presses. We have been pretty happy with our association with the company. That is why we bought our newest digital press, a C1100 from Konica Minolta,” says Manjunath Kalgi, proprietor of Somu Digital.

The Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1100 prints at 100 pages a minute and features its enhanced Simitri HD toner, with its inbuilt SEAD IV screen processing, to continuously maintain image stability over long press runs. The substrate movement from the feeder to the delivery is improved with vacuum-based feeding for better registration and reliable paper handling, including hybrid de-curling for consistently flat output in the delivery stacker.

In addition to the newly installed C1100, Somu’s earlier digital presses comprise a Konica Minolta bizhub Press C6000, a bizhub Press C1085, and the Konica Minolta 71hc. “The reason we went for the bizhub Press C1100 was because of the rising volumes. The C1100 is faster than the C1085 and will help us handle and take on bigger volumes,” says Kalgi.

In addition to Somu Digital, Kalgi is also the proprietor of the Somu Photo Lab. The Somu Photo Lab offers wedding photography services, video shooting services, video editing services, and wedding photo album printing. Somu Digital, on the other hand, offers commercial printing services with a variety of print products such as visiting cards, leaflets, ID cards, scratch cards, invitation cards, and several others. Both companies were established in 2011.

Sharp recovery to 60% of pre-lockdown levels since 1 June 

Mostly shut during April and May due to the central government’s lockdown, Somu has been fully operational since 1 June 2020 and has seen a sharp recovery in business in the past three months. “During April and May, Somu was mostly closed, and the only jobs we were doing were those offered by the local government authorities. We were printing items like posters and leaflets for the local government bodies. Since June, things have opened up, and we have witnessed a big recovery in demand. We are at almost 60% of pre-lockdown levels,” Kalgi says.

Kalgi expects full recovery by mid-October as the economy further unlocks. “We expect a lot of businesses to recover from September as the central government has ordered further relaxations. It has asked the state governments not to impose any further localized lockdowns. This should help in economic recovery and increasing demand for print,” he concludes.

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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