Vedi Offset Softlink Scanner’s new Xerox Iridesse

Beyond CYMK – Iridesse can print gold, silver, and white spot colors

Xerox Iridesse
Arun Singhania with the new Xerox Iridesse digital press at Vedi Offset Softlink Scanner in Nagpur

Nagpur-based entrepreneur Arun Singhania set up Vedi Softlink Scanner in 2003 after giving up his job in Mumbai. Singhania now runs two digital printing establishments in Nagpur – in Modern Mill Chowk and Shukrawari Road. The larger of the two digital print establishments printing covers 2,000 square feet, on two floors with a pre-press setup and the dedicated digital section. We reproduce an interview with Vedi Softlink’s Singhania, who has recently added a Xerox Iridesse to his digital pressroom. 

How long have you been associated with Xerox India, and how has the experience been so far?

We have a 17-year working relationship with Xerox, a company that focuses on innovation and creating technology that supports our business expansion. Our Xerox technology and digital presses include the D110, a Versant 3100, and our latest addition, the Iridesse. Frankly, Xerox technology has empowered us to deliver higher quality output and enhanced customer satisfaction.

What is your present area of business, and who are your clients? 

Our main clients include local advertising agencies. We also cater to freelancers, regular offset commercial printers, and end-users who walk-in. In addition to providing quality printing services, we offer post-press solutions like binding and lamination.

What made you invest in your newest digital press, the Xerox Iridesse?

At the time of our investment, the digital market was growing, and we believe this growth will increase due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our customers who used to order 500 to 1,000 prints for brochures are now opting for only 50-100 prints. Opting for eBrochures instead, they require only a few hard print copies currently. The demand for short-run labels has also increased after the lockdown. Earlier, customers used to print 500 to 1,000 wedding cards, but that has come down to 40 or 50 cards. Now eCards are preferred. As the digital market is rapidly growing, we decided that the Xerox Iridesse digital press can help us venture into this segment.

Customers are always interested in new and creative options – it could be some enhancement in a visiting card, catalog, or brochure. The old pattern of using just the standard four colors limited our creativity. With Iridesse’s ability to print gold, silver, and white, we can rise above our competition in the market, fulfill our customers’ demands, and increase our profitability. The Iridesse provides advantages in terms of size and thickness of the material and has a good speed for a production press. It also supports various media and provides an excellent platform for creative designers to explore more opportunities.

What kind of training and education support was provided by Xerox? Like operator training. 

Xerox’s training is excellent, and we are satisfied. As we’re very familiar with Xerox technology, we do not require much training on the hardware. The software training was beneficial, especially for the specialty colors that can be added by the Iridesse.

Have you tried other digital printing presses as well? What were the reasons to consider Xerox to other manufacturers? What were your other options, and how did the Xerox Iridesse beat them?

Before the Iridesse, we had the Xerox D110, Versant 3100, and 1000 digital presses. We have always found Xerox to be the best. We went for the Iridesse digital press as, to us, there was no other competition. The machine can go beyond the standard four colors, which is not available in any of the competitor brands. Other printer companies approached us, but we had set our sights on the Iridesse.

After its installation, how has been your experience with the machine?

We installed the Iridesse in October. We’ve had a great response, and it has met our expectations. Previously, we experienced demand for prints on metalized polyester and transparent sheets. But, we could not deliver as a white color option was not available. With the Iridesse, we have the choice of white shades, and we can fulfill our customers’ requirements. The new Fiery digital front end for the Iridesse is user-friendly, and my operators and technicians are pleased with the ease it provides for the digital print workflow.

How will Xerox Digital press boost your production and business?

Customers always seek new technologies that help boost creativity and add more value to existing materials. With the Iridesse in place, we will cater to this increased demand. We are confident of generating good volumes in Central India and expect around 100% growth within a year. The current turnover of our company is between Rs 4 to 5 crore per annum. As mentioned, with Iridesse now, we are expecting to double this within a year.

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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