Kisan Printers and Traders acquired Konica Minolta C6085

Saharanpur's Kisan Printers and Traders ups digital volumes with AccurioPress C6085

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Kisan printers and traders
Divakar Singh (extreme left) with the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6085

Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh-based Kisan Printers and Traders, has significantly increased its digital print volumes in little over one year since they installed a brand-new high-speed Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6085. Kisan Printers and Traders caters to customers from the city of Saharanpur and nearby areas. It prints labels for customers in the pharmaceutical industry and items such as brochures, leaflets, business cards, among others.

“Before we bought the C6085, customers in Saharanpur and nearby areas had to go to Delhi or Noida or Ghaziabad to get their short-run jobs printed. We saw an opportunity here and decided to get a high-speed digital production printer. Now, customers do not have to travel outside Saharanpur to get their jobs printed,” says Divakar Singh, one of Kisan Printers and Traders owners.
Before acquiring the C6085, they were supposed to work on a slower-speed digital printer from Konica Minolta, the AccurioPress C2070. This older press is no longer in service now.

“We have been using Konica Minolta ever since we started our digital printing business about four years ago. We started with the C2070, used it for about two and half years, and then graduated to C6085. We are delighted with Konica Minolta’s after-sales service,” Singh adds.

In the previous avatar, Kisan Printers and Traders was known as Kisan Printing Press, and it was founded in 1967 and offered only offset printing services. Kisan Printers and Traders still provides offset printing services and operates two 4-color Komori presses. It also has an in-house pre-press department.

Offset volume flat, digital rising

According to Singh, in recent years, Kisan Printers and Traders have seen minimal growth in offset volumes and sharp growth in digital volumes. However, its offset segment still generates higher absolute volumes; it is the digital department where the real growth is happening.

“Our digital print volumes have grown by 20% every year since the last couple of years. On the other hand, our offset volumes have been stagnant. This trend is likely to continue, and that is why we are planning to add an even faster digital press, most likely next year. We are looking at AccurioPress C14000 or C12000,” Singh says.

Business back to pre-COVID levels

Kisan Printers and Traders was impacted by the lockdown for about two months when its operations were almost zero. However, things are now back to normal.

“Yes, we were impacted by the lockdown for about the initial two months or so. Since then, we have seen a gradual recovery in print volumes as things have opened up. As of March, we are back to last year’s levels. We are making about 60,000 impressions every month. We expect the recovery to continue and hope the 2021-2022 financial year will be very good,” Singh concludes.

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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