Mumbai’s JD Graphics installs an MGI JETvarnish 3D One

Demand for digital embellishment & decoration remains strong

Omkar Mohandas (back), Druman Mohandas and Jeevan Mohandas (front) with the MGI press (Photo: IPP)

Mumbai-based pre-press and digital print specialist JD Graphics recently installed a brand new MGI JETvarnish 3D One and Accurioshine 101 to cater to the growing demand for digital embellishment. The MGI press was commissioned in early January and is running at JD Graphics’ plant in the Shah and Nahar Industrial Estate in Lower Parel. 

“By installing the MGI machine we have made sure we adapt to the digital transition that is taking place in the market. The demand for post-print value addition is steadily growing,” says Jeevan Mohandas of JD Graphics. “The MGI press has also helped us in boosting productivity and reducing wastage in the post-print operations.”

JD Graphics is using the MGI press to add extra decorative value to items such as booklets, brochures, business cards, invitation cards, wedding cards, wedding card envelopes, book covers, cartons, labels, and posters, among others. It prints on a variety of special substrates. “We print on substrates such as MetPET, plastic, and color paper using our Indigo 5600. All these substrates are very easily processed by the MGI,” says Druman Mohandas.

The company which is managed by Jeevan Mohandas and Druman Mohandas has been operating from the Shah and Nahar Industrial Estate since 1985. Omkar Mohandas, the son of Druman Mohandas has also joined the family’s printing business. 

In its pre-press section, the company operates a Kodak CtP and processor for supplying plates to offset printers while in its pressroom it has only digital presses – an HP Indigo 5600 and a Konica Minolta 3080. And in the post-print section, it has just added the newly installed MGI JETvarnish 3D One. 

Support from Konica Minolta team

Konica Minolta’s Navdeep Dadwal says that JD Graphics was looking for a digital embellishment solution for more than two years but the purchase of the MGI for this purpose was delayed due to Covid. “In addition to the state-of-the-art technology of the MGI, it was the solid support of the Konica Minolta India team that was a major deciding factor. They were also looking at our competition but the technology and our service clinched the deal in favor of MGI,” says Dadwal. 

The Konica Minolta team is also helping JD Graphics to meet customers who require embellishment solutions. “Konica Minolta India acts as a facilitator and brings printers and print buyers together and after that, the parties mutually take the business forward,” he adds. “Whether it’s the KM1 press or the MGI press or the label presses, Konica Minolta is always there to help printers grow their business.”

Recovery in full swing in February

The recent surge in Covid cases because of the Omicron variant impacted JD Graphics’ business in January. However, as the latest pandemic wave has receded in the first half of February, the print demand has picked up again.

“We had a very good November and December. But due to the surge in cases around Christmas, the print volumes were hit. The whole of January was much slower than the previous two months. The volumes have picked up again since the start of February but they are still below December levels. I think the business should be back to November-December levels by the end of February,” concludes Jeevan Mohandas. 

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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