The effect of the pandemic is declining, cities, offices, industry, and markets are opening, and commercial printers are recovering gradually. In the past two years, we have seen that the demand for commercial printers has slowed down in the market as the preference for digital printing is increasingly pronounced as the world seemingly becomes more digital. Moreover, some of the commercial offset printers have also started switching to digital presses, and some have added packaging to their portfolio.
On 3 March, the Indian Printer & Publisher team met some of the offset printers in the Patparganj Industrial Area in East Delhi. And, it was good to know that offset printers have started their work in full force and are back in the market hunting for orders and customers and keen to fulfill their printing demands. We met with several printers including Paras Printers, Wee Print, Royal Offset, and Creative Offset Press on the day.
Commercial printers are set to receive new orders
As the Patparganj Industrial area is a hub for offset printers, moving around in the area gives us the idea that commercial printers are back and that the reopening of schools in the city and the nearby states have given them a bit of life and revived their hopes. As schools open the demand from the government schools and private publishers and schools are picking up for the new year that will start in a few weeks. Bookshops and retail markets are also open finally giving a bit of life to product brochures and promotional print.
Speaking about its company and the condition of the offset printers in the market, Vijay Jain of Paras Printers said, “We are in commercial printing for many years, and were among the first to install a new Komori multicolor sheetfed press in India. However, due to the pandemic, our business was down by 50%, and now that it is back to 75%, we are planning to diversify to packaging because the commercial volumes are still under pressure. Our focus will be to add monocartons to our portfolio besides printing our usual product catalogs, brochures, posters, folders, diaries, and notebooks.”
We also met up with Wee Print, a company that has recently installed a Komori 4-color offset press at its plant, and also set up a Canon digital press. For book printing, the company uses its single-color Heidelberg offset press. Wee Print’s Sidhanshu Dhall told us about its future expansion and said, “Our commercial printing business is doing well for now, but we are thinking of starting something in packaging as it is evergreen and there is lots of scope in it.”
Our conversation with Baljeet Singh Arora of Royal Offset started on a positive note with his statement, “The offset printer’s future will be great in India if we go in the proper direction. Today, we have 5-color and 4-color presses from Komori, 4-color, 2-color, and single-color presses from Heidelberg, and a CtP for our prepress. We do all kinds of book printing, and we are blessed that we are still surviving in this situation where small businesses have collapsed. Now, we are using our 5-color Komori Lithrone G37 for packaging purposes as well.”
Rajinder Kumar of Creative Offset Press, focused on his company’s printing and designing strengths, saying, “We have a full-fledge offset press and digital press from Konica Minolta, which we use for the printing of books, calendars, catalogs, and coffee table books. We usually make catalogs for art galleries, and we are planning to participate in an annual art exhibition for which we are making the product catalogs. We also make monocartons and small boxes for pharmaceutical.”
Overall we learned from our visit that these resilient printers are neither taking their current survival nor their future growth for granted. They are aware that although they may be among the fortunate other printers have had to close down and that the business environment may become tougher. They are aware that they will have to change their product mix, their marketing tactics, and their technology to survive and grow in what has become a flat and hyper-competitive market.