Commercial printers in Delhi’s Patparganj Industrial Area

Delhi NCR printers ready to add digital and packaging

Commercial printers from Patparganj Industrial area are ready to come back to the market and fulfill their customers’ needs with full potential Photo: IPP
Commercial printers from Patparganj Industrial area are ready to come back to the market and fulfill their customers’ needs with full potential Photo: IPP

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. 

 Vijay Jain, director of Paras Printers standing infront of his 4-color Komori enthrone
Vijay Jain, director of Paras Printers standing in front of his 4-color Komori enthrone    Photo: IPP

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.”

 Sidhanshu Dhall from Wee Print
Sidhanshu Dhall from Wee Print Photo: IPP

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.”

Baljeet Singh Arora of Royal Offset
Baljeet Singh Arora from Royal Offset    Photo: IPP

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
Rajinder Kumar from Creative Offset Press     Photo: IPP

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. 

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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