Nutech’s new RMGT 4-color on the way to Faridabad

Commercial and book printing exports emerging from the pandemic

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The Nutech book printing and export plant in Faridabad in the Delhi National Capital Region
Nutech's book printing and export plant in Faridabad in the New Delhi National Capital Region Photo Nutech

Although only a few sheetfed offset presses have been installed by commercial and book printers in the financial year that ends on 31 March 2022, the exceptions in India are the significant book printing exporters. They installed multicolor presses and have ordered several that are to be installed in the first quarter of the financial year beginning 1 April 2022.

Indian book printing exporters have installed new 8-color and double-color perfectors in the past year. And in spite of the chip and the raw material shortages that also affected press manufacturers, several other presses are on their way. Other book exporters who wanted to order multicolor offset presses were dissuaded by experts who advised caution – and they have bought digital color presses instead.

Nutech’s 50th anniversary and gen-next

Nutech’s second RMGT 920ST 4-color press is expected to arrive by the end of the month and to be installed in April or May at the Faridabad book export plant in the Delhi NCR. The automation features on the new 36-inch press include closed-loop color controls, CIP3, semiautomatic plate loading and various presets for paper loading. In the pandemic, Nutech took the opportunity to dispose of an older press even though it meant decreasing capacity which is now needed with the opening up of schools.

In the past two years, the third generation has also joined Nutech’s commercial and book printing business, a business that is one third of a family owned print and packaging group founded by the late KL Shroff and which is now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. Nutech’s managing director Ravi Shroff while speaking of his son, explains that the past two years may have been a good time for a young business person to absorb some of the intricacies of the business that are not always quite as simple as what they teach you in business school.

Quality checking Nutech
Quality inspection before despatch at Nutech Faridabad
Photo Nutech

The prolonged pandemic has compelled the solid commercial printers who have built up the complete infrastructure needed for book printing exports to control their costs and still keep their plants running. The keyword is resilience since these printers knew that the industry and the demand for their printing and binding services would return. They used the periods of slow demand and lockdowns to get rid of their old machines and order new presses with automation – anticipating that productivity will be the key to future growth.

In addition, some of them have been wise enough to build up their paper inventories and this has been useful at a time of shortages, high inflation, and more difficult and expensive logistics. Although rising prices may be a given, many of the Indian mills are supplying good-quality paper for book printing.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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