Konica Minolta MD Katsuhisa Asari’s first Indian exhibition

Serving up digital solutions at PrintPack India – Hall 9D, Stand H-21

Konica Minolta MD Katsuhisa Asari’s first Indian exhibition
Katsuhisa (Kurt) Asari, managing director, Konica Minolta India and Manish Gupta, general manager, PP & IP Marketing Division, Konica Minolta India showcases their Accurioshine 3600 at PrintPack India 2022. Photo IPP

Katsuhisa ‘Kurt’ Asari, Konica Minolta’s new managing director in India, has been with the company since 2018 and was earlier serving as the general manager of Business Planning. Kurt is leading Konica Minolta’s business and technology strategy, ensuring shareholder value through advancing the company’s digital transformation (DX) projects, strategic collaborations, and business development.

This was Kurt’s maiden visit to an Indian exhibition. For him, the PrintPack exhibition is ‘excellent,’ as he came across many passion-driven visitors who visited the Konica Minolta stand to have a look at the samples and technology-driven machines on show.

He says, “The Indian economy is boosting now as there was a slow down for three years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. People are coming back on track and now moving ahead to expand their businesses. Since everything is picking up in India, people now want to observe and experience new technologies and business applications. Customers are now planning for the next five years and calculating how they can invest in their businesses. I am extremely excited to be a part of this event.”

At PrintPack India, Konica Minolta is showcasing its full range of production printing, including the new launch of KM branded machine from MGI AccurioShine 3600, AccurioLabel 230, KM 1, and application samples for labels and commercial printing. According to Konica Minolta, the AccurioShine 3600’s artificial intelligence and smart scanner (AIS) make it better than similar devices and make its product stand out in a competitive market. A single varnish solution generates a range of glossy effects on a variety of substrates, stocks, and media, 2D and 3D gloss finishes can be achieved on 135 – 450 gsm paper, plastics, synthetics, and cartons.

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Printed materials may be coated with offset and digital inks, lamination films, and aqueous coatings. The software appears suitable for a wide range of applications, including commercial print, publishing, stickers, and packaging. The machine also offers inline and offline foiling options depending on the customer’s needs. Konica Minolta has a leadership position in the digital printing market in India providing solutions for commercial and packaging applications.

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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