Making a statement through books

Nutech’s quality assurance for error-free production

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Manual quality checking at Nutech Print Services. Photo IPP

Ravi Shroff, the managing director of Nutech Print Services said to us on our visit to his purpose-built book printing and export plant in Faridabad, “My father’s growth strategy was to always grow slowly but be very firm in what you are doing. We do not outsource any part of the printing process to anybody. The minute some part of the printing process gets outsourced you do not know what chemicals, inks, plates, or foils are being used. Eventually, you end up losing control of the printing and shipping schedules. With Nutech you can be sure that if something is produced at Nutech, it is fully produced at Nutech.”

The book printer has multiple inline quality checks across the book production process. “We have designated supervisors who keep ensuring that whatever is being printed, folded, bound, and gathered is as per approved standards. We have an audit system in place where we do random checks across the process to make sure that the SOPs are being followed and at the end of the line we do a 100% checking by a trained resource, where every book is flipped through before it is packed. The idea is that when a book goes to a customer, it should be as error-free as possible,” he reveals.

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Around 70% of Nutech’s paper requirements are met by Indian mills including Ballarpur Industries, Andhra Paper, and ITC. “Though most of the paper supplied by these mills is of very high quality, at times they default on the timelines, which makes them lose reliability,” explains Shroff.

On the escalating raw material prices, he adds, “The publishers and printers have cut margins but overall there has been a price increase and the consumer has to bear the brunt of these increased raw material costs.”

Shroff believes that when a book is placed on the table, it should make a statement. In the upcoming months, Nutech foresees demand for premium quality books – high on aesthetics with very high-quality UV, foiling, varnishes, and laser cut work. “Often, the cost is no bar for some of the customers, and they will ask for suggestions to make the book spectacular. For a book printer, the best feeling is when you get outstanding results with a project that is challenging to print and bind,” he signs off.

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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