Saurabh Printers ups capacity by almost 50% at Greater Noida plant

Many new installations at its plant in the last few months

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V K Gulati, founder partner of Saurabh Printers. Photo: IPP
V K Gulati, founder partner of Saurabh Printers. Photo: IPP

It was our second meeting this year with the book printing veteran, V K Gulati — founder partner of 31-year-old Saurabh Printers – who guided us around his plant in Greater Noida and showed us his new acquisitions – a UV machine, a sewing machine, and a binding machine from Tekbound.

The company says it is the first in the country to install inkjet technology. Saurabh Printers installed an automatic inkjet digital machine in 2020, which took almost a year to calibrate. 

An expert from Saurabh Printers with a Knowzzlejet Duplex inkjet printer at the Greater Noida plant. Photo: IPP
An expert from Saurabh Printers with a Knowzzlejet Duplex inkjet printer at the Greater Noida plant.      Photo: IPP

During our last visit in February 2022, we learned about their plans to order a new inkjet press, which is now on trial and will be installed in November 2022. Gulati also has plans to install his second RMGT machine by December 2022 and a fully automatic case-maker by the end of this year. 

Gulati says, “Monocolor offset is not going anywhere yet; that’s why we are going for inkjets. At present, we are the only one to have an inkjet. During Covid-19, in FY 2020-21, our production was down by 28%, in FY 2021-22, we came back to FY 2019-20 levels. However, in FY 2022-23, we are expecting a 40% growth, and we have already achieved 50% of it in the last year. Our main challenge is the hike in the price of paper, and the reason behind it could be a basic pulp shortage and cooling issues in the paper mills. Publishers are not showing interest in investing in paper and are asking their print partners to buy it. The government is keeping mum. Previously, paper cost used to be 58%, and today it has gone up to around 78%, so we have already stocked up.”

A recently installed Binding machine from TekBound. Photo: IPP
A recently installed Binding machine from TekBound.          Photo: IPP

The book printing industry has a never-die future as the demand for books is growing gradually, he said. “In compliance, we are the highest-rated book printer in the world. In 78% of the overall industry, we have 90% compliance. We have taken a step forward by providing both logistics and warehousing to our publisher customers from its warehouse in Delhi’s Okhla Industrial Estate.” 

Gulati says they are concerned about the environment and have their in-house water-treatment plant. “By 2023, we will install solar panels in our plant,” he said.

Saurabh Printers works for well-known publishers such as Pearson Group, HarperCollins, LexisNexis, and Wolters Kluwer. Locally, its main client is Rupa Publications, which, he said, has the best marketing strategies to attract its customers.

It was good learning from Gulati, who also spoke about the growth of book exports and new technologies in book printing.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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