Mumbai-based Hiral Cards installs Canon ImagePress C710 press

Processing short-quantity jobs gets easier

L to R: Jaydeep and Dixit Sanghavi, partners at Hiral Cards with the ImagePress C710 Photo: IPP

Hiral Cards, a printer of wedding and invitation cards located in south Mumbai’s Girgaon, recently bought a new Canon ImagePress C710 color digital production press.

The three-decade-old Hiral Cards began operations with a screen printing unit, which was later sold off. Most of the card printing work was being outsourced to third-party printers. But the volumes fell during the pandemic and, in this scenario, going for a digital printing unit made sense.

At present, the operations are managed by brothers Dixit Sanghavi and Jaydeep Sanghavi. “We print a variety of cards but wedding cards are the main revenue generator. Till demonetization, our business was flourishing. The decline in volumes started post-demonetization, which took a sharp dive after the pandemic. These days, the average demand is for around 25-50 cards. In such a situation, getting an in-house digital printing press made a lot of sense,” says Dixit Sanghavi.

A sample printed at Hiral Cards

Sanghavi says the multiple Covid lockdowns led to the cancellation of weddings and events, which affected their business. And even if weddings were held, the number of guests was restricted.

During the lockdown and even later, people started sending e-invites and digital cards. This trend has solidified. Earlier, many would get offended if they did not get a physical card. That mindset has now changed. People are now okay with e-invites and digital cards. And that is why the volume of physical cards has declined sharply. Now people get less than 100 wedding cards printed,” he says.

Digital press makes sense

The ImagePress C710 was installed at Hiral Cards in early September. Sanghavi says it makes sense to have a digital press given that the average demand is for about 50 cards.

The press is easy to operate and we are able to do other commercial printing jobs such as printing business cards, labels, brochures, flyers, envelopes, and letterheads. We are printing about 6000 sheets of 12X18-inches and 13X19-inches every month. We expect our volumes to pick up,” Sanghavi says.

The ImagePress C710 can print at a speed of 70 pages per minute with a resolution of 2,400 dpi x2,400 dpi. It can handle a variety of paper stocks such as plain, heavy, coated, and specialty, from A4 to 13X51-inch size. In addition to the Efi Fiery G250 kit, the printer comes with the option of an IPR kit for those looking for a more economical option. Hiral Cards has opted for the Fiery kit.

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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