Konica Minolta update on the Indian digital press market

‘We see the expansion of digital in all fields including digital printing’

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Konica Minolta
Kuldeep Malhotra deputy managing director and director (Board of Directors) at Konica Minolta Business Solutions India addresses the partners and customers meeting in Chennai

Konica Minolta continues to be the leader in the Indian digital production press market. We recently had an opportunity to ask the company for an update on its operations in India. We asked several questions by way of an update on the recovery of print and digital print segments in the overall economy.

Indian Printer and Publisher – How many digital presses do you expect the Indian market to absorb in the current financial year, that is, from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023?

Konica Minolta – The market is showing a very positive response after the COVID-19 pandemic and we see the expansion of digital in all fields including digital printing. We expect the numbers to be more than 1500 production printing units in the current financial year.

IPP – Is there any progress in the digital label press segment or any new press in the segment coming from Konica Minolta?

Konica Minolta – Konica Minolta has sold 1000 digital label presses worldwide in less than seven years since its introduction in the digital label production market. With success in 4-color digital label presses, Konica Minolta has recently introduced the Accurio label 400 digital label press with white color. With the new label press, Konica Minolta wishes to increase its market presence in the digital label industry domain. 

IPP – Konica Minolta recently organized a customer meeting last month in Chennai. How did this event, organized for the first-time post-pandemic, help in strengthening customer relationships?

Konica Minolta – Konica Minolta was the first company to organize a physical event post-pandemic, and we were very excited to meet in person with customers and partners and to listen to their stories, the challenges they faced, how businesses performed during the tough time, and to what extent Konica Minolta’s products helped. The only aim was to rebuild the relationship with its partners and customers, and the leadership team personally interacted with them.

IPP – Konica Minolta participated in many recent exhibitions such as Screen Print India, Printpack India, Sign India, and Sign Today. What kind of response did you receive at these exhibitions and how did these exhibitions impact the printing industry in India?

Konica Minolta – At the Screen Print India exhibition, Konica Minolta demonstrated industrial print applications, most of which are created by the MGI, label, and KM1 equipment users of Konica Minolta. Exhibitions provide platforms for Konica customers to engage with brands and corporate customers to improve their print volumes. At Printpack India, we launched the Accurioshine 3600 digital embellishment press along with offline foil equipment.

Vijay Kamat, product manager – IP, PP & IP marketing division at Konica Minolta with the AccurioLabel 230 label printing machine at the Konica Minolta stand at the LabelExpo India 2022. Photo PSA
Vijay Kamat, product manager – IP, PP & IP marketing division at Konica Minolta with the AccurioLabel 230 label printing machine at the Konica Minolta stand at the LabelExpo India 2022. Photo PSA

IPP – Konica Minolta launched the KM Accuriopress C7100 and C7090 six months back in March 2022. How have these presses impacted the digital printing market in India?

Konica Minolta – The Accuriopress C7100 and C7090 are the fourth generation of presses in the category. The response has been very good and the customers are happy with the new features which help them to be more productive.

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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