Photo printing is back in business, says Monotech’s TP Jain

Monotech displays Ricoh presses and PixelGlow at Photo Fair 2023

TP Jain, owner of Monotech Systems. Photo IPP

Chennai-based Monotech Systems got a very good response at the recently held Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair 2023, according to its owner TP Jain, who also feels the photo printing business in India is back to pre-Covid levels.

The company demonstrated a number of machines, including two Ricoh engines, at the expo that was organized at the Jio World Convention Center in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex from 5-7 January.

The Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair or Photo Fair as we know it has always been a very popular show. We got tremendous feedback on all the solutions we displayed at our booth. This shows the photo printing business in India is back to pre-Covid levels. The Ricoh presses we showcased got a very good response from the photo printing market,” Jain said.

Monotech displayed the Ricoh Pro C9200 and Ricoh Pro C7200x presses. The Pro C9200 has a print speed of 115 pages per minute while the C7200x has a print speed of 85 pages per minute.

We have got a good number of installations of Ricoh presses in the photo market across the country. But if someone wants to go beyond photo printing into commercial printing, label printing, or packaging printing, Ricoh presses are capable of that as well,” Jain added.

Post-print embellishment solution

In addition to the two Ricoh presses, Monotech demonstrated the PixelGlow UV and foiling system, which is primarily for the entry-level segment.

PixelGlow on display. Photo IPP

Scodix is still the market leader and caters to the top end. The PixelGlow UV and foiling system is aimed at the entry-level segment. A lot of customers want print enhancement technology but cannot afford it. PixelGlow should solve that problem. PixelGlow offers inline feeding, embossing, and foiling. The industry will appreciate this product and make print enhancement mainstream,” Jain said. 

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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