Kerala printer S&S installs a Konica Minolta C4080

Bringing digital printing solutions to Kerala’s Kanjirappally

The Konica Minolta C4080

A women entrepreneurship initiative based in Kanjirappally, a town located in the hilly high ranges of Kerala’s Kottayam district, S&S Printers is run by Saritha Mary Pillai, who started off as a DTP operator. Pillai later switched to graphics designing by understanding the increased demand of clients for color and graphic output. With 15 years of experience under her belt, Pillai keenly comprehends the requirements of clients for large-format advertising printing and offset printing.

Today, S&S Printers caters to hospitals, hotels and government offices and is not stopping at that. With expansion plans in mind, Pillai expects to approach more advertising and printing agencies in the near future. “The confidence in our customers pushes us to launch a new generation of premium digital printing hub with all types of digital printing and finishing equipment,” she tells Indian Printer and Publisher.

S&S recently acquired a Konica Minolta C4080 for its digital printing operations. “The printing speed of the C4080 printer is amazing, and we can always maintain exceptional print quality with the assistance of intelligent machine automation. Today, we can deliver higher quality prints in less time and cost. Higher media support grammage helps us to meet the short-term packaging and textured media as well as other special types of media support for next-generation wedding cards,” adds Pillai.

Apart from the Konica Minolta C4080, S&S has a cloth and vinyl printer for advertisement and branding solutions, a sublimation printer for customized gift printing, and an offset press. The company also keeps a huge collection of wedding cards and mementos at its premises.

Pillai says understanding the needs of clients is a very important factor for the success of entrepreneurship. “Day after day, we learn from our clients and try to implement the learning in our operations. It is very difficult to maintain the best quality with faster delivery. Our staff and selection of equipment help us maintain the standards we desire.”

About the challenges in the printing business, Pillai says, “We are located in a high range area, so the mobility and density of people is less as compared to other places. But we are taking this as an opportunity to address our customer expectations in a better way.”

S&S Printers has a client base of around 75 institutions and government offices. We plan to expand our client base to 125 over the next three years, Pillai says. “Inkjet printing could be the future of digital printing as we keep track of ongoing changes in UV printing and 3D printing solutions,” she concludes.

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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