Microprints India installs new RMGT 920ST 4-color press

Robust book printing in India surpasses other commercial segments says Varun Johar

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Varun Johar, managing director, Microprints India with RMGT 920ST-4 at the plant in Okhla.

Microprints India, a commercial and book printer based in the Okhla industrial area in New Delhi has just installed a new RMGT 920ST 4-color sheetfed offset press. With several second-hand presses running in the plant, the RMGT 4-color is the company’s first investment in a brand-new press. Started in 2004 with the ambition to work for all segments including commercial, books, and packaging print, the company eventually decided to focus on commercial and book printing.

The new 4-color press has a rated maximum speed of 16,200 sheets an hour and a plate size of 665 x 910 mm. Microprints’ managing director Varun Johar, believes that the format is just right for his needs and especially appropriate for quickly turning around short-run work. “Sitting in a place like Okhla, Delhi, which is a competitive market, the plate size, print area, and the space taken by the machine all matter, and RMGT 920ST-4 satisfies these requirements best for our purpose,” said Johar. Talking about the intensely competitive printing market he says, “Market is going big but print runs are going down. Book publishers don’t want to order longer print runs, and they would rather be cautious and settle for print runs in the mid-range segment.”

Teaching and schools return to printed textbooks

In our conversation at the plant, Johar expressed the view that general commercial printing such as advertising collateral and product brochures and price lists is steadily declining as promotional and commercial information are increasingly being presented on digital media and channels. However, he projects optimism in the recovery of book printing including school and college textbooks where the number of titles and print runs are increasing. 

Expressing an opinion that seems to be widespread across the country and shared by publishers at recent book fairs in the Americas and Europe, he attributes this robust return of demand for book printing to the shortcomings found in some of the digital edutech systems, that seemed to take off in the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. He says the smart education systems in schools, that initially promised to transform learning methods have largely failed – and teaching has come back to traditional methods through printed textbooks.

Nevertheless, Johar is both cautious and sensitive to the changes and possibilities in cultural and technical trends. Discussing the future of the printing industry, he believes the trends tend to change every 10 to 20 years. “You never know, maybe 20 years down the line, commercial printing may see a resurgence.”

As far as print and book production, he believes quality to be of the utmost importance, which is what most printers can provide but what we see as giving us the edge, is our speed of delivery and our commitment. “Quality is something that needs to be consistent,” he says, adding, “In addition, we are very committed to keeping our commitments.” 

While he expresses his satisfaction with the installation and after-sales service provided by RMGT’s Indian distributor, he foresees the need for capacity addition in the future. He is looking forward to perhaps adding another multicolor book press in the coming two to three years.

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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