Avantika Printers – Commercial printer diversifies into short-run packaging & board books

Avantika Printers' Ghent-certified facility in Greater Noida

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Avantika Printers
M N Pandey, director of Avantika Printers. Photo IPP

Okhla-based Avantika Printers is a known name in the commercial and digital printing segment in the Delhi-NCR region. The commercial printer recently ventured into short-run packaging and board books, and plans to further diversify into short-run digital printing of labels at its Ghent-certified Greater Noida facility in 2024.

“We had an average year in 2023 and are looking forward to 20% growth in 2024. We have started work on rigid boxes, short-run packaging, and board books in the last few months of 2023 and looking for more growth in these areas,” M N Pandey, director of Avantika Printers, said.

Packaging is more in demand, Pandey said, adding there are not many units for short-run packaging. Many startups cropped up during the Coronavirus crisis and these brand owners are looking for short-run packaging options. Pandey said he looks forward to capitalizing on this trend by catering to niche brands and supplying them with quality packaging options. “I want to provide my services to startups, niche brands and corporates,” he said.

Pandey, who has an advertising and teaching background, started working with Media Trans Asia as a consultant in 1987 and joined the company full-time in 1994. The company had 11 magazines at that time. After six years, Pandey left the job in October 2000 and started Avantika Printers in 2011 with seven employees.

Avantika Printers has since grown in terms of area and printing jobs. Operating from two strategic locations – Okhla Industrial Area in New Delhi and Greater Noida, the printer now has around 67 employees. The Greater Noida plant, started in 2021, is Ghent PDF-certified. It is one of the seven units in the world that are Ghent-certified and the first in India to have this recognition, Pandey told Indian Printer & Publisher.

The company started its operations with screen printing and entered the digital segment in 2005. Since 2011, Avantika Printers has been awarded in all formats – digital, screen, innovation and offset. These include the National Awards for Excellence in Printing (NAEP) by the All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) and a FESPA award for screen printing.

The company has two Canon imagePRESS C8000VP digital color presses along with two Canon monochrome machines and a Ricoh 8320S high-volume black and white multifunction printer. It also has an Efi Pro 8320S. Avantika has case makers and binding machines from Welbound and a digital cutter from IECHO. The printer only works on MAC systems with InDesign software and calibration tools.

The forte of Avantika Printers lies in finishing – both prepress and postpress. “We are not just a digital printer, we supply finished products to the market. With the coming of the digital age, printing times have significantly reduced. In every area, we have an alternative machine whether it is cutting, creasing, or binding, so that our clients don’t suffer,” Pandey said.

Though printers are buying high-cost printing machinery, they are not buying finishing units, said Pandey during our recent visit to the Okhla facility. “There are significantly lower investments in finishing and binding equipment. After 2000, it became important to invest in finishing as the demand for high-quality printing had risen,” he said.

Corporates such as BMW, Canon, Vedanta, Sembcorp are Avantika’s clients. For print-on-demand jobs, it has onboard Cambridge University Press and Ratna Sagar, among other publishers.

Avenues for smaller printers at drupa 2024

Pandey is looking forward to visiting the upcoming drupa show, happening after a gap of eight years from 28 May – 7 June 2024 in Dusseldorf. He wants to learn about avenues for smaller printers along with newer technologies at the show. This will be his fifth time at drupa, having previously attended the show in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Being a regular visitor, he is keen to attend the conferences at the event that provide valuable insights into the printing business.

The commercial printer also attended the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2022 to gain insights and learn ideas about the book publishing business. “When you participate in these conferences and workshops, you get time to network and build connections, which itself generates business. I also receive a lot of referrals,” he said. He said he doesn’t have any designated person for marketing and sales and works solely via word of mouth.

Pandey strongly feels there is a lack of knowledge in the printing industry. The players don’t want to gather knowledge, they are just focused on building their business, he said. The price factor is the biggest challenge – clients want superior quality in the least time possible but are not willing to loosen their purse strings, he added.

“You need to educate clients about what you are selling and the reasons behind it,” Pandey said. I have had exposure to the advertising, teaching, publishing and printing industries, and use it to sell printing expertise to my clients, he concluded.

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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