Print Mart – 30 digital print outlets and growing

Delhi commercial printer thrives on the jobbing market

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Print Mart
Vikas Bhatt with the Konica Minolta MGI JetVarnish 3DS at the Zoom Print Mart outlet in Pitampura. Photo IPP

In 2013, Atul Bhatt and Harish Setia started Print Mart, a commercial printing venture – with a Konica Minolta C6500 from a shed under Bhatt’s home in north Delhi’s Rohini. They added an outlet in Shiva Market and two more in northwest Delhi’s Ramesh Nagar and Kamla Nagar in 2015. These became instant hits as it was the market requirement at that time.

With Print Mart as a parent company, Zoom Print and Urban Bunny are sister concerns, that specialize in luxury printing, short-run skins and stickers and book publishing. The company has become a significant contributor to Delhi’s digital printing market, producing around 75 lakh A3 color prints each month. 

In 2018, when Atul Bhatt’s brother Vikas Bhatt joined Print Mart as general manager, the company had eight outlets. Branches in Patparganj, Okhla and other locations where the jobbers segment were prevalent were added. Jobbers are generally small printing shops that outsource some of their orders to bigger printers.

At present, the commercial printer has 30 outlets across North India in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, and Noida in the Delhi-NCR and in cities further away such as Panipat, Moradabad and Jalandhar. Most of the printing equipment at these 30 outlets is from Konica Minolta – approximately 45 printing presses with 7 monochrome machines.

We have a very good relationship with Konica Minolta, which has supported Print Mart during its growth. As a supplier, they have never disappointed us in anything. We have been a nice customer and they also keep on fulfilling our expectations,” Bhatt shared. 

Speaking of the need for multiple outlets in Delhi, Bhatt likened their operations to McDonald’s, saying it’s not possible to cater to the jobbers market in the numerous printing hubs spread out across the Delhi NCR, through a single outlet. “Even if a printer gets a discount of Rs 2 for a print, he will not waste two hours traveling – that was the major reason we opened numerous outlets in one city. It’s working well for us. We are like the McDonald’s of printing as most of our Konica Minolta machines are portable and don’t require a huge space,” he said.

We are a commercial printer for jobbers and 80% of our revenues come from this segment. A jobber has a limited work schedule and operates for around 8 hours, covering a locality with a diameter of 5 to 6 kilometers. Most commercial printers taking job work want such services, and we are here to fulfill their requirements,” he added.

At the Pitampura location, the company has a Konica Minolta MGI JetVarnish 3DS and a Fujifilm Revoria PC 1120. Print Mart has color printers at all the locations.

About the Fujifilm Revoria, he said, “Fujifilm presses are nice. However, there are a few segments where they need to work on to be in a better position in the commercial printing market.”  

Expansion in Mangolpuri book publishing and learning materials

The commercial printer recently ordered a 6-clamp BW2500 perfect binder from Bindwel, Konica Minolta monochrome machines and a web fed Atexco digital inkjet press for a digital book publishing unit that it plans to start in Mangolpuri in June. I feel the monochrome publishing industry has more margins than color printing as there are fewer rejections. The market for monochrome book printing is huge as there are many students in India and you need to tap the right market,” Bhatt says.

Print Mart is mostly looking to print learning material for institutes for the newly planned digital book publishing unit as they are upfront on the payments. Printed learning material has a huge demand in the Delhi-NCR and coaching hubs such as Kota, which will be served from the Mongolpuri unit.

Bhatt says the company has come across criticism from legacy and multi-generational printers at times – that non-printers or new-generation players are disrupting the market. “Overall, commercial printing is a very good industry and cannot be taken over by an MNC because it is very customer-specific and each customer has different requirements,” he says. The industry is growing and if printers have the right machine along with trained manpower, they are likely to succeed in the business, adding that they merely need to fulfill the demand in the jobbers segment.

Though the company sells prints competitively and at times with thinner margins, its growth over the past eleven years demonstrates that the strategy is working well. “There are two options in the market – give credit and earn higher margins and give no credit and earn lower margins. We chose to go with the latter choice from the beginning,” Bhatt said during a recent interaction at the Zoom Print Pitampura outlet.

According to him, the Delhi-NCR is a very good market and it can feed itself but suppliers from Jaipur and adjoining areas are nibbling at the edges of this market. “Printers need to learn from each other and implement better management tactics at their production centers,” he notes.

The input cost for manpower and machinery is very high in the commercial printing business, commenting that this is a major reason for price wars among printers. Nevertheless, Print Mart itself plans to open outlets in Ludhiana, Agra, Meerut and Hisar soon, along with plans to install color inkjet presses.

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.

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