Embracing digital is the future!


At PAMEX, Canon will not only showcase the complete range of their products and launch new products in commercial printing, they will also help demystify the dynamics of digital printing. Here, Puneet Datta, director of Professional Printing Products Group, Canon shares more about their participation. PAMEX comes at an appropriate time as we are in the cusp of economy, which is coming back to the growth path. It is very visible with the interest that has been slightly brought down by the banks and the lending power is more. Consumerism is back and we just saw the greatest online sales, which was a huge success. People are spending money and these growth signs are also fuelling the print economy,” shares Puneet Datta, director of Professional Printing Products Group, Canon India.

“Thus, PAMEX will help printing industry to showcase new solutions or new products to the west and there will be lot of visitors from the southern and northern regions, where the market is big. Infact, the west has almost 30 percent of the India’s printing economy. We are looking at entrepreneurship coming up. West has always been the fertile ground for printing hubs, and now they are not just confined to central Mumbai but are also expanding to other regions and going for larger infrastructure. There seems to be a tremendous growth in population as well, thereby increasing the scope of the industry,” he adds optimistically.

Talking about their participation at PAMEX, Puneet shares that they have increased their stall (E20), space that’s courtesy the timing. “We are upbeat about this exhibition. We will showcase the whole length and breadth of Canon solutions, right from commercial printing to wide format to Dreamlabo albums, which has created a buzz in the industry. We are also utilising this platform to launch some new products in the commercial printing segment. The newly launched wide format products will also be a part of the display,” he adds.

On asking about the solutions to be showcased at the fair, he replies that they will showcase web-to-print solutions, personalisation, applications on high speed machines like transactional/direct mail and specialised applications, especially formulated for PAMEX. He talked about application for schools where digital printing can be used for various collaterals like progress cards on untearable paper, bookmarks, I-cards, personalised diaries, certificates, table top calendars, name slips, etc. “These applications are there but it is how to bring printers to make use of these applications, is what we are targeting at. This helps build a brand value to a school, besides giving enough job for the digital printer. We are also looking at new segments where digital printing can be used,” he adds. He also cited another example of health cards/medical reports to be printed in non-tearable paper in hospitals for cross-reference at later stage.

Another important point that Puneet mentioned was that they are planning to work on their project ‘Demystify the dynamics of digital printing.’ “Everyone knows that the future is digital but offset printers are still wary of it. They rather outsource it as they have their hands full and they are skeptical to bring new machines which needs new people to run them. This is because finishing in digital is different. Here, PUR is used for binding as sewing is very costly in digital. So, how do you demystify digital printing. We have built a small ROI for short-runs as well. Here, we are specifically focusing on black-and-white as for the commercial printers, it is the next step. Later, we will do it for colour as well,” he shares. “We are not trying to conjure up something digital, but will like to simplify digital printing. This will be knowledge-sharing activity and create differentiation towards digital printing. Offset will continue to grow in India, despite all odds but digital will complement offset but portion of digital will significantly increase as new applications will come in.”

He also shares that a research in Europe shows that almost 50 percent of offset printers with digital printing recorded significant increase in revenue due to value-added service. While, traditional printers

who did not go for digital printing recorded a decline in revenue. “So, embracing digital is the future. It’s not a question of should I do it, the question is when do I do it,” he shares.

On asking about the growth in the digital printing segment, Puneet shares that placement of hardware in digital colour printing is growing at 10-15 percent.Wide format is gaining shape, inkjet acqueous rammed up market share from 9 percent to 17 percent. “Wide format is getting eco-conscious and UV flatbed is not only eco-friendly but also very creative. The inkjet acqueous will also see a huge demand in both print volumes as well as hardware sales. Print volumes are increasing as retail signages are increasing as offers keep on changing pretty soon. There are frequent sales and retail signages are a biggest draw. As the fight between online and brick-and-mortar shops continue, retail signages will play a bigger role, he opines.

“On the production printing side, we see a momentum in transactional printing which is fuelled by e-governance initiatives like UID project. Direct mail is coming back to hard paper. This is because every day we receive 10-15 EDMs (electronic document management) but time is getting shorter and subject line is important. Thus, many times the information goes unnoticed. But, when you receive a mailer on paper, you are bound to take a glimpse at it. Thus, more and more marketers are realising to decluttering themselves from mobile and desktop. This trend has already started in Europe and it has started with a few customers in India as well. The idea is innovation in direct mails. Thus, the overall perspective of print is positive and we are looking at how digital can be used by PSPs to add value to their prints,” concludes Puneet on a happy note.

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