India has around 150,000 print enterprises, and while most of them are in the north (Delhi) and the west (Mumbai), where there is a long tradition of printing, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata are also experiencing dynamic growth.
Demand is expected to take off in the next five years, with advertising, packaging, labels and textbooks considered to be the sectors with the greatest potential. In order to support this growth trajectory and make Indian printers internationally competitive the country must rely on foreign technology.
KBA, with its Rapida sheetfed offset presses, is doing well in the market, with a four-colour Rapida 105 universal in operation at Niyogi Offset in New Delhi since the end of last year. Niyogi, one of the country’s leading commercial printers, produces catalogues, brochures, calendars, business reports and promotional literature.
A subdivision, Niyogi Books, which was established in March 2005, addresses the prestigious market for coffee-table publications and other sumptuously illustrated books, and these, along with calendars, are among the products printed on the Rapida 105 universal.
Niyogi and KBA have been doing business since 2002 when the company took delivery of a B1 (40in) press.
The new Rapida 105 universal, which has a maximum rated output of 15,000sph, has given productivity at Niyogi a big boost, while its integrated washing system, IR dryers and CIP3 interface have shortened makeready times.
Meanwhile, a few months ago a contract for three Rapida 105 universal four-colour press lines was signed by Survey of India, an old-established enterprise that dates back to 1767 and employs a workforce of 11,000 people, 2000 of them in print production.
The first of the three presses was delivered to Hyderabad in April. The other two are destined for Dehra Dun, at the foot of the Himalayas, and Kolkata in the second half of the year.
At the end of May, KBA delivered a six-colour Rapida 105 universal coater press to Paper Products in Hyderabad. This company is one of the biggest packaging printers in the country and a subsidiary of Finnish group Huhtamaki.
The press, whose features include DensiTronic S, CIPLink and a UV capability, will come on stream later this year printing lightweight labels and metallised cartonboard together with various plastics and in-mould films.
S Chand is one of the biggest publishing houses in India, its main line of business being textbooks for schools. It is also a longstanding user of KBA presses, its first two- and four-colour Planeta presses having been ordered long ago by founder, Shyam Lal Gupta.
In 2004, Gupta's son, Ravinder, signed up for the company’s first medium-format Rapida, also a four-colour version. Since then S Chand has passed to the third generation and is now headed by Shyam Lal Gupta’s grandson, Himanshu Gupta, who recently decided to invest in a Rapida 105 universal.
Press features include a nonstop facility at the feeder and delivery piles, washing systems and IR dryers.
In addition to its printing plant and headquarters in Delhi S Chand operates remote publishing outlets in 26 cities throughout the country. At the last Frankfurt book fair the company was presented with a special award as the oldest exhibitor.
Zoom Gopsons Papers has a longstanding association with KBA. The services offered by Gopsons Papers in New Delhi commence where others hit their limits. A major paper vendor and commercial printer, Gopsons has been an active player in the global market for more than half a century. In recent years it has invested a lot of money in the business with a view to expanding exports.
The press room houses three sheetfed offset presses from Radebeul with up to five printing units. Over the next few months they will be joined by a fourth, a four-colour Rapida 105 universal.
Gopsons has two strings to its bow. The first is an extensive range of children’s and young people’s books, reference books and dictionaries, light literature etc for international publishing houses, among them Random House, Langenscheidt, Penguin and Oxford University Press.
The second is printing security products, which include lottery tickets, admission tickets, parking tickets, labels and various other articles that entail the application of holograms or other security features.
The ISO 9001:2000 accredited company has sales outlets all over the world, one of them in Berlin.
During the past two years there has been a huge increase in sales of KBA presses to India. At present there is a grand total of 35 medium-format printing units waiting to be shipped.