Launching new workflow solutions at PRINTPACK India 2017
Despite some shortfalls due to demonetisation over a few months, the year 2016 was a good period for Konica Minolta with a lot of expectations being met and the company is looking ahead to further expand its market in 2017. In an exclusive talk to Print & Publishing, Kuldeep Malhotra, vice president, sales division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Pvt Ltd, points out some key areas of development in terms of new products and market expansion. The pinch of demonetisation has slowed down business in all parameters, affecting almost every single segment of the printing industry. Konica Minolta feels it too! “Among our clients being affected largely by the demonetisation are those copy shops as well as the commercial printers,” says Kuldeep Malhotra, adding that they have observed a record decline in volume of productions at these establishments. Root cause, according to him, was due to insufficient cash flow in the market during the festive seasons, such as Christmas and New Year.
When enquired about the current investment mood of their customers, Kuldeep explains that people in the industry are now keeping their investment plans on hold, but not totally withdrawn. “No doubt, they are waiting for the market to get settled down. Hopefully the government will recuperate the situation by Q4,” he perceives, monitoring the fact that the market is now recovering bit by bit.
Gaining new momentum
Konica Minolta has recently penetrated into the industrial printing segment in a stronger manner with the introduction of new production machines, such as bizhub PRESS C71cf, a digital production label press. “When we look at the growth perceiving in this segment over the last nine months, it is found that Konica Minolta has achieved more than 15 percent market share,” mentions Kuldeep. He says the C Series production presses from the company have increasingly been adopted all over the country. “bizhub PRESS C71cf is now increasingly demanded in the photo album market, which is a segment where people still keep investing, despite the demonetisation.”
“The fact is that when we compare Konica Minolta production machines to their market competitors, our machines are comparatively low in investment; users easily get ROI just within 16-18 months. I think this is the best part of our machines and a big reason why people keep increasingly looking at our products,” remarks Kuldeep. He further says more than a dozen of leading label printers in India have been impressed by the unique features of the recently introduced bizhub PRESS C71cf.
Fresh impetus in 2017
Apart from the company’s robust presence in metros, Konica Minolta is gearing up for a market expansion, eyeing fresh footprints in tier II and III cities. “Our internal team in coordination with the regional partners has been aggressively working to expand our footprints in the regional domains which we have not yet properly penetrated,” mentions Kuldeep, adding that they are planning to strengthen the footprints of their channel partners countrywide.
PRINPACK India 2017, according to Kuldeep, will be a platform to present the company’s complete range of industrial presses, portraying a fresh impetus for innovations Konica Minolta could reveal for the year 2017. The showcase from the company at the expo will exclusively include its print finishing system, MGI JETvarnish, which is a high-end 3D digital spot UV coater, now being installed in three leading printing firms in India.
To be introduced new at PRINTPACK India 2017 from Konica Minolta is a set of workflow solutions. Referring to the new launch, Kuldeep says big copy shops and commercial printers these days are in need for good workflow solutions designed for perfect colour control, cloud computing, web-to-print, etc. In response to this, Konica Minolta has set to unleash the ideal solutions at PRINTPACK India 2017 to be organised from February 04-08 at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, Delhi-NCR.