Printing market dying? Well, not yet!

In recent years with the boom of new advanced technologies, we assumed printing technology has taken a setback which does not hold true. Although, the requirements and the ways to use the conventional technology has changed, printing still is remains a mandatory requirement in many scenarios which is helping and contributing to its market growth.

Balaji Rajagopalan, Executive Director, Technology, Channels & International Distributor Operations, Xerox India shares insights on how the digital marketing has been growing in India and how Xerox has been contributing to the market.

What do you have to say about the digital printing market today?

Currently, the digital printing industry is growing in double digits in India and is expected to grow further in times to come. It is a very versatile market/ space, catering to various sectors like book publishing, photo-printing, jobbers, quick-run, short run and many more.

Today, customers demand more colors with offset like output. As a result of this, digital printing is coming to the forefront. Xerox recently launched a fleet of digital presses ranging from the entry level to the high end; all of these presses have received a strong feedback from our customers and the market in general.

Our latest addition to our portfolio is the Color Press 1000i which has impeccable color printing capabilities and comes with a gold and silver ink. With increased automation, the device keeps print environments at peak performance levels. The 1000i device includes an optional Specialty Dry Ink Station that enhances documents with metallic gold or silver dry inks or applies spot or flood creative effects with clear dry ink. The press can migrate lucrative foil stamping applications, such as invitations, certificates and business cards, to short-run, high-value digital production. Multi-pass printing with clear ink adds an extra textural/dimensional feel and the “pop” of the silver and gold inks.

We are the first in the industry to offer Metallic Gold or Silver dry ink at rated speed. With this new device and our existing portfolio of digital presses we plan to further consolidate our market share in this space.

Overall, it is an exciting time for the digital printing industry and we are prepared to cater to this growing demand across all levels.

Which are the sectors that is growing within the digital printing industry?

We are seeing growth in multiple sectors. Some of the noticeable sectors that we also believe to have a lot of potential are quick run jobs, photo-printing and book publishing.

What are few of the current trends that you think is driving the market? What is the focus right now in this sector?

Few of the trends that are driving the market are customers’ demand for color printing, increased demand of offset like output in digital etc. Most importantly, today the pattern of printing has shifted to print locally and distribute electronically and this is one of the major reasons as to why the printing market in India is still growing versus global markets that remain to be static.

Do you think there has been a growth in color printing recently?

Yes certainly, color printing is growing. More and more people are demanding color. Banner printing, OOH advertising, logo printing are few of the reasons which have triggered the demand for color printing.

At Xerox, we have a fleet of digital presses which provide impeccable color quality and give you an offset like finish. We are further strengthening our portfolio of color digital presses and will have new devices coming in towards the latter part of the year.

Do you think that digital printing is slowly taking over the offset market?

The digital printing market is definitely growing with customer’s demand of increased customization, high quality prints and with new pockets such as photo-printing, bill printing, signage etc. on a rise. These trends together are propelling this growth and we see more and more customers moving towards digital printing We have more than 30% market share in this space and with the launch of Xerox Versant 2100 and C60/ C70 recently, we are confident that we will be able to strengthen our presence even further and keep growing in the digital printing market.

Having said that, we believe that both the digital and offset will co-exist as they serve different purposes.

From a Xerox point of view, what is your area of focus going to be for the coming few years? From a Xerox point of view we are going to focus on multiple aspects this year. To start with, we are going to further consolidate our channel base. Late in 2013, we had expanded our base to top 200 Tier II and III cities and now we are going to strengthen our base in these cities. It was important for us to entrench our presence in these cities and now that we have done this, we would like to reach out to a greater number of audience in these cities.

On the products side, our focus is going to remain on the digital printing segment. We have launched a fleet of digital presses recently and all of them have been received well in the market. Our latest addition, the ColorPress 1000i comes with rated metallic gold and silver ink printing which is by itself going to bring a huge revolution in the market.

We are also looking to strengthen our presence in the A3 segment by bringing in new ConnectKey enabled devices.

How is the Indian printer market different from global markets?

While the market globally is quite static, India continues to grow/ develop. In India, customers still print. Mobile bills, electricity bills, ID cards etc. still need to be printed. This is why India has been continuously witnessing growth.

Due to the increasing demand for personalization by customers, UV digital printing and inkjet technology are on the rise in India with swelling focus on segments like photo-printing, book publishing and packaged printing. Digital printing on packaging material will drive big momentum in coming years through high end digital products which can handle up to 500 GSM paper. One of the most predominant growth drivers for the printer market has been the increased adoption of MFPs in India.

Furthermore, increased focus of enterprises on Managed Print Services and Document Management Services (DMS) are also driving growth for Multifunction devices. MFDs are mobile in nature, cost effective and productive, so definitely it provides both value and gives businesses increased ROI and opportunities for cost reduction. MFDs these days can do a lot more than just print; they offer a wide range of other activities. This makes them more efficient and productive over other traditional office devices.