Will digital print be the future? – The Noel D’Cunha Sunday Column

In 2014, the Indian print market stood at roughly USD 24-billion. In 2011, a report by PrintWeek India stated that the cut-sheet digital print market was taking off with 3-billion impressions per annum, which translated roughly to Rs 2,000-crore. It was estimated that 1,500 colour digital machines would have been installed. It was also estimated that the volume of digital printing is growing – the colour volume growing at 30% and monochrome at 11%. In the last four years, PrintWeek India estimates that around 500 digital kits, bulk of which have been mid-level production kit ranging from Rs 35-lakhs to Rs 70-lakhs, would have been added to the 1,500 to make it 3,500+ installations. This means around Rs 250-crore per annum, is the worth of the digital shipment into India. If the digital kit manufacturers are to be believed, around 400 digital kits have already been installed in 2015, 30% of which Xerox has claimed as its share. “We have had a good first two quarters of the FY-2015. It’s a significant change, all because of the new technology platforms we brought in, which has nicely picked up in the market and helped our performance,” says Balaji Rajagopalan, executive director of technology, channels and international distributor operations, Xerox India. Cut to the international print market. According to international data, the global printing market is forecast to reach USD 980-billion in 2018. The market is driven by growth in packaging and labels, more than graphic applications, and digital rather than offset printing. Digital printing market, it says, will grow to USD 187.7-billion in 2018 from the USD 131.5-billion it was in 2013. This is an equivalent of 1.13-trillion A4 size print jobs. In terms of kit shipments, the value of USD 4.4-billion in 2013 is expected to reach USD 25-billion by 2018 and the sum of production colour shipments to cross 3,53,000 units. This growth, it says, is fueled by growth in a range of technologies, from mid-production cut-sheet to ultra-high volume inkjet systems.