According to an industry expert, increased demand has resulted in distributors keeping extra stock with themselves leading to higher inventory in Surat.
On daily basis, there are around 10,000 plate consumption in Surat besides consumables, paper and other products. However, with increase in demand, there’s a rise in inventory by 20%-30%.
My first stop was Progressive Printing Press at Surat, which was established in 1965 with a letterpress printing.
The background is: Progressive Printing Press had a Komori Sprint 425. Earlier, the company used single-colour presses for producing four-colour jobs.
Following the installation of its first four-colour press (though it was the second four-colour press in Surat, it eventually became one because after the Solna installed by another company was sold and installed out of the Surat), Progressive today has two pre-owned Komori press (four-color) and a proud owner of a Ryobi 920 brand-new press.
The USP at Progressive is its one year contract with Toyo for Kaleido inks.
The company plans to redefine the traditional CMYK colour gamut in partnership with the Japanese manufacturer, Toyo Inks.
For this it is deploying the Kaleido range of inks which uses innovative pigment technology to achieve a gamut of close to seven colours within a four-colour printing process.
According to the firm, the current CMYK colour gamut is narrower than the Adobe RGB colour space available in files and on pre-press monitors.
The team at Progressive claims Kaleido widens the four-colour gamut by redefining the pigments "from scratch", so that the RGB colour range can be used to its full potential from screen to print.
One thing is clear; customers in Gujarat are not content with four-colour and they want the largest possible colour gamut at the cost of four colours.
The soy-oil based ink can emulate "all and more" of the Pantone library and at present Progressive are not planning to enter the packaging segment.
The space is worth watching for some hexachrome action.
My next three stops were 3View Printers which has invested in a four-colour Komori LS 429 plus property. They have recovered one third of their total investments since the installation of the press in November, 2014.
While Imprint is in the process to create a new set up in a 13,000 sq ft area in which it hopes to host four to five machines by end of September.
Vijay Prints is the third firm I visited which has a Ryobi in its arsenal. The 1968 established, Vijay Prints is perhaps the first to get a brand new four-colour plus coater in Surat. And while discussing Surat’s print with Nilesh Choksi, the managing director of the company, I also got a sense that an investment either in a new offset press or in a high-end digital printing press or both is round the corner.
Plus there is the textile and real estate market.
The players I met the next day are very bullish about Surat. One reason is because they feel it is their government at the Centre.
One distributor dealer told us, "The state government, under the leadership of Narendra Modi in Delhi, has launched three policies, namely an industrial policy, electronic policy and information technology (IT) policy. These policies will be as aggressive as the already announced textile policy for the state." All this is expected to impact Surat with its proximity to the Hazira port.
And in case we forget, almost every second person reminds how cash surplus the city is. After all, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's blue pinstripe suit with his name etched on it went under the hammer for Rs 4.31 crore.