The recent-most Ronald installations at a publication house of Ahmedabad and a newly launched Gujarati daily newspaper in Amreli (Saurashtra) are the latest feather in the cap. Ronald's customers include top media houses like Divya Bhaskar and Rajasthan Patrika.
Ashutosh Shastri who oversees operations in Gujarat said in an exclusive interview to PrintWeek India that “Ronald is working very hard to increase the customer base in the western zone as the small and medium newspapers have financial limitations.” He added we face tough price competition from the competitors instead of competition in quality features.
The four Hi Tower of Ronald is in demand due to growing competition in Saurashtra, according to Shastri. One reason is increased numbers of colour pages among the newspapers. The other is government’s advertisement policy which has boosted the tower business in web offset printing. As a result, Shastri said, “Gujarati dailies are becoming more and more colourful. Plus there are many more pages with one or two colourful supplements on all seven days in a week.”
He said, “The multicolour supplement in Gujarat is my favourite print job in these newspapers because of its changing layouts. Sometimes this is done on a daily basis. The photograph and aesthetics in the sports sections and entertainment pages are unbelievable.”
He added, “In the coming days, I see big changes coming in the Saurashtra-based Gujarati dailies. The local dailies of Saurashtra may take a lead in terms of technology advancements in pre-press techniques and multicolour web offset printing units.” Shastri bemoans the fact that “That even today there is no known or established newspaper in the Panchmahal region of Gujarat.”
Shastri hopes that Ronald can modify this perception. Ronald offers a wide range of web offset printing machines and allied products like web stackers and auto pasters. Today, the second generation of the Ronald family is looking forward to gains in the digital and packaging print sectors. Ronald may venture forth in these sectors, “very soon”.
Shastri felt, Ronald has established its brand value across the country and abroad during its journey of the last three decades. Above all, it has maintained international standards in metallurgy and print technology at its factory in Faridabad. Ronald's visibility in Western India has increased after Shastri joined Ronald to service the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
He concluded, “I have been watching the newspaper industry, very closely since the last decade and observed its tremendous growth. The pace may have reduced a little during these days, but print media will continue to prosper in the coming five years as the national dailies will look to expand their base in more and more centres. I think, South, West and North India will take the lead because of the growing literacy rate and spending power in the rural and semi-urban areas of our country.”