Explaining the reasons for investing in HP Indigo, Aditya Upadhayaya of Super Foto DG X Press said, “HP Indigo provides unmatched print quality compared to others. While most digital presses today are toner-based, HP ink differentiates itself from others. HP has a very elaborate training for printers, and most of the cases the printers are able to solve issues online with the help of engineers.”
Upadhayaya said while the company has the experience of working with different digital presses, HP beats all others hands down with respect to customer engagement and satisfaction. “After the machine is sold, the company is in regular touch to check how we are doing, if we need any help with respect to growing business, new product ideas, etc. We work with various vendors, suppliers but none as engaging as HP,” he said.
He added that the machine was installed within a month and was made production-ready. “Thanks to the trained engineers and our background on digital printing, we hit the ground faster than expected. And as a young company with founders deeply involved with technology, we were able to take care of challenges with minimum issues,” he added.
Upadhayaya said in the peak season the company can print up to 8,000-12,000 variable printing.
Super Foto was started in 1991 by Gurumohan Upadhyaya, and he managed and expanded it for over 25 years. Upadhayaya, the second generation, with the vision to take it to the next level, started Super Foto DG X Press (with Nataraj Thungappa) in 2014 with a Xerox J75.
“We started with printing photobooks with the intention of testing the photobook market and also a bit of experimentation with online photo printing. In spite of challenges in getting a quality photobook on toner-based printing, I would say we were able to get a decent volume in the first couple of years. Since we were determined on longer vision, we quickly decided to invest in HP Indigo 5600. With focus on quality, service and aggressive marketing, we have been able to grow quite rapidly in three years time. With the goal of expanding further, we have now invested in HP Indigo 7900 to help us provide premium photobook offerings and specialised commercial printing,” Upadhayaya explained.
The company is primarily into photobook manufacturing, both online and offline. It has two brands offline, namely, Super Foto and The Print Factory. The company caters to direct consumer through its website clixicle.com for photo related consumer and gifting products.
For photo book manufacturing, the company has tie-ups with professional photographers and also multiple collection centres across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa. It currently has eight centres and plans to open another six by April 2020. The target is to open 50 centres across south and central India by mid 2021. For commercial printing, it works directly with advertising agencies and offset printers.
The company started in a 3,000-sqft set up with the HP Indigo 5600. Now, it is in the process of moving to a bigger setup of 6000-sqft. Beside the two HP Indigos, the company shopfloor boasts engraving machines, UV flatbed printers for raised print and flat object printing, large format printers and various finishing equipment. The company employs close to 65 people in its printing division and another 15 across collection centres.
Upadhayaya believes there is a great demand for digital printing, and this is why the company decided to invest in the additional HP Indigo. “The kind of jobs we see today is very demanding. Customers need short-run jobs, need it in short time and ask for the jobs on different types of media, select colours, customised colours and variable data. With HP Indigo 7900, we are expecting to meet customer’s needs,” he added.
He said the printing industry is moving from large volume business to short run jobs. Though from a price point of view, digital is still expensive, it has the capability to provide unique, personalised print experience and this is where we see opportunity. The challenge is to create awareness on the possibilities,” he said.
The company is now looking to grow 300% in photo album printing and looking for large scale opportunities in the commercial printing segment. “We are building a team to grow our commercial segment which is currently at 10% percent of our business to close to 40% of our entire portfolio in next two years time,” he said.