“We had been planning to purchase a Konica Minolta digital engine for some time and had tested our samples on all of the brand’s different machines. We found the print colour and quality of the Konica Minolta digital engine to be quite good,” Sankar said. “However, the most important factor that influenced our purchase decision was the direct access to Konica Minolta’s after-sales service. The support is excellent.”
Beside the KM kit, Classic Creator shopfloor also houses a Ryobi mini offset printing machine and an Epson WF C869R inkjet printer. “We also have a digital die-cutting machine, a programme cutting machine, and a thermal lamination machine,” Sankar added.
The company is in designing, printing, and branding, with target customers being corporate organisations, jewellers, textile manufacturers, educational institutions, and pharma companies. On an average, Classic prints 15,000 to 25,000 copies per month.
Sankar said in the last two years since the installation, the Konica Minolta digital engine has helped the company improve its business in different ways. “To begin with, the machine comes with instant proofing facility and ensures immediate delivery of short-run print jobs. Its variable data printing (VDP) capabilities are also well-suited for orders received from corporate organisations, event organisers, and educational institutions, etc,” she said.
She added that VDP has also helped the company add another layer of delight for its customers, such as young people getting married. “Digitally-printed, die-cut, and uniquely customised wedding invites make their special day even more special,” she explained.
Since Classic already has a digital die-cutting machine, having Konica Minolta’s advanced printing capabilities allowed the company to showcase its packaging designs to prospective clients in their original form. “This helped us convert more leads into paying customers and drive the growth of our business,” Sankar said.
And Sankar’s work is certainly being noticed, as she was recognised at the South India Women Achievers Award (SIWAA) 2019 in Chennai among the outstanding women entrepreneurs in South India.
“For an entrepreneur, doing business is a routine. It is necessary. Getting recognised for doing it well, however, is an additional impetus to work more and work better. Think of it like an early morning cup of coffee which sustains you through for the next couple of months,” she said.
Classic Creator was started as a screen printing unit in 1989 by the other managing partner of the company, Sankar. He was in college at that time and started it for fun. His passion for printing, however, soon turned it into his profession.
As the only screen printing unit registered at SGIA in the US, Classic Creator specialised in multicolour printing, halftones, and in using special colours. “We have manually printed 23 impressions in one colour family (as a portrait print of a face),” Sankar said. “Later, to speed up delivery schedules and to cope up with the industry, we got a Grafica Flextronica screen printing machine. We gradually expanded into mini offset and Xerox workforce office printers and, today, we are a fully-equipped digital print house.”
In 2017, the company expanded its factory to a wider and bigger space, and for this, Sankar said, the Konica Minolta machine was the first choice. “It has helped us serve a much larger customer base and enhance the scale of our operations. We have also created a huge display of exclusive wedding invitation and jute bag samples printed for our customers,” she added.
Classic was honoured by AIFMP at the 13th National Awards for Excellence in Printing in 2018 for variable data printing category in the digital group.
Looking ahead, the company is now expanding its current facility to help more clients in their branding exercises.