‘We developed a press line for the Indian market: The Cromoman 4-1’

With more than 25 years of experience in leading positions at the printing industry, Joern Gossé joined the executive board of Manroland web systems in Augsburg on January 1, 2014, and is responsible for sales and service. Gossé, who started his career in 1988 at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, has many years of international experience and has successfully managed different plants in Germany. Since 2005, he was the managing director at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Northern Region,

03 Sep 2015 | By Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar (RK): You have more than two decades of experience in the industry, including your association with a giant like Heidelberg. How will Manroland benefit with your experience?
Joern Gossé (JG): Since I have managed different sales- and service organisations in Germany and do have a lot of experience in understanding the needs of our customers, I consider myself to be in a good position to make substantial contributions, based on a broad knowledge in production, product development, sales, service and marketing, both in the German market as well as internationally.
RK: What’s new at manroland web systems, both technologically and at the managerial level?
JG: We live the structures of a medium-sized enterprise: quick decision making, only few management levels and no rigid, bureaucratic structures. We live a solid and down-to-earth attitude, the boss is always involved, a reduced number of assistants or management consultants. Every member of our management team personally leads one organisational unit: I am responsible for sales and service.
In the Indian market, we further developed the market organisation of Manroland India with offices in Delhi and Mumbai. At present, we have a total of 31 employees at Manroland India, 18 employees are related to our traditional web-fed business, 13 are related to IPA business (Industrial Printers and Applicators), recently acquired from Avery Denison. In the web-fed business, 11 employees are service-related and one experienced digital expert.
RK: Recently, even during these tough times, you managed to sell a web offset press to Namasthe Telangana. What are your business strategies?
JG: The newly founded state of Telangana is what I would call a “high-tech state”, maybe comparable to Silicon Valley in the US. Therefore, a “high-tech” press like our Cromoman 4-1 is exactly the right product for this ambitious market. The customer decided for Manroland web systems and the Cromoman 4-1, which suits the Indian market. The press is designed in a way that needs minimum space requirements, has low energy consumption, has the possibility to be safeguarded against power failure, designed for difficult consumables and climatic environmental requirements and can be installed fast and inexpensive compared to all other inline solutions. The Cromoman 4-1 meets growing demands with regard to both product quality (heatset) and flexibility (variable web widths).
Our technology works reliably at many customer sites in India, which is an evidence for Namasthe Telangana. Since we offer TeleSupportService 24/7 and provide a strong service organisation in India, customers value us as a high-performance business partner. We are looking forward to the future co-operation with the new customer Namasthe Telangana.
RK: You have a presence in Indian newspaper production houses, but none in commercial. Is Manroland working on any specific technology to tap the commercial printing market in India?
JG: Let us have a closer look at the Indian print market. There is a huge amount of Indian printers equipped with commercial presses, serving the market needs quiet heavily. Dainik Jagran, with its head office in Kanpur has a Euroman – made by Manroland, a pure commercial press located in the Delhi/NCR area. Actually, we do have a wide range of commercial products in India. And our customers produce them – on hybrid newspaper presses! The Times of India and The Hindustan Times, for example, have implemented UV-equipment in their presses. All newspaper presses of Manroland web systems are ready to be upgraded for UV-printing right at the time our customer decides for it.
The reason is quite simple. A press earns money when it runs. It is obvious that standstill times due to missing jobs have to be kept as short as possible. Our Indian customers produce newspapers in the evening and use their hybrid equipment to produce commercial jobs during the day. Or, the other possibility is that they are upgrading their presses by combining their newsprint products with hybrid products. So, the newspaper becomes more and more attractive for the readers.
We demonstrate our leading position in the commercial web offset market realising a world market share of more than 50% – every second commercial press is a “Manroland”. In case the Indian market requires a commercial press, we are ready to offer the state-of-the-art technology in every segment. Our technology is constantly developed, up-to-date and at the point of our customer needs worldwide, in newspaper and in commercial alike.
RK: You are the only web offset printing press manufacturer who is providing after-sale services to printers, and not just Manroland customers. How does the business plan work?
JG: As our customers’ presses run and produce for many years -- more than 20 years is no exception -- service becomes more and more important. As already mentioned before, we regard it a core responsibility to offer best-in-class service worldwide. Manroland web systems is not only the partner for new presses but also for the installed base. We always have the complete life-cycle in mind and help our customers to remain successful and competitive. We offer a wide range of services and service products in the area of upgrades, retrofits, reconfigurations, replacement solutions and refurbishments.
Service and maintenance is the key to success for any printer – Manroland has the knowledge to train and realise service projects - not only for our own equipment. We are able to provide profound know-how to any printer and develop their presses to state-of-the-art equipment as much as their technology allows.
RK: Please explain your joint venture with Avery Denison. How Manroland will benefit from it?
JG: That is a short story: Our owner, the L. Possehl Group, took over the so-called IPA business unit from Avery Denison. IPA stands for Industrial Printers and Applicators. This division now operates under the name Novexx Solutions. Packaging and labelling belongs to the fastest growing markets and we – as Manroland India – act as an exclusive sales and service organisation for Novexx Solutions in India. We took over the relevant staff in India and are convinced that this expansion for Manroland India’s business will complement our offerings and services.
RK: Unlike the West, the newspaper industry in India is still showing double-digit growth. Any specific plans to capture this market?
JG: The Indian market is a proud and growing market and one of our key markets in the world. In India, we have a high-volume market and therefore, high-tech press lines ensure better performance to our customers. Recently publishers raised the status of the profession of the printers in India and earnings increased. So the resources management becomes more and more important in the printing houses – another reason to invest in automation and reliable press equipment. By the way, we actually developed a press line for the Indian market: The Cromoman 4-1.
RK: Manroland provides web printing solutions, consumables, software, workflow management, digital printing and finishing and packaging: How does the company manage the portfolio? What is next?
JG: At Manroland web systems, we have a very broad expertise in-house. Despite this broad portfolio, we are convinced that our strategy, “one face to the customer”, is the right way to go. For further details our sales and service key accounts at any time have the opportunity to fall back on a large and experienced team of experts in service, digital, newspaper or commercial web-offset. Moreover, we always are aware of opportunities to diversify within our core business and into new businesses such as packaging.
But let me keep it at that level for the moment. However, I can say that we will present some interesting news and product developments at Drupa 2016.