"We'll target tier-2 cities aggressively"

At Interprint Expo, Creed showcased Vinsak platesetters and processors. The duo of Rahul Kumar and Supreeth Sudhakaran caught up with Ranesh Bajaj, the managing director, and Sankarshanan, vice president, Creed Engineers to grasp the latest at the Gurgaon-based firm

27 Apr 2013 | By Rahul Kumar & Supreeth Sudhakaran


Can you tell us about the Vinsak pre-press solution that was showcased at Interpack?

Ranesh Bajaj (RB ): A full suite of Vinsak pre-press solutions was showcased. This included our Vinsak TPS 1160 thermal platesetter and Vinsak TPP 1300 thermal plate processor. The products were showcased for the first time in India. These inline thermal CTP systems with a bridge and a 64 channel laser can process 24 plates an hour in a maximum size of 900x1130mm. The size of the plate output makes it a much bigger machine in comparison to those available in the market, and it outputs more than eight-up machines.

How has the market responded to products under the brand name of Vinsak?

RB: The response has been positive and encouraging. We sold the first TPS 1160 thermal platesetter and TPP 1300 plate processor on the very first day of the event. Also we bagged four more orders of the platesetter and processor.

Besides the orders booked at Interprint, we had orders for supply of six more CTP solutions. Of these, two are from pre-press houses and the remaining from printers. At the moment, I can only tell you that one is a pre-press house in North Delhi and the other in Noida. This is for total solutions that includes platesetter and processor bundled.

In addition, Creed Engineers, our core company, received good response to the post-printing machines like sheet-counting, punching and banding machines, it deals in.

Sankarshanan: Vinsak is a brand we created a year ago. And over this one year, we have tried several things. When we entered the market, we knew that customers opt for permutations and combinations of products. That is, they might use a platesetter of one company and plates from another. So we were prepared to understand the market. We introduced our entry level product Pace, and have now graduated to a higher quality, higher run plate through Sprint, and with the top of the line high run, UV plate Marathon.

Do you feel that the tier-1 is now a saturated market?

RB: Yes, much quicker than anticipated. Of course, the best bet forward is to focus on the tier-2 and tier-3 markets. Having said that, I must add that in the future, I see more and more print companies opting for in-house pre-press. In 2013, we plan to hit the tier-2 market much-more aggressively. One of the target markets would be the packaging printers in a given region. Our digital plate, Marathon, is an extra long-run plate with UV capabilities.

Currently, you have been focusing on the thermal CTP market, any future plans to hit the violet CTP market?

Sankarshanan: No, we are not thinking of moving into the violet market for the present; not because we are not capable of doing it, but simply because we believe that one should bite only as much as you can chew. I have no love for violet or IR (infrared) the two ends of the electromagnetic spectrum. All plates are UV; however, nobody was calling it UV, till CTP was introduced in 1995. People shifted to IR. Then again people said, “Let’s do CTP UV”. People just jumped from one technology to another.

What are the major opportunities that you foresee for thermal CTP (computer to platesetter) market in India?

Sankarshanan: It’s a huge market! This technology is 17 years old and is still a niche market. CTP is one of the most sophisticated of the printing technologies today. If the only tool in your chest is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. Still there are many who haven’t even stepped into the world of CTP. That’s how long the world takes to migrate. Let’s face it – for several years, and with due respect to it, there has been only one player in the Indian market. The country needs more players. Still the ratio between the PS plates consumption versus the CTP is still very high. In the 70’s HMT had only five models of watches for men and five for women. At that time, the country was wearing only ten styles of watches. Today, with many more players in the watch industry, the market has evolved.

Creed has been vociferously arguing against implementation of the anti-dumping duty (ADD). Why?

RB: Since the implementation of ADD on digital plates, the cost of the CtCP (computer to conventional platesetter) plate has gone through the roof. CtCP was only selling because the plates were cheaper than thermal. We expect the prices of the CtCP to go up by around Rs 50. Once the CtCP cost comes anywhere near the cost of a thermal plate, print companies would opt for a CTP than CtCP, because it also has a better resolution.

There were some initial hurdles that you had to cross. Do you foresee a smoother road ahead for Vinsak?

Sankarshanan: We are the newest kid on the block. We are neither a threat to our competitors, nor are they to us. I believe there is space for everybody as long as you play the game in the right spirit.

Some people call this as a David versus Goliath scenario. What’s your comment on this?

Sankarshanan: Nice cliche. Key here is how you serve the market. Size is not the primary concern of a printer. I believe that we are here with a purpose of serving the print industry. If you are not going to participate, you are never going to win. There are innumerable case studies of how small and new entrants in many product categories have emerged very successfuly against established players. Many in Indian marketing scenario itself. Ultimately your success comes from the work you do with your customer.

Where do you manufacture your products? Any plans to set up a manufacturing facility in India?

Sankarshanan: We contract manufacture plates at multiple sites in China. We have plans to manufacture but we have not come to the point where we can say that we plan to set up a manufacturing plant in India. I look at multiple countries; India is just one of these. We don’t manufacture for Gujarat or Delhi, we manufacture for the world.

What are your strategies to ensure Vinsak succeeds in a price sensitive market in India?

Sankarshanan: Economics is very simple: it’s a game of demand and supply. We have to make our marketing better. We are still into selling and servicing, so we need to consciously make efforts to see that the print market become more targeted and elite. We now need to pause for a second, and look where else we can grow. There are many avenues where we can go, but at the same time, we don’t have deep pockets like the others. We are at a stage where we can’t run like a headless chicken. We have to pick and choose. We need to look at what areas we need to strengthen ourselves.