Clicking it right: Bustling market for photo albums

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is a bustling market for photo albums. In the last one year, HP has added seven new HP Indigo presses in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at Zoom Digital Press, Aakruti Digipress, Sai Vardhan Digital Press, Gemini Digital Press, Royal Digital Press, Navya Photo Stores and Veronica Digital Press., Business

17 May 2016 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

According to A Appadurai of HP, the two states together account for approximately 7–8% of the total 1.2 crore wedding albums of India every year. "This market has been the fastest growing one for us in the last one year."
The top photo album players in this sector are Zoom Digital with four Indigo presses; Printonica (Sri Sivarama Digital Press), the PrintWeek India Photo Album Printer 2014 and 2015, and Aakruti Digipress with three HP Indigo presses, among others.
Appadurai observes two trends, one a decent percentage of photo albums are exported to the huge NRI population that the state contributes, and two, this print sector has the highest install base of print embellishment machines.
Aakruti Digipress is the name to be reckoned with in Hyderabad’s photo industry. The digital print firm was recently in the news for buying its second Scodix at Pamex 2015. It has launched its third print store in Secunderabad with an aim to expand its reach and locally cater to its clients.
The new 3,500 sq/ft facility houses a brand new HP Indigo 5600, which is Aakruti’s third Indigo machine.
P Madhusudan Reddy, executive director, Aakruti Digipress, says, “Hyderabad and Secunderabad have equal potential. Earlier, we used to serve Secunderabad photographers from the Hyderabad facility. Now that we have a machine in the city, we can enhance the quality and delivery speed. In addition, we will be able to tap all the walk-in customers, which went untapped earlier.”
At the new facility, Aakruti produces 30 photobooks per day, while the daily throughput of Hyderabad and Vijayawada is 80 photobooks each.
After a clique of eight entrepreneurs decided to explore the burgeoning digital photo album market, Aakruti was established in 2012 with the installation of a HP Indigo 5500 machine. Since then, the company has been adding capacities every year. In the last four years, the company has added five machines – three Indigos and two Scodix kits.
“There is an increasing demand for embossed photographs with gold foiling and glitter. Hence, with the Scodix machines, we gain a competitive advantage,” added Reddy.
Apart from the stores in Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Secunderabad, Aakruti also caters to 18 towns in Karnataka and Maharashtra, with the help of local representatives.
Reddy boasts about the quality correction department at Aakruti. “After the photographers deliver the soft copies, the 20-member strong quality department works on the colours to create picture perfect prints. This is our USP.”