KGN: A Nizam among digital printers

A Xerox loyalist, KGN, has six outlets in the city of the Nizams and converts close to 300 jobs. This includes 500-600 daily walk-ins, across all the units. Anand Srinivasan takes stock

17 Oct 2014 | By Anand Srinivasan

If you are in Hyderabad, and need a printing or photocopy job done urgently, chances are that you will end up visiting one of outlets of KGN Xerox. That’s how ubiquitous KGN is, one of India’s leading digital document companies, which it says, is a one-stop-shop for all printing needs, which has six branches in Hyderabad, with a skilled and trained staff, offering any size: digital printing, photocopying, scanning, designing and finishing services.

While KGN prints the maximum black and white photocopying jobs in the city, its typical customers include architects, builders and construction companies for whom highly accurate charts and technical drawings are critical and need to be produced quickly. “Many corporate houses in Hyderabad are our clients. Our few Clients GMR, NCR, Facebook, Google and we do confidential jobs for governments and educational institutes, among others, says Wasif Akther, who runs the company with his brother Asif Akther, both as managing directors.

In short, Wasif of KGN Xerox says, he does ‘everything in printing’ except currency. “There are many digital printers in Hyderabad who do only digital jobs or only wide-format. However, we print everything from single one rupee photocopy to digital printing of brochures, menu cards, business cards and also flex printing and banners. We even have printers with us who can print on non-tearable media and are waterproof,” he adds.

Volume-wise, KGN is the largest in Hyderabad producing over one-and-a-half lakh impressions of A3 colour prints a month and eight to nine lakh impressions of A4 of black and white copies. Even in plotting and plan layouts, KGN does the maximum volume in Hyderabad. It converts close to 300 jobs a day.

With an in-house pre-press department to post-press facility at all its outlets, KGN roughly caters to 500-600 daily walk-ins. “We are famous in the business card and wide format segment. We can print a business card for you in 30-40 minutes flat, right from designing to finishing,” says Asif.

An early entrant into the digital space, beginning its journey with one single black and white copier, KGN Xerox was established in 1985. This was perhaps the first brand-new copier in Hyderabad.
“It all started with photocopying and wide format copying. As my father, Mohammed Akther, was a civil engineer and was into construction business, there was a requirement for A0 Size jumbo drawings those days. My father saw this as a growing market and invested in a Xerox 2510 plotter,” says Wasif. This has stayed till now as part of the main business for the KGN family.

Later, the company opted for a second machine, again Hyderabad’s first, a colour printer from Xerox. Soon, the company saw the potential in the photocopying market and invested in a Xerox 6060 and a Xerox 7000AP.

As the name suggests, KGN Xerox has been a loyal Xerox customer for the last 29 years.” says Asif. The company has the latest Canon Advance IR-8105 & 8295 - 10-12 photocopying machines across all its branches.

Another segment KGN caters to architectural engineering GIS CAD maps drawings and blueprints. This too refers to another piece of family history. “My grandfather was into blueprint business. This he used to do using a rudimentary chemical exposure. Later, we added blueprint to our digital portfolio and started producing blueprints digitally,” says Asif, adding that there are still customers in Hyderabad who prefer blueprints, and KGN is the only print store in the city which offers blueprints.

KGN now has a post-press unit, lamination machines, cutting machines, finishing machines, all in-house.”

KGN recently ventured into the web-to-print market through its online portal This online portal allows customers to upload design files or select an existing professional template to create documents that can be printed and delivered by courier.
KGNcloud is another initiative developed by KGN. As most KGN jobs involve business cards and brochures, there is a need to reprint them. “Thus, this setup helps them,” says Wasif. Here, the files are stored on a cloud server. Each file has a unique reference number, along with the contact details of the person. The reference number is enough to get the file re-printed the next time.
Wasif’s plan behind venturing into a new space is simple. “Online is the future,” he says. “There are a lot of people in Hyderabad who do not have clues where to get a print job done. We are here to cater to these people with the help of the web-to-print and with our brand name.”

The portal features the same options as other e-print sites do. “One additional advantage is that we offer the clients an option to ‘pick-from store’, where you can order your prints online and collect it from the nearest KGN store,” Akther adds.
According to Wasif, e-print has a lot of scope in the future. He says, “I want to start the e-print business as a separate entity. Currently I am reaching out to people only in Hyderabad, but the online medium will help me reach out to people all over the country.” 
KGN recently delivered three successful orders in Delhi and Mumbai. “We are facing some technical glitches right now with the e-print site. The full-fledged system will go live soon,” he adds.

Expansion plans
Collaboration with Fedex
KGN has an alliance with Fedex to distribute prints not only just in Hyderabad but across the Globe Fed-ex has this kind of tie-up only with KGN for the entire Hyderabad city. “The way the Fed-ex system works, you can get the prints done from us and get it shipped anywhere in the world. This is called ‘print and ship’ concept, wherein if you are going abroad and if you want us to print and ship, we can do that,” Akther claims.
The company converts close to 300 jobs a day. It is the size  of a mid-sized offset project. But KGN has no plans to opt for  a commercial setup. The reason for this as Wasif states is,  “Digital is seeing a distinctive boom in Hyderabad and we  plan to capitalise on this.”

 “So, soon after we achieve our targeted growth, which will be  in the next few years, we are planning to open a full-fledged  digital store in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.”

 Expansion has always been the part of KGN DNA, and a key  to its success. This is how it set out to have six strategically  placed stores. For example, the branch in Gachibowli caters  to corporate jobs.
 The majority of works done here are flex and banner printing,  eco-solvent printing and wall graphics. Other important  strategically placed branch is the Hitex branch.
“We opened this unit just to cater to the printing needs of the people who visit the exhibitions. We do see many people coming from different parts of the country and this centre would be of assistance to them in case of urgent print requirements,” Wasif concludes
India’s only Canon Oce Color Wave 600
KGN is the only company in India to be having an Oce Colorwave 600 printer. KGN has been using this 42-inch wide-format printer to print poster, maps and drawings.
KGN is also the only company to produce prints on Tyvek paper. Wasif says probably they are the ones who introduced prints on Tyvek paper. “We are the maximum users of Tyvek paper for printing in Hyderabad. The idea behind this was to use a durable substrate for prints,” Wasif explains, adding that Oce 600’s patented tonerpearl technology provides KGN with the eco-friendly and a long lasting solution to its printing.