Noida-based Pictura and how they deliver premium wedding albums to every pin code in India - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

The premium photo book company is making the most of the new kit to produce premium and luxury wedding albums, says Prakarsh Lamba, the third-generation entrepreneur at Pictura. Read on

21 Jan 2024 | By Noel D'Cunha

Prakarsh (l) and Arpit Lamba with the HP Indigo 15K HD digital press

Many leaders in the print business have come to realise the significance of investing in modern technologies to compete in ever-changing markets. The gap between producing an ordinary photo album and a premium one has widened, emphasising the need for high-quality printing equipment. According to Prakarsh Lamba of Noida-based Pictura, who recently installed an HP Indigo 15K HD digital press, a printing press offering exceptional materials, craftsmanship, and customisation options is a valuable advantage.

The photo album industry in India is experiencing a significant surge in demand, and the key to staying competitive is producing innovative and perfectly finished albums. Pictura, which was founded by Lamba two years ago, has thrived in this environment, benefiting from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to an increased demand for digital solutions in many industries, including photo printing.

Lamba says, "The upswing in photo printing can be attributed to various factors, including pent-up demand from postponed or scaled-down weddings and family gatherings." He cites a news report, which he has also experienced. "In just one month, between November and December 2021, 2.5 million weddings in India generated a staggering revenue of Rs 3-lakh crore, with a considerable amount of this expenditure going towards photographers and photographs."

The days of staged photography are long gone, and today's customers demand a more authentic and personalised approach." The photo album industry in India is evolving rapidly, and those who can produce high-quality, visually appealing albums with innovative and personalised touches will undoubtedly enjoy a competitive advantage," explains Lamba. "Therefore, it's crucial to stay ahead of the game by producing top-quality, innovative albums that meet the needs and desires of today's customers."

Noida facility of Pictura

Pictura and HP Indigo connect
The photo business was not new to Lamba. He has been managing Arpit Album, which has been in the business of printing and binding for the last thirty years. Arpit Album was started by his father Anuj Lamba, who in turn was inspired by his father, Vijay Kumar Lamba, who was a wedding photographer. The company started by producing binding before making premium quality leatherette covers for photographers in India, the UK, the US and other countries.

Arpit Albums has always invested in innovative and high-value photo equipment, such as India’s first large-format, double-sided Agx machine, binding machines, and such. It also installed the HP Indigo 5600 digital press in 2011 to venture into large-scale production of high-value, high-quality premium wedding photo books.

Lamba says he has witnessed the technological changes in the photo printing business over the years. Earlier, there was the craze for silver halide albums. Then, pasting albums came to the market. Then came back-to-back albums and digital lay-flat albums.

So, when Lamba decided to start the new venture, Pictura, he was looking for a press that would match his dream of making Pictura an all-encompassing unit.

Lamba says, he tried several printing presses before investing, but the quality that the HP Indigo 15K HD digital press produced impressed Lamba. “The prints were unbeatable and unmatchable. On one hand, the machine is capable of improving the quality of images, and on the other, it has low wastage compared to other machines. It has a 30% smaller ink dot size or double the resolution than other printers. This sets it apart.”

The legacy, and new fronts
Lamba's flourishing photo book business has an inspiring family legacy. He fondly reminisces about his father, the first person to purchase a digital camera in Delhi. "He was an expert in leatherette fabric products and photo quality, which helped him lay the foundation for the family business," says Lamba.

Lamba's uncle, an expert on colour grading, also joined the business later and helped make it a success. "My father's hard work and the family's support have now led to a four-floor production office in Noida," informs Lamba.

Now, Lamba's photo-book business focuses on providing premium quality products at an affordable price. The company uses the HP Indigo printing technology, which is flexible in printing articles of up to 20x30 in length and allows for increased colour vibrancy. "We cater to every customer that comes to us, offering photo books at prices ranging from Rs 1,250 to over Rs one-lakh."

One of Lamba's most significant achievements is producing prints for the G20 event. He explains that the HP Indigo 15K Digital Press is a versatile printing technology that offers high-quality prints with HD printing and FM screens. "This technology can work with a wider range of substrates, including options up to 600 microns (24 pt.)," he explains.

The working style
Pictura specialises in providing complete solutions for wedding photography. It has a dedicated team of 25 members who aim to offer their customers an unbeatable and exceptional experience. The company's post-press unit is equipped with advanced machinery, including UV thermal, lamination, and flatbed printing.

To maintain the highest standards, Pictura ensures that the final product undergoes three rigorous stages of quality check before dispatching it to the customers. Lamba emphasises, "We take pride in our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction."

Pictura uses high-quality fabrication and prefers to do everything in-house without outsourcing. The team values feedback from customers and partners and works tirelessly to improve their services. Lamba says, "With Pictura, customers can rest assured that their wedding photography needs will be taken care of by a team of experts committed to making their special day even more memorable."

Lamba's photo book business is a testament to his family's hard work, expertise, and dedication to providing customers with exceptional products.

New avenues
According to Lamba, the HP Indigo 15K digital press is a game-changer in the printing industry. The press' large printing size has allowed the company to expand its services beyond conventional printing jobs. "We are now venturing into a range of exciting printing applications, including coffee table books, photo magazines, posters, sheetfed labels, wedding boxes, book printing, catalogues, and short-run folding cartons."

HP Indigo 15K digital press uses new inks, such as ElectroInks premium white and invisible yellow. The new high-definition FM stochastic screens offer sharper halftone text, adding depth and vibrancy to the printed material. "This technology has opened up new possibilities for our company, enabling us to explore more extensive printing applications," says Lamba.

The company is now one step closer to realising its dream of becoming a one-stop printing solution provider. "Thanks to the HP Indigo 15K printer," says Lamba. "We are excited about the new opportunities this technology brings to our business," Lamba says before signing off.

To Know more about HP Indigo and for Live Demo  
Visit : Redington HP Indigo Center Of Excellence Redington Limited, D-8, Guindy Industrial Estate,
Chennai 600032
Ph: +91 7305551505