Rotatek strengthens presence in India with Provin partnership

Bibiana Rodriguez, the managing director, Rotatek during her recent India’s visit, talks to Rahul Kumar of PrintWeek India about future plans of Rotatek, market, growth and the new representative for India and SAARC countries. Edited excerpts:

23 Sep 2013 | By Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar (RK): Rotatek is back in India?
Bibiana Rodriguez (BR): India is not a new market for us since we have our presence in the country from the last 17 years. To-date we have 45 printing presses which are in operation in India.

RK: What is the update from Rotaek?
BR: Our machines are used especially for labels, packaging, folding carton, security and commercial printing. Our large portfolio of printing presses include semi and full rotary machines, narrow web offset machines, flexo UV machines, hybrid rotary combined machines and also digital converting machines.

RK: Lots of traction with the Brava in India?
BR: Recently, we have installed Brava, the advanced semi and full rotary combined printing presses, in India and also very high-end hybrid rotary presses for recharge cards and lottery tickets, equipped with technologies like combining offset, flexo and digital heads also inline at printers in Kolkata and Chennai. At Update Prints, Gurgaon and VK Graphics, Mumbai, we have installed the Brava, a unique machine combining semi-rotary and rotary technology in one press. Brava, fully shaftless technology, combines multiples technologies in-line as offset, flexo, silkscreen, hot stamping, lamination, embossing, sheeting …

RK: Why Provin?
BR: Since India is one of the biggest markets for us for future as well as present, we value our association with Provin Technos since they are in the industry from a long time and have great and long experience with sheetfed printing technology. Our products for label printing will complement their product range so we can cover a major part of graphic art industry in the country and SAARC countries. 

RK: What are were the key reasons that governed the choice of Provin as your new partner?BR: Experienced technical support and a-pan India presence were the main reasons for selecting them. We did our homework before the partnership. The directors of Provin have had the experience of dealing for Nilpeter; rendering them a balance in offset as well as flexo technologies. We have 45 running machines and in addition to this, we have installed three very high-end security printing presses in the government sector.

RK: What is the structure of the partnership and what all does it entail?
BR: We have an exclusive partnership with Provin Technos for Indian market as well as SAARC countries. We are not in the favour of having multiple dealers as we believe in long relationship. We will support Provin on commercial, marketing, product service support front.

RK: Was this in sync with your plans of restructuring the organisation?
BR: Yes, we were in a phase of restructuring. We are in the industry from 1970 and restructuring was a compulsion to meet the planned targets. However, there was no restructuring at the level of ownership of Rotatek. Elvira Vidal, president of Rotatek, continues to be the owner of the company. We are a stronger group now; we have more money to finance all the equipment which is under process. 

RK: Being the second biggest populated country and one of the biggest emerging markets, what kind of growth potential do you see in Indian market?
BR: We foresee good growth in these segments. The country is growing well and our products fit well with the demands of the market. We were focusing on the entire labels market through Brava intermittent and flexo printing presses. We are also into security printing, and pharmaceutical packaging and labels is a big and growing market for us.  To tap the market potential we believe that an effective communication strategy is necessary so that the customers are well-aware about the potential of your technologies. You have to create awareness for the product in the market. European market is saturated so all the manufacturers are looking at worldwide, especially, India and China. Being a growing economy with the existence of a stable government, and a variety of cultures and geographies makes it lucrative market. The English speaking population is another advantage. China is the bigger market than India but it is very difficult to do business there mainly because of language constrains. Europe and South America are the other interesting markets. 

RK: How does kit like Brava posed to help customers?
: We have one of the only kinds of machine in the world, Brava, which can run on semi and full rotary in one time. Semi rotary is the technology, which allows you to print any format without changing any cassettes and sleeves.  You can print multiple jobs without changing any cylinder and cassette. With online die-cutting, you do not need to change magnetic cylinder; just change the dies. Turnover from one to another job is very fast and according to our estimate it is around three minutes. If you have long-run jobs then just shift the machine to full rotary mode and your requirement of long run jobs will also be fulfilled. 

RK: Whenever we talk about the shortrun jobs, printers want to shift on digital printing presses, how do you compete with them?
: Rotary and semi rotary together provide you facility to print short-run as well as long-run jobs. With Brava 350 you can also choose only one option, semi-rotary, if you are interested in investing in a competitive machine. The quality in offset is much higher than flexo and consumables are also cheaper and the cost of the plate is very cheap. Offset and digital are not competing with each other in the market because both the technologies have their own market. In digital, you have to pay click charges, while in offset you are free to choose your own consumable suppliers. There are many customers who have Brava and digital printing presses under one roof. One of our very big customers in Austria has two Brava printing presses alongside a digital machine.

RK: How has the devaluation of Indian Rupee affected your market?
: It is not a good sign since we have an import-dependent business model in the country. We had discussions with some of our customers. Right now, we are waiting and watching the market closely.

RK: Government of India (GOI) has purposed 51% in retail, what types of opportunities will it create machine manufacturers like you?
: It is a great proposal. This decision will create great opportunities for every printing press manufacturer. By the entry of more international printers, the quality of labels will increase. Ultimately, it will be good for the entire industry.

RK: Indian machine manufacturers have been aiming global markets with updated technologies. How have you been countering the competition from them?
: Indian manufacturers are doing really well. Every manufacturer has its own advantages and disadvantages. We can offer better quality compared to our competitors. Asian, Chinese, European and American machines are competing with us in the market. However, there are many factors which work together and sell a machine. I know few customers who bought cheaper machines from China and due to lack of after-sales service support they are in trouble now. 

RK: As more players are coming in the industry, mergers and acquisitions are taking place. Is it good or bad news for you?
: Many Indian printers have been contemplating to move towards mergers and acquisitions. It all depends on your planning and strategies. For us it is an advantage because new companies will bring new technologies and applications since only big companies will come to India and they would be cash-rich to invest in new machines, technologies and applications.

RK: What kinds of customers are on your radar for future products?
: We have 1,500 successful machines operating in 70 countries around the globe. We are planning to expand and strengthen our position in different courtiers. We have also opened a new agency in America, recently. 

RK: What are the prominent trends in the market?
BR: Flexo is the strongest technology for labels but hybrid printing presses with offset and online technologies will be in demand, and digital too will exist. According to me, India is a market for at least 50 new label printing presses (including small and big and every other kind of technologies) every year.  The Indian label printing industry must be growing at 10 to 15% annually.  Consumption of labels will increase by 20%. Other markets like shrink sleeves and self-adhesive labels will grow. 

RK: Any finally, any plan to establish a manufacturing plant in Asia to cater to the market?BR: We do not have any plan to open any manufacturing unit outside Europe. We can build around 25 printing presses in our plant in Barcelona (Spain) every year. 

Rotatek and Provin Technos' team