Sambit Misra says, “Click charges is a challenge to the growing digital market”

Ricoh India made their presence felt at PrintExpo 2017 with their newly launched Pro C5200S entry level production press and a headline announcement of 80 installations in South India.

24 Aug 2017 | By Sriraam Selvam

Speaking exclusively to PrintWeek India, Sambit Misra, chief operating officer for production printing, Ricoh India shared his thoughts about the company’s direction and what the future of print is.

You have launched a new series Ricoh Pro 5200... How different is it from the 5100 series?
For starters, the previous model had shortcomings in printing on the 350 gsm media which has been overcome by the new engine which is available in the 5200 series.

In what way?
One of the key objectives of the newer model is to improve on the print volumes. It is essential for the customer to be able to get the best of the press for at least five years and consistently produce about 25,000 clicks per month.

Are 25,000 clicks enough in the new India?Which is why, we have actually done one better and will be able to churn out a print volume of 35,000 clicks per month.

Again these machines are in the 80ppm space ...
That’s why we are consciously trying to position the 5200 series which is a 65ppm variant for the entry level and recommend the 7100S for the 80ppm requirement.

Isn't this space crowded with options from other digital press manufacturers?
We have been gaining good ground in South India especially Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Telangana with over 80 installations completed so far. There is a big potential for us to winning more ground with the newer products.

Be it Ricoh or KM, the Japanese manufacturers are still focussing on the entry and mid-segment market. 
I think the market share is primarily discussed in terms of number of units sold and all of us are gunning for the bigger share of the pie.

Why so?
In India typically it is only the bigger guys who consider larger production presses but the chunk of the volume lies in the copy shop market where the customers would look at an invest of around Rs 15 lakhs and that is still a market with good potential.

Is the Indian print industry treating digital print segment as a piece-meal business? 
Yes, this is definitely a challenge for us and the segment at large. The per click charges that drives the business has impacted how it is done and has affected deals.

What is the business rationale behind this?
The general breakdown of hardware sale vs after sale revenue from the same equipment is such that the latter is often not duly considered by the customers and thereby many vendors are flexible with the hardware cost but ensure they recover much more on the click charges since it has long term benefits. Cross-subsidising is a norm in the segment

There are offset firms with digital machines, which are not part of the workflow. Are they really leveraging the power of digital?
We have taken into account this reality almost four years back when Heidelberg and Ricoh partnered in such a way that existing offset setup can buy Ricoh presses and ensure the workflow is integrated. We have also partnered with Kodak to provide a hybrid workflow for the same purpose.