Ten TechNova tenets with Sheena Parikh - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

She is at the helm at TechNova, in her own understated way. “I would like to re-phrase it by saying, the team is at the helm – a talented and empowered team, led magnificently by our Group CEO Ramakrishnan,” says Parikh.

“My father, Pranav-bhai or PNP as he is fondly called, has built an institution called TechNova and nurtured a large, loyal and loving family of outstanding TechNovites. I strongly believe every member of the TechNova family is our true strength, the biggest asset in our balance sheet.”

In the Sunday Column, Sheena Parikh discusses TechNova at their PrintPack stall

10 Feb 2019 | By Noel D'Cunha

Team TechNova at PrintPack 2019

Highlights from the TechNova stand: TechNova had showcased an exciting range of products and solutions at PrintPack 2019. In our offset range - we introduced the very latest Avatar TZP, which is the thermal zero-process plate, a wide range of adhesives, varnishes and Fogra approved chemicals and the ThermoStar T9 high-speed platesetter.

In our digital range - we demonstrated the Konica Minolta digital presses, Jwei cutting tables, Duplo digital spot UV and foiling devices, and a full spectrum of laser and inkjet digital print media.

In addition, we also conducted demos of an exciting range of software – from automation, workflow, web2print, to packaging design and security software to complement the hardware portfolio.

Our main objective was, and will always be, to give our customers not just ‘products’ but provide them with total solutions and a unified ecosystem to bring better profits to their business.

We are delighted that Printpack 2019 was a resounding success for TechNova with unprecedented crowds at our stand, tremendous customer enthusiasm for our products and record business generated.

We are grateful to our valued customers, channel and alliance partners for their trust, support and loyalty to TechNova. For us, it will always be ‘customer first’.

Solutions like TIE: TIE stands for TechNova Imaging EcoSystem, which we had launched during the last Wan-Ifra. When TechNova started over forty years ago, we manufactured a single product – offset plates. We then added the manufacture of pre-press and pressroom chemicals and also expanded to manufacture laser and inkjet digital print media.

We expanded from a single product to multiple products, to a solution, then to a full range of solutions, and now we have moved a step further from solutions, to an ecosystem.

With TIE, we ‘connect the dots’ and give our customers everything from A to Z – consumables, hardware, software, engineering services, advisory services, safety, health and environment audits, seminars and services, logistics services and purchase efficiency services – we are committed to offering the full universe to our customers.

TechNova is the only company to do this.  This is, once again, part of our ‘customer first’ commitment to engage with our customers at every touch point in the value-chain, connect the dots with TIE and create a unified customer experience.

Launch of ThermoStar T9Platesetter: During PrintPack, we introduced the ThermoStar T9 HS platesetter, the enhanced version of the T9. This platesetter can be upgraded to 10000dpi and is fully capable of imaging lenticulars. The speed is up to 40 plates 8-up per hour and can go up to 45 plates depending on plate sizes.

Our key mission and message have been to ‘Enhance offset and integrate digital’.  I think the ThermoStarT9 HS is a step in that direction; to tangibly enhance offset and offer our customers better value.

We see clear traction in plate technology moving towards thermal offering a better ROI even for service bureaus.

Update about Duplo and Jwei: There are three products from Duplo –

Duplo DC 616, which is the compact cutting, creasing and slitting solution, has been a game-changer. Duplo DDC, the most affordable and compact digital spot UV production class machine available in the market. We saw incredible footfalls around the DDC machine at the show.

We also showcased an offline foiling machine from UCOS along with the Duplo DDC.

A customer can print the sheets on a Konica Minolta digital press or on an offset press, and then have it UV coated on the DDC, foil it and then convert it to a finished product with a Duplo or a Jwei kit.

We had the complete workflow at PrintPack to exhibit how this unleashes higher profit for our customers.

Once again, these products supported our mission and message of ‘Enhance offset & integrate digital’.

DOP plates: At TechNova, we have always believed in giving our customers the power of choice – by offering a wide range of technology solutions for customers to choose from and guiding our customers to select what is best suited for them.

We cannot have a ‘one-size fits all’ approach for a highly diverse market like India, where requirements co-exist for normal thermal plates, violet plates, chemistry-free and zero process plates depending on segments and applications.

TechNova, therefore, has always offered the entire spectrum of plate technology. We have hand-held our customers, taken them up the technology curve and helped them adopt thermal, violet and eventually chemistry-free technologies. In the process, our customers have gained hugely in terms of quality, actual savings on total ROI and positive ecological impact.

We feel our customers are now ready to graduate to direct-on-press (DOP) plates without any compromises on profit, press investments or quality. As before, we will support them fully in the DOP plate journey.

Our newest plate launched at PrintPack 2019 is the Avatar TZP, a thermal zero-process plate for both the commercial and newspaper segment. Its key features include – expose and go DOP, lowest cost-in-use, outstanding image contrast, fastest clean-up, ultra-long run lengths and UV ink compatible.

Go Green: TechNova has been the pioneer of the Go Green Mission in the Indian print industry. I think the ‘Go green’ movement is a value-system, a philosophy, not related to just one product, but our entire approach across solutions to create a cleaner, greener press of the future. From saving millions of litres of water through chemistry-free plates to offering VOC free chemicals, extending to even mapping the carbon footprint of how we deliver our solutions through our efficient logistics.

Our endeavour is to make the pressroom a safe place. We will continue to pursue the noble purpose of ‘Go green’ to make the Indian print community conscious of the environmental impacts, in addition to the launching environment safe products.

It is important for us that TechNova contributes in its own small way to protect our Earth and its natural resources.

TechNova ShopFront: I am personally very excited about this. It is our B2B online site – the digitisation of the business process.

The TechNova ShopFront will offer a new buying experience, where our customers and dealers can get online to order their requirements – hardware, software, consumables or services. It’s going to be a migration from telephones and emails, to an online transaction including payment gateways.

Although currently, the TechNova ShopFront is confined to our direct customers and channel partners, we will be extending it in a phased manner. It is one of our big investments to completely transform and digitise the entire customer touch-point experience.

We believe in the O2O – online-to-offline model. So, along with digitally efficient online transactions, we will continue to build and strengthen our field sales force to enhance customer intimacy and delight. Once again, it supports our belief in the power of ‘and’ – to give our customers digital efficiency and yet enjoy personal human contact.

Manufacture vs represent: Once again, it is not ‘manufacture vs represent’ but ‘manufacture and represent’.

When we represent a company, we carefully curate the alliances to reflect the same ethos TechNova stands for. Product quality and the right technology is the topmost criteria. Next factor is whether it helps us offer a full solution to our customers.

When there’s an indigenous manufacturer that is already producing a quality product, we would rather market the product than manufacturing it ourselves. For example, consider offset blankets. We found MRT’s blanket quality to be good, so we represent them, rather than re-creating the wheel to set up our own blanket manufacturing plant. Even though the option to do so always remains, it must make financial and strategic sense.

In the digital equipment space, there are multi-national players we have partnered with for their global competence. We go for the best partners to ensure the best for our customers.  We have strategised in a way that each of these alliances complements and supplement each other, be it software from Agfa or a finishing kit from Duplo.  The ultimate objective is for TechNova to be the one-stop supermarket and offer the widest possible range of solutions to our customers.

The view at the helm of TechNova: I would not like to say that I am at the helm. I would like to re-phrase it by saying, the team is at the helm – a talented and empowered team, led magnificently by our Group CEO Ramakrishnan.

My father, Pranav Bhai or PNP as he is fondly called, has built an institution called TechNova and nurtured a large, loyal and loving family of outstanding TechNovites. I strongly believe every member of the TechNova family is our true strength, the biggest asset in our balance sheet.

My father created, with vision, passion and commitment, one of the first ‘Make in India’ companies in the print industry. We feel grateful and blessed to build on his success of over forty years, and, despite challenges, we march forward with our head held high with integrity and our feet firmly on the ground with humility.

My personal mission is to build on the wonderful legacy my father has created, to nurture the talented TechNova family members to pursue excellence, to always be at the cutting edge of technology, to create new growth engines and businesses under TechNova and last, but most importantly, to continue to serve our customers in the best possible way. For TechNova, it has and always will be ‘Customer first’. 

Sheena Parikh of TechNova

TechNova’s Belief – Enhance Offset and Integrate Digital

Years ago, customers would frequently seek Pranav-bhai’s opinion on the offset vs digital debate – ‘Would offset printing die?’, ‘Is digital printing going to take over completely?’, ‘Should they bet their future on offset or digital?’.

Pranav-bhai’s response was, ‘It is not about offset or digital. It is about offset and digital. Both will co-exist’. 

At TechNova, we believe in the power of ‘and’ - the power of co-existence.  We have based our strategies on this belief. Today we still sell analogue plates and at the same time, we have the cutting edge violet and thermal zero-process plates. We sell wipe-on chemistry and also the latest green fountain solutions. We sell offset products and also digital products – we sell the full spectrum of different technologies. Each has its customer base. It’s all about co-existence.

India is a country where you still see a bullock cart and a Rolls Royce on the same road. Everything co-exists.

In 1995, TechNova was the first company to embrace digital printing globally and bring Benny Landa’s original Indigo to India. We continued the digital journey. The digitisation of the offset plate is a case in point. We were one of the first to commence it and helped our customers to achieve print qualities that are at par globally. 

Our understanding of the digital space in India is: there are niche areas where it’s a pure digital play, but in most areas there is hyper-hybridisation. We do not see offset having any cliff-drop in foreseeable future. Offset presses of today, apart from the core plate - blanket- imaging configuration, embody a large amount of digitisation and are essentially sensor driven digital engines. It all boils down to value per page. Even today, offset dominates the market share with 80-90% of the global volume capacity, while digital is 10-20%. The digital PSP (print service provider) segment is buying offset presses and vice versa. Everyone wants to offer everything – right from one copy to as many demanded by their customers.

If you look at our industry, there were very few players who are talking about ‘and’ - that is offset and digital. With our ‘Enhance offset & integrate digital’ campaign, we have built capabilities in multiple formats. This is the space where we have seen maximum investments happening across segments and applications.

There are customers who are pure digital players. These are first time printers with a raft of digital print kit. And then there are offset printers, who are looking for newer avenues of growth. We have extended our service to them, offered incredibly affordable alternatives like Jwei, Duplo, Konica Minolta, and handheld their digital journey. We have many such exciting success stories.

The offset vs digital debate is a reductionist one. We do not believe it's ‘either or’, but it is an ‘and’. Today printers are looking to add digital efficiencies to their offset capabilities, not eliminate it. This expands their profit pool and brings newer applications. Our entire focus is to integrate and offer what is right for the customer.