Kao Chimigraf begins India journey with UV

François Aguilar, chief commercial officer at Kao Chimigraf tells PrintWeek about the company’s outlook for India in the coming years.

05 Feb 2021 | By Aultrin Vijay

François Aguilar, chief commercial officer at Kao Chimigraf

Kao Chimigraf’s new Indian structure was created in 2020. However, the company, which manufactures inks, paints and coatings for flexographic, rotogravure and digital printing systems, has always been present in India since its beginning in the inkjet field.

According to François Aguilar, chief commercial officer at Kao Chimigraf, the company has laid out a detailed plan to reach out to some of the key OEMs in India that would like to offer a different product that is not available in the Indian market currently.

We will need to create long term partnerships with local people who are well known in the market and would like to trust in such a big chemical company as Kao is. By this sort of cooperation, we hope we can get the right  expectation for the market with our actual ink portfolio and so, learn about the Indian market and adapt our business model to the market needs whenever is needed,” Aguilar said. “We think that the UV market – as it is the one where we have more experience – will be the entrance point to a growing market.”

The company has planned to start operations this year with a team of one local sales person plus a whole technical and sales team behind in Spain, which will support all the operations in India.

The demand for digital printing has been growing continuously. However, there is a necessity for ink formulations to be cost effective to achieve large scale adoption in several segments.

Reflecting on this, Aguilar said, “From our perspective, digital printing solutions will become more and more important for the printing industry. Nowadays, inkjet printhead, inks, software and other hardware are fully optimised to achieve the large-scale adoption of digital printing solutions in some segments.”

He also said that whenever we talk about inkjet, we should also look at the full benefits behind the technology along with the price. “These benefits shouldn’t only be on the lower runs but also on the possibility to drive an analogue market to the new market needs coming from the digitalisation of some markets. So, considering the improvements in price that are being achieved and the development of high chemical quality products, inkjet is being more and more adopted.”

Kao Chimigraf has six production sites across Europe, four of which is in Spain, one in Italy, and another in France. As part of the Kao Group, the company also has a factory and R&D centre in Cincinnati, USA from its sister company Kao Collins and its inkjet headquarters in Japan.

The company’s product range comprises water-based, UV, solvent and oil-based inks. It claims to be one of the “most innovative companies in markets” such as packaging (flexible or corrugated), deco, coding and marking and wide-format.

“Our scope is to reach markets such as the textile thanks to our new water-based core technology named Lunajet. This technology is very innovative and allows us to create new water-based pigmented formulations that are unique in the market,” explained Aguilar. “Just for the readers understanding, Kao’s history in the printing business starts with the toner business where, as of today's date, one out of each three copies sold in the world is made of Kao technology.”

He further explained: “This knowledge on how to encapsulate the pigment has been brought to the drop on demand in the inkjet field where we can offer deep optimisation of our formulas for high-quality demanding applications on difficult substrates such as flexible packaging. We can also adapt our ink formulation to the majority of inkjet printheads available in the market.”

The company would also be offering complete package of UV secondary food packaging and Nestle compliance inks for single-pass applications

Ending on a positive note, Aguilar said, “In any sense, we believe in our worldwide structure and our R&D flexibility to be the spearhead for a future happy success story in the Indian market.”

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