Eyeing drupa 2016 for an even optimized product line-up – Shrihari Rao

Esko’s stellar performance at Printpack 2015

Shrihari Rao, sales director of Esko South Asia with the Esko team at Printpack 2015. Photo PSA

Esko had a stellar show at Printpack 2015 as it announced the sale of its Kongsberg XE 10 sample cutting table to Sikkim-based Nextgen Printers. By the time the event was over, Esko had sold another Kongsberg XE 10 table along with workflow solutions to DJS Printer in Manesar, Haryana and one more XE 10 along with complete prepress workflow to York Prints in Guwahati.

At Printpack 2015,Esko concentrated on the entire software packaging chain solutions and the V20 cutting table. Packaging South Asia spoke to Shrihari Rao, sales director of Esko South Asia who was present with a firm focus on getting proper exposure for its own brand as well as meeting the brand owners. Rao told us, “Offset, flexo and gravure — we are here
to make our customers understand that we want to connect all the dots or blanks that would help our customers grow in their business. We would like to make it very clear for our existing as well as new customers that Esko provides the entire  range of solutions. Infact our main focus for India is to invest in people and knowledge.” Esko India hopes to grow by 15 to 20% in the 2014-15 financial year.

The Kongsberg V cutters come in standard configurations for sample making, signage and display production and is an entry-level product. The Vseries tables come in two types, one
for packaging sample making, short-run production of mockups and other packaging specific applications. This table is outfitted with a Flexi Head. The second type is for signage and display production which comes with a MultiCUT toolhead offering milling productivity and a camera system. IndiaCorr Expo, which was held in Mumbai in October 2014,was the venue for the launch of the Kongsberg V series in India.

“We believe that the period between 2015 to 2017 will be exceptional for the packaging industry. The packaging consumer base is increasing and thus the buying power is also increasing. And since the Euro has devalued a bit, for the buyers our products have become 20 to 22% cheaper compared to the same time last year. We are waiting for the Indian annual budget but we are expecting our year to take-off. The event has been very successful for Esko, especially for the Vseries which was launched at this show. The Vseries is an ideal solution for packaging sampling and short-run production when combined with Artios CAD structural design software,” said Shrihari Rao.

Commenting further on the corrugated packaging industry Rao said that the sector holds a lot of opportunities for Esko and after the response received at the show the company plans to enhance its focus on the corrugated industry. “The top ten corrugation companies in India which include big names such as Udit Packaging, Ficus, MidWestvaco, Meghdoot, Classic Packaging, Montara, Khemka Containers and many others are using our solutions. And we are pursuing the other companies wherewe will also be installing our software, hardware solutions soon. Esko has become the benchmark for the Indian packaging and printing industry.”

Esko Printpack 3
L – R: Karan Talwar of Esko India along with Mahesh Khandelwal and Bijay Agarwal of Nextgen Printers at
Printpack 2015. Photo PSA

Rao added that in India he has seen signs of a change in mindset where customers are now giving due importance to quality and Esko is trying to convey this message to the relevant companies. “We tell customers that Esko is a long-term investment. Esko is seeing more and more opportunities in automation and quick turn around. And Esko does not sell mere products. We sell solutions. We provide quality products and complete solutions and because of this the customer does not have to go in for a new investment every few years. For India too we feel that as the market grows there will be a change in mindset and people will think from the long term point of view and invest in quality products and technology. With the kind of promise the Indian market holds, Esko plans to bring more advanced and automated tables from the Kongsberg series to the country in the future,” says Rao.

On the software front, Esko is looking at the SAS(software as service)model where Esko would like its customers to be much more efficient than before and would introduce optimizations which would reach the desired results with lessclicksthanbefore. “We are eyeing drupa 2016 where customers will be looking at more automation and optimization and we shall do and introduce further innovations and modifications to help our customers produce even better results than before.”

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