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Bent Serritslev appointed MD Asia-PacificXeikon readies new strategy for IndiaXeikon which has been largely focused on high-end digital presses and the markets of Western Europe and North America appointed Bent Serritslev as managing director of Asia-Pacific in October 2014. At a press conference at Metropolitan Hotel in New Delhi Packaging South Asia spoke to Serritslev on his first visit to India along with Gourav Roy, managing director, Flexo Image Graphics India, and Sheetal Mishra, director operations of FIG.L – R: Gourav Roy, MD, Flexo Image Graphics India; Bent Serritslev, MD, Asia-Pacific, Xeikon; and Sheetal Mishra, director operations, FIG India. Photo PSATechnology centres for Asia
“Xeikon has opened a regional Technology Centre at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia two weeks ago to facilitate customer interaction and has installed a Xeikon 3500 label press. It will have the capability to demonstrate the functions of all the label presses in the Xeikon platform other than the Cheetah,” says Serritslev. With this press Xeikon would be competent to address the needs of nearly 95% of the label market comprising of self-adhesive labels and paper labels from Malaysia while some special applications like in-mould labels would be dealt by the North American or European technology centres.

Serritslev elaborated that the purpose of the centre is to get closer to the market and create a customer facility in the Asia-Pacific region where Xeikon can take in the substrate for the customer and help develop better solutions. It will be a place where the customer can walk in and discuss problems that relate to both technology and marketing. It will also be a educational facility and training centre for digital solutions for the faculty members of the different conventional printing schools currently involved with flexo, gravure and digital printing activity.

For common impression flexo printing situations, the F10 iCon ink supply system automates ink pressure and viscosity in flexo printing machines

As part of the ongoing focus on Asian markets Serritslev confirmed that a second technology centre for Asia would be also in place by the end of April in a different country that will complement the two Xiekon technology centres in Europe and North America. That would cater to the wide range of Xeikon digital presses for both simplex and duplex machines that can be used for wall decoration as well as high speed production printing of catalogs and brochures.

Sales support for India
“Apart from this there is going to be addition of staff, both sales specialists and sales managers, to support the channel partners in various countries of Asia. We also plan to have Xeikon sales support personnel in India to assist our existing channel partners but do not have plans to open an office in India in the near future,” confirmed Serritslev. “The volumes in India are still not high and it makes sense to have knowledgeable channel partners to drive business,” says Serritslev.

“Sales partnership can be an excellent way to grow business and it is too complicated to enter the Indian market directly for the current volumes,” emphasizes Serritslev. “I have worked as a sales channel partner for years and I can confirm that our channel partners for the labels and cartons segment will be FIG India and for the document printing and wall decoration segment it will be Sapphire Graphic Solutions.” He also confirmed that no new models are being introduced in India currently, but the focus would be to develop applications in new areas and for new substrates that need high quality digital printing solutions that Xeikon provides.

“I have recently met customers in India who are wanting to use digitally printed labels for several new applications,” says Serritslev. “It is very important in the digital market for us to test those applications and substrates and develop solutions for those needs. It is only when we develop and custom test the solutions that we think of entering into sales negotiations with a customer. Customers need to know that we can develop custom-built solutions with typical substrates on our high-end machines, which would give them the best quality output and a good return on investment.”