Santoro – from Carnaby Street to global recognition

Designs, greeting cards and 3D books

Lucio Santoro, who together with Meera Santoro founded Santoro in 1985

Interview — Neeraj DarganRebuilding Manroland Sheetfed in IndiaSince its acquisition by Langley Holdings in early 2012, Manroland Sheetfed, Germany has been in good financial health. Tony Langley himself is a hands-on manager, and Manroland Sheetfed is now perhaps one of the more viable and sustainable sheetfed press manufacturers with a staff strength of approximately 1,500. Profitable for the past three years, and run as a hands-on company with quick decision-making, its Indian operation is looking to work the same way – it’s looking at print businesses not as commodity producers but as quality operations that can add immense communication value and impact. “That’s why we are building Manroland Sheetfed India on a knowledge and tech support base for our customers,” says Manroland Sheetfed India’s managing director Neeraj Dargan.The Manroland in-line foiler installed at Borkar PackagingDargan goes on to explain, “With the launch of the new 700 Evolution press we have shown our technical understanding of how to optimize high configuration packaging presses. We believe that our customer’s printing and packaging plants have to achieve the value that they are capable of, if they are to be competitive in terms of value addition, quality and especially efficiency. Our customers will find those niche markets where their innovations include a demand for quality. They must offer unique solutions based on real communication and impact needs or what their customer decides to choose and not merely push for available technology. That is true customization.”

In order to optimize the efficiency of its Indian customers, Manroland Sheetfed has introduced its Upgrades and Service kits concept. The idea is to reduce downtime and increase efficiency, helping to reduce the cost of ownership for its users and also to extend the profitable lifespan of a press rather than compelling customers to invest in a new press. “This is where our team will make the difference in India and especially strengthen our existing user base and bring them the latest technology from a company they can trust and are comfortable dealing with,” says Dargan.

Dargan emphasizes that Manroland Sheetfed is globally recognized for its packaging machines especially the 700 series and that its large format presses are another area of strength. Fortunately for the company, the Indian monocarton market is on a high growth path and getting ready for very large format presses. The company has just finished installing a large format used 906 6-color plus coater press at Borkar Packaging. In addition, in-line foiling, a concept that Manroland Sheetfed promoted widely in India several years ago, also seems to be generating interest from packaging printers. Many industry experts consider the Manroland foiling solution to be the best and the first in-line foiler that came into India – was also to Borkar Packaging on a high configuration used press. In conclusion, Dargan says, “With the launch of the new press 700 Evolution and our recent successes globally, the Indian market can be expected to respond positively to the new Manroland Sheetfed organization as its presence is felt on the ground.”

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The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are grown similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

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