Swiss packaging machine manufacturing giant Bobst will bring its digital label printing portfolio to Asia next year, Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO Bobst Group, told Packaging South Asia on the sidelines of the annual press event that was held on 8 June at the Bobst Competence Centre in Mex near Lausaane in Switzerland.
“When it comes to digital label printing technology, at the moment we are focused only on two geographies, North America and Europe. We will enter the Asian market, hopefully, next year, that is 2023. We need to support local technicians and training centers and stock spare parts. So, we need to invest before we get into the market. We will use all the expertise we have accumulated in Europe and North America,” Jean-Pascal Bobst said.
Bobst’s digital label printing solutions comprise Digital Master 340, Digital Master 510, Master DM5, Mouvent LB701-UV, and Mouvent LB702-UV. The company has clubbed inline flexo, UV inkjet and all-in-one technologies under its oneLabel portfolio.
Talking about the Indian market when it comes to digital label printing, Bobst said it offers great potential. “The Indian market offers huge potential when we talk of digital label printing. In Pune, we have a very strong base and we can use that to support our customers in the digital label printing segment,” he added.
In answer to our query about the company’s inkjet digital textile printing machines, Bobst informed Packaging South Asia that the group has put the textile printing vertical in pause mode. “As of today, the textile segment is in a pause mode. However, we will continue to service our existing customers,” he said.
Further strengthening the Indian presence
Bobst has been in India for more than two decades with its extensive plant in Pune and has a strong presence in the folding carton, corrugated and flexible packaging and analog label printing industries. The Bobst CEO said the group plans to further solidify its presence in India and will continue to invest in the market.
“We see India as an important pillar in Bobst Group’s strategy globally. We have been at Pune for more than 22 years and the Bobst Group will create even stronger pillars of activity in India to serve the Southeast Asian, Indian, African, and Middle Eastern markets. As a group we need to mitigate the costs which, as we have seen recently, arise from unforeseen events like pandemics and global conflicts,” Bobst said.
The Bobst Group is focusing on working on expanding its market share in the Indian flexible packaging segment as well and aims to be more competitive. “In the flexible packaging side of our business in India, we are aiming to be more competitive and increase our market share. We are currently developing a strategy to expand our presence in this segment of the market,” he said.
Bobst Group remains financially strong
During his presentation at the press event, Bobst said that the group remains financially strong with 2021 sales of Swiss francs 1.563 billion compared to 2020 sales of Swiss francs 1.372 billion. The net profit in 2021 was Swiss francs 99 million, up from 44 million in 2020. Bobst said that the group at present has an 80% higher backlog than at the end of 2020. The net cash position increased to Swiss francs 154 million in 2021 from Swiss francs 4 million in 2020. The Bobst Group will publish its 2022 forecast on 26 July.
“Despite the Covid pandemic we were able to support our clients worldwide; in China, Europe, everywhere,” Bobst said. He said that the group believes that the future will be driven by even more connectivity and proximity, more digitalization and flexibility, more automatization and productivity, and more sustainability and responsibility.