Cost is still high
Price of digital printing is a concern these days as buyers are not willing to pay more difference if compared with the cost of screen printing. Not only printing cost, but the cost of spare parts, inks too are the other constraints. Alok states, “Print head is a major cost in digital print technique, we were expecting to get lower prices in ink which has not yet happened.” Rakesh elaborates, “When the game is production, there is obviously price war – that’s the biggest challenge for any entrepreneur entering business, or for old ones who are trying to survive with a couple of printers. It’s really a tough time for them. Price of digital printers is sustainable if you are keen for high production. The domestic manufacturer is offering price for ink at a lower end with no consistency and quality, except from those few old players (most of them located overseas) who are working at the same price which they were offered 5 years ago.” Though Rakesh claims that he is still running it with a different aspect. “I took up the word “mass customization” since the days of evolution of this industry and am still stuck to it. We are having production capacity of approximately 20,000 metre a month with two midrange printers. But we really create stunning arts on fabric. Scarves are our frontline product which we successfully sell to wholesale and retail online having distribution offices in US since 2010,” he proudly confirmed. Hiren, on the other hand, referred to the predominant problem faced in this revolutionary art technique discussing, “Although buyers ask for digital printing, no one is ready to pay the premium price. Buyers would want that the exporter absorbs the cost difference. This becomes the most challenging part for us, keeping in mind how priceconscious buyers are, whereas the value addition on the garments keep on increasing,” says Hiren.
The companies doing printed products at bulk level still have a distance from digital printing because of the cost and order size. Alok Agarwal, ED (Operation),
Shri Lakshmi Cotsyn Ltd., Kanpur, is planning to add its flatbed printing capacity. Even he highlights the cost factor involved in digital printing, “No doubt digital printing is in demand but its cost is still high. If we print a towel on flatbed machine, its cost is 3 times less than digital print. Customers still see cost aspect. It is perfect with smaller MOQs or customized clothing.” The company, working with top retailers of the world, is one of the leading terry towel and bedsheet producer in India.
“The domestic manufacturer is offering price for ink at a lower end with no consistency and quality, except from those few old players (most of them located overseas) who are working at the same price which they were offered 5 years ago.” – Rakesh Patel, Dtex Prints, Surat Despite the fact that digital printing companies are rising gradually, they are still struggling with many obstacles. N. Chandran informed, “The industry is not fully matured enough as volume is yet to catch up. The service is good, but still a long way to go.” Alok Agrawal shared that service in general is fine but cost of maintenance is high. Some exporters accepted that the response is both genuine and prompt.
Yogesh Thakkar, Founder and Hanisha Dhameja, Home Décor Studio
Sarabjeet Saluja, Director, Sahiba Limited