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Sep, 14 2010

Imprints of growth

Printing services help businesses grow by providing marketing deliverables, which help entrepreneurs reach their business objectives of heightened brand awareness, lead generation, customer retention and customer reactivation.

There are more than 1.3 lakh printing presses in India with more than 10 million families being involved in the industry. The average compound annual growth rate has been higher than 12 per cent over the last 15 years. The current turnover of all the components in the Indian printing industry is more than Rs 50,000 crore. The above facts showcase the burgeoning potential of the printing industry.

Business potential

Printing is one such service which every other business under the sun would require in one form or the other. Whether it is business cards, stationery or flyers, they all support the business and have a recurring demand. As per Chandrajit Narra, Managing Director, HiQ Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd (Indian franchisor for Sir Speedy), “In our traditional customer profile, 60 per cent represent small businesses with less than 50 employees and 30 to 35 per cent represent companies having in excess of 1,000 employees. Not more than 5 to 10 per cent are traditional retail customers.”

“It is because of the business model that our major business comes from SMEs. About 40 per cent of our clients are corporate,” informs Rajesh Batra, Director, Genie Prints Pvt. Ltd.

According to Narra, “The print market is totally unorganised. However, the Indian digital print industry is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2012.” Currently, only over 10 per cent of the Indian market has digital capability. This will certainly change as the demand for short-run, high-impact personalised communication continues to grow rapidly.

Sir Speedy’s services include digital printing (both black/white and colour), variable data printing and integrated marketing campaign development, mailing services, promotional products, fulfillment, web-to-print services, signs/posters/banners, email marketing, websites development, data services and data management, graphic design and creative services and a full range of bindery and finishing services.

Flip side

One of the flip sides of this business is the changing technology. One has to keep abreast with the fast changing technology to offer updated services. Having worked in the printing industry for years, a franchisor can help you achieve success in a shorter span of time.

Rajesh Batra, Director, Genie Prints Pvt. Ltd, says, “By centralising print production at one place, we have reduced the investment that’s required for an individual to open up a print shop.”

Human resource is another challenge that the print industry has to face in India. It's difficult to find right people at the right place. One should recruit employees who have the right knowledge of fonts, colour and print types.

Franchisability

To start a printing business, you either need prior experience or can acquire it via partnering with a franchise. The franchisee’s responsibility is to take orders in bulk and pass it on to the franchisor, who will further serve the required services.

According to Batra, “Franchising is one of the better ways to expand, but it is definitely not the easiest. From creating right operational procedures to choosing the right people, it involves a lot of groundwork. With the presence of advanced internet technology, franchising is a good option for a printing company to expand.”

Even Narra agrees, “Franchising is indeed the right option. This business methodology has been developed over a number of years and is constantly being adapted to take advantage of technology trends and influences and market and customer requirements.”

Chhapai provides training in sales, graphic technology, validation and verification, payment directive, graphic design, colour theory, customer service, team dynamics and marketing.

Expansion

In its 10-year expansion plan, Sir Speedy aims to have 200 centres throughout India. “We know that marketing, advertising and sales materials account for half of the $90 billion printing spend in the United States. And given the worldwide movement, including in India, towards personalised targeted communication rather than the “spray and pray” approach, we see this as a major trend in the Indian market,” states Narra.

Batra shares, “We have two exclusive stores, three territory franchisees and 11 add-on franchisees (co-branded). We will keep the growth slow by opening just two to three more territorial franchisees this fiscal year.”

Customer service is the foundation of any business. To be a successful printing and marketing services provider, the franchise owner should always understand the needs and business objectives of the customer and add value to the customer to help grow the customer’s business. There are two types of customer, the transactional customer, who may purchase products and/or services infrequently and the value added customer, who are repeat purchasers. Sir Speedy’s success is based more on value added customers.

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