by Dean Roper
When 85 percent of their revenues come from print, says Kasturi Balaji, Managing Director of Kasturi & Sons in India, newspapers had better not scrimp on offering the best newspaper products to their readers. Mr. Balaji spoke at the WAN-IFRA Printing Summit 2011 Conference in Mainz, Germany.
Based in Chennai, Kasturi & Sons are the publishers of The Hindu, an English-language daily newspaper with a circulation of 1.5 million copies, and Business Line with 180,000 circulation, among other titles.
The company prints at 15 print sites, 12 of them owned by Kasturi & Sons, and three use heatset technology to print newspaper titles. That is what sets the company apart.
Since 1998, Kasturi & Sons have printed most of their newspaper products on double-width presses, many equipped with hot-air dryers. The company offers a number of niche, high-quality semi-commercial products, all bringing in significant new revenue streams.
For that new revenue, there are press-related and mailroom issues to consider, Mr. Balaji says. For the press, quality, formats and enhancements play major roles. But warning about quality, he says, "It is important to be realistic about quality expectations. Adding a dryer to a newspaper press does not make it a commercial press. While it may be somewhat easier to retrofit devices like stitchers and gluers, the same cannot be said for hot-air dryers, for example."