InkTec, a South Korea-based company with over 22 years of presence, is a leading global provider of high quality inks for desktop as well as large format inkjet printers. InkTec is a listed company located in Korea with 450 employees and 3 factories. They have 3 business divisions: Image Printing (IP) Business,PE (Printed Electronics) Business and Printing System (PS) business. David Kang, Business Development Dept/ Overseas Sales Team, Team Leader/ General Manager, InkTec, shares his views, objectives, goals and philosophy of his company.
InkTec’s Printed Electronics is an industrial solution and is expected to see a boom in the coming years. Normally, PCBs etc are made by conventional methods by manually fitting and connecting various switches and devices. In PE, etching of PCBs is done by printing with the help of software. This is a path-breaking innovation that is expected to revolutionize the manufacturing of PCBs and other things in the coming years.
David asserts, “PE is expected to take over most of the manual and conventional methods of manufacturing of PCBs and other things in the near future.”
Regarding inks for desktops and large format printers, “We are strong with pigment ink. When we talk about pigment ink, many companies buy colorants, dispersals and then mix them. We have very good dispersal technology for large format dye-sublimation solutions. All the inks are processed by us starting from raw materials and this helps us to control the quality from the beginning. In India, we have been selling inks that are compatible with CISS. If you visit Korea, you will be surprised to see most users using CISS. If the printer is equipped with CISS, it results in lower costs. We maintain reliability and consistency. We are aiming at providing products compatible with CISS on long term basis.”
Customers in different countries and regions have different requirements. Indians want bright and clear color prints. How InkTec can ensure this? About this David clarifies, “For the past 22 yrs, InkTec has built a very good reputation for itself in the global markets. For desktop inks, we are aiming to develop products that meet the needs of the end customers in the best possible way. Whenever HP or Epson launches a new printer, with new ink requirement, we manufacture inks that are closest to the originals. We call such inks individuals. Some companies developing universal color inks which they say are compatible with all printers. That is not a right approach. We develop inks that are nearly same as OEM inks for different models and different printers and that is the reason we have been successful. Whenever HP or Epson launch pigment ink, we follow them by manufacturing similar inks. As you know, pigment inks are not easy to reproduce, but our technology and experience helps us to develop similar or perfectly compatible inks.”
Single passcolor printing technology is getting more famous nowadays. In this regard, David states, “With single passcolor printing technology getting popular, it gives lot of opportunities for InkTec. In Korea, these single passcolor printers are selling very well as rental business, replacing the laser printers and cartridges. Sellers are charging monthly payment for these printers. With these printers, cost per print is much cheaper than laser printers. In this segment, we have been very successful in Russia, Brazil and Mexico. We can repeat the same for India. We are aiming at providing most stable, reliable and consistent inks which are ideal for CISS. Ten years back we invested in large format inks. Now globally our large format ink revenues and profits have surpassed our desktop ink revenues in proportion.”
Regarding his experience with Indian customers and channel partners, David clarifies, “I am happy to see inks being displayed in the Indian shops and markets. Our main focus for India will be desktop market and CISS. I regret to say that the Indian market is being spoiled by cheap CISS systems from overseas. We want to educate the Indian customers on good business model with good CISS, good inks and quality press printers. Right now we have 3 partners in India—one each in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. Our partners like Mukesh have been with us for a very long time and have been very loyal to us.”
InkTec has been a very standard brand globally for a long time. In India, perhaps due to less emphasis on promotion, their visibility in the printer ink and media market has not been as much as it should be. On this front, David shares, “Yes, as you suggest, In India, it is necessary that we should do something more aggressive to educate the partners and their engineers and to become more visible to the end users. We don’t believe in providing cheap quality products at low prices; our inks are more expensive compared to those provided by others in the market, but we maintain great quality and that is why consumers in Korea and other countries continue to purchase InkTec’s inks. In future, we wish to focus more on promotion activities in India such as participating in expos, conducting roadshows, dealers’ meets and so on. We want to grow more and want to become No. 1 ink provider in India as well as globally.”