Prime Technologies, founded in 1994, is led by the two founding partners, Anil Kumar Aggarwal and Dinesh Sharma, who have a long experience in the imaging industry. The product-line of Prime Technologies includes consumables of inkjet and laserjet printers and sublimation inks used in textile printing under their brand name Prime and also in bulk without brand name; and PCBs, power supplies, electronic board and chip/drum to the printers. Prime Technologies is also an authorized partner for Epson and Brother Printers and their OEM consumables. They also provide printer rental and repair services.
In an interaction with Imaging solution magazine Anil Kumar shares their company’s policy, vision, plans and objectives and views about general market trends. Talking about current market trends, Anil Kumar explains, “Currently, the size of inkjet segment is increasing rapidly, with Epson leading from the front launching a wide range of innovative inkjet printers. The advantage is inkjet printers leave little e-waste, whereas laserjet printers leave a lot of e-waste. Wide format laserjet printing has almost disappeared with inkjet-based wide format printing replacing the laserjet. Earlier wide format inkjet printers used to have low speed printing per minute, but the R&D helped OEMs develop high-speed inkjet printers and as a result, inkjet share has increased significantly. Most homes users who used to go to jobbers earlier, today want to own printers, and has boosted demand for the inkjet printers and consumables which are also less expensive compared to laser. This has led to tremendous increase in the demand for A4 printers. In my opinion, usage of inkjet printing, of both black and color, will increase significantly due to low printing costs of inkjet. Demand for color consumables is growing fast and their share is increasing fast, though currently color forms only 30% of our business.”
Talking about the reasons for market downfall and challenges, Anil Kumar states, “The world is going towards paperless office and it has a negative effect on printers as well as printers and printer-consumables industry. However, India is still in the transition stage in this context so there is still opportunity for printers and consumables. Other challenges are shrinking margins due too much competition and then getting the payments back from the down-the-line partners, though most of our partners are honest and payback in-time. Many resellers are selling poor quality products at very cheap prices and this has led to the shift of demand from high quality products to low quality products. Next, online portals are selling products at low prices and do not give warranty, after-sales-support or information support, but customers are often attracted to low priced products. All these factors combined are leading to market downfall and market has been flat for last 5 years. The online portals have become big threat to offline business.”
Talking about the future of refilling and remanufacturing industry, “With the reduction in prices of compatible laser toner cartridges, recycling & refilling industry is facing a big challenge. With compatible laser toner cartridges available are low prices, customers are just using new cartridges, instead of refilling or remanufacturing and this is further piling up e-waste. Similarly, with ink tank printers, customers could refill themselves.”
About their future plans and business policy, Anil Kumar shares, “We provide only good quality compatible consumables. Our current annual growth rate is 10%, whereas a few years back, our annual growth rate used to be much higher. Our customers are mainly rental & repair services providers and then direct end users and from pan-India with major portion coming from Delhi-NCR. With the current market growth being flat, right now we have no specific future plans, but want to focus more on selling inkjet printers and consumables. In the present competitive world, to survive and be successful in the market, even resellers of compatibles need to have thorough knowledge of printers of different brands and their models–it is no longer a matter of box-selling. We have good knowledge of the printing industry and technologies so we do informed business and also we honestly share our knowledge with our customers as and when necessary. We don’t mislead or put pressure on the customer to purchase our products. Then our products have good quality at affordable prices, though not the cheapest when compared to market prices. We provide 100% foolproof chips/drums for Xerox machines. We are optimistic about our future.”