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‘End the price war & work together,’ Naresh Gulati

Thursday, 02 October 2014
By Patrick Howard

Melbourne-based Indian entrepreneur buys The Bindery to go along with his acquisition of Print Bound and calls for a more cooperative market environment for printing.

‘I think of printers as artists and craftspeople. Why should they have to invest money in technology and face a cash crisis when we can work together for a better way,’ said the charismatic Gulati as he starts to make good on his promise to ‘change the face of printing in Australia.’ Describing his multi-national BPO Intelligence enterprise as a ‘communications business’ he says he is committed to investing in new equipment as well as in taking over companies.

His latest takeover of The Bindery sees long-term operator, Rob Dunnett, more than pleased with the change of ownership. As a former equity partner, along with BPA and Macpherson’s Printing, he will stay with the company as CEO and believes the industry will welcome the additional investment in one of the leading finishing providers.

‘It’s so good to be on a winning path. We’re hiring new staff, there’s great new energy in the business and we’re looking at exploring new ventures,’ he said. ‘As far as I’m concerned, it’s all positive.’

There are no plans to move The Bindery from its present Mount Waverly location, even as Print Bound prepares to relocate to the old GEON premises around the corner. Gulati promises there will be further investment in technology to go along with the highly specc’d Heidelberg XL six-colour with UV drying being installed in the near future.

‘This is the most highly specc’d press ever in Australia. I am prepared to make that investment and share the benefits with other printers. We have to stop the price war and work more cooperatively. We can compete and still collaborate, same as Apple and Samsung do. A price war is only a race to the bottom and doesn’t help anyone,’ said Gulati.

He proposes that printers develop new forms of business before investing in equipment, using ‘for trade’ businesses such as his in the interim. Only when they can afford to service the investment should they ‘bring the work in-plant.’

There is a refreshing optimism about Gulati’s vision of the industry. As an international operator through his BPO Intelligence, he is looking at bringing onshore some of the mainly educational printing work that is currently done overseas. The falling Australian dollar is making that more likely as the entire industry becomes more internationally competitive.

Whether his call for more cooperation and collaboration will resonate in the fiercely competitive Melbourne printing market is more problematic. But if he can help put a price floor under print it will be well worth making the effort.

One Response to “‘End the price war & work together,’ Naresh Gulati”

  1. October 02, 2014 at 1:42 pm,

    l russell

    To “help put a price floor under print” is actually illegal.

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