Xaar is a world-leader in the development of inkjet technology and manufacture of piezoelectric drop-ondemand industrial printheads. The company also develops and sells ink systems, electronics and fluid optimisation services to accelerate inkjet system development and adoption. Founded in 1990, Xaar, listed in London Stock Exchange, has a turnover of 96.2mn pound and employee strength of 600. The company has a regional office in India for the last 13 years and is the only printhead manufacturer to have a local direct presence.

The company nowadays is strengthening its business in India with its wide portfolio of inkjet printheads and new technology for a variety of print applications. A world leader in industrial inkjet technology and ceramic tile decoration printheads, the company now sees packaging and textile printing as another important market in India. For the first time in last 13 years company’s CEO, Doug Edwards visited India and during a meet in Gurugram he gave an insight on the variety of products and technology the company has launched. He also outlined the importance of the Indian market to the company’s global goal to reach annual sales of £220m by 2020.

The recent printhead launches from Xaar are starting to shift the company towards a broader reach. Of particular interest to the Indian market are the Xaar 1201 and Xaar 5501, both of which are capable of handling aqueous inks. This means that OEMs looking to produce textiles or graphics printers using water-based inks now have access to robust and reliable technologies.

Already making a significant impact in Asia, the Xaar 1201 is a Thin Film Piezo Silicon Micro Electrical Mechanical System (MEMS) technology printhead for printing Wide-format Graphics (WFG) and Textiles with dye sublimation, ecosolvent or aqueous inks. To complement the Xaar 1201, Xaar recently announced the Xaar 5501, which previewed in China a few months ago. This compact and lightweight printhead is the first product resulting from Xaar’s collaboration with Xerox, and delivers high print quality combined with low printing costs, whilst integration costs will also be kept to a minimum.

Xaar has been the only printhead manufacturer to have a direct and local presence in India, with its Indian regional office located in New Delhi. “We are very committed to supporting our customers and partners in India,” said Doug Edwards while speaking exclusively to Apparel Views Assistant Editor Swati Sharma at the meet. “Because we have a regional base in India, our customers and partners benefit from local technical expertise, a quick response and a printhead partner with a more in depth understanding of the Indian marketplace. Our focus is always on helping our customers get to market quickly with a range of products their own customers want and need. Having a local presence is the only way to serve our customers well.”

Edwards also gave an update on each of the four strategic pillars to Xaar’s 2020 goal. “Our focus for the last two years has been to broaden our horizons into a wider range of print applications, all of which are of significant interest to our customers and partners in India. I am delighted to say that results from the first half of this year show that we are making good progress.”

“Product revenues outside of Ceramics are growing by 60 per cent; global sales into the Graphics sector grew by 33 per cent, and we have also made good progress in our packaging and product printing markets, where global sales jumped by 54 per cent. We have seen an increase in our Asian business, which now makes up 47 per cent of the company’s overall sales,” he added.

“The portfolio we have for Indian market is perfect. Right now we are moving into textiles market, growing in packaging market, and also interested in 3D which is in good demand. We are already leaders in ceramics, having maximum market share in India. We have grown our product portfolio and have got three new products to address the digital textile market. The textile industry here has not converted to digital, even on global base also having only 3-4 per cent share in world’s textile printing market. Out of that a lot of market is here in India,” said Edwards. “India certainly is a very good market for us, and there are certain areas we need to focus on. In terms of business, we are doing really well and maintaining good share position in India, so overall we are very happy.”

Commenting on its share in world market he said, “Asia is our biggest market earning highest revenue, second is Europe followed by America. But the America is growing very fast. About a year back America was representing five per cent of our revenue but now it is 20 per cent. So, we made an acquisition in America.”

“By 2020 our intention is to double the size of the company. So, it’s extremely important that we double the size here in India. Now, textile is our priority no. one. Globally about a 100 bn sq mtr fabric is decorated annually, out of this around one third i.e. 30 bn is actually printed rather than dyed, of which 3 per cent is printed digitally. That might double by 2020 to six per cent, which will be around 2 bn sq mtr of fabrics printed digitally ever year,” said Edwards.