Power cuts a nagging problem for printing units

New Year is fast approaching and it is customary for corporate organisations to give diaries as gifts as a promotional exercise.

Since Sivakasi is a major production centre for the print industry in the country, the large number of printing units in this industrial town start diary production in August itself. Big organisations such as banks and insurance companies place orders in bulk and utilise the opportunity to slip in advertisements of their products and services in their diaries.

In the recent years, the printing industry has been facing a hard time owing to power shutdowns for long hours in November and December, the peak season for diary production. In the past one week, there was a power cut for six to eight hours every day.

The big printing units in Sivakasi are fully automated and can churn out 15,000 diaries in eoght to 10 hours by employing four persons. Ten workers are required to produce 4,000 diaries in eight to 10 hours in semi-automatic units. The major units also export diaries. Though English is the language of choice, diaries are also printed in various foreign languages.

Diaries differ from one another in terms of quality of paper, size, one-day or two-day format, cover made of leather-finish and so on.

After the diary season ends by February, these units start printing college notebooks, duplicate books, scribbling pads, voucher books and record notes.

According to T. Babu, owner of one of the print units , the ‘5-subject notebook’ is all the rage among students in cities such as Chennai, Coimbatore and Bangalore. He says the business is booming since the diary industry has been witnessing an increase in the size of orders every year. However, production of telephone index has dropped with the advent of cell phones a decade ago since people store phone numbers, addresses and other details in their mobile phones.