The railway ticket for your last train journey may have been printed by the same people who brought you the thick-as-a-phonebook offer documents for initial public offers (IPOs). The same applies to your telephone bill, your stationery; even the odd text book.
The fall of the great Indian IPO market, which at its peak had an average of nearly four offers a day, has had IPO printers looking to other business segments for sustenance.
Mahesh Jain, vice-president at Orient Press Limited, says the diversification process began some time ago. “We started printing railway tickets last year. There are some others who have diversified into real estate.”
Orient is at the top of the printer’s league table maintained by Prime Database, along with another printing firm - Crystal Forms. The two printed documents for a total of 41 and 27 public issues, respectively in FY13. This included not just IPOs, but also follow-on public offers, small and medium enterprises IPOs as well as debt offers.
This is a far cry from the peak in terms of number of issues in FY96. The year saw 1,333 issues or an average of nearly four IPOs a day. The peak in terms of amount raised was in FY08 at Rs 41,323.45 crore.
The number of IPOs has fallen 97 per cent from its peak to 33 in FY13. The amount raised fell 84 per cent from its FY08 peak to Rs 6,497 crore in FY13. The current financial year is not looking too great either. There have been six IPOs so far. They raised a total of Rs 951 crore.
This has taken a toll on printing presses that print IPO documents, which once accounted for the biggest chunk of their business.