Landa entrepreneur of the decade

One of the best known identities in the global print industry Benny Landa has been awarded entrepreneur of the decade by Israeli business daily Globes.

Landa invented the Indigo digital print process using a liquid toner technology, which he launched at Ipex in 1993, and then sold to HP for an eye-popping US$830m just eight years later. He is now trying to get his equally radical Nanographic inkjet printing technology to market.

Landa says as part of the terms of sale he demanded that HP kept the Indigo manufacturing in Israel, where it now accounts for a remarkable 0.5 per cent of the nation’s GDP. He says his aim for Nanographic printing is that it accounts for a full one per cent of the country’s GDP.

Nanographic printing was shown at drupa four years ago, with 400 printers stumping up $10,000 each for a place in the queue. Development has not yet finished, but at this drupa Landa told the crowds at his presentation that beta testing was due to take place soon.

[Related: Landa orders hit  €450m at drupa]

If Landa does pull it off it could become a major print technology, as he promises printing offset quality at offset speeds on offset stocks, but with no plates or makeready.

Landa himself gave every one of the company’s 53 presentations at drupa, his energy undimmed even while he celebrated his 70th birthday at the show.

Landa is also one of Israel’s major technology investors, a sizeable chunk of his $830m has been set aside to invest in Israeli start up tech businesses. He is also a major philanthropist.

He says he was not motivated by money, but by a desire to create sustainable manufacturing and employment opportunities in Israel.

However he says that while that was the goal of his generation of Israelis, today’s generation is more self-interested.

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