Romancing Print in New Delhi

Publishers and printers discuss mutual challenges and the future

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Romancing the Books — session moderated by Ramu Ramanathan at the Romancing Print conference in New Delhi. Photo: IP

The Romancing Print conference organized by the AIFMP continues to improve from year to year with improved turnout and quality of content. This year’s event created a discussion between book publishers and book printers.

A natural partnership that too often seems adversarial, this is an important discussion in light of the rapidly growing demand in the country for both text and general books.

The publishers at the session outlined challenges including those of rampant piracy with the help of unethical printers as well as the opportunities they see in improving efficiency with the use of print on demand (POD) and eBooks. Printers in turn reported a decline in demand for book print exports. One printer said that although sales had grown, it was profits that were under pressure.

Avijit Mukherjee of Ricoh, one of the sponsors of the event, said that digital printing is growing and in India in particular it was growing in combination with offset.He ventured to add, “Short run publishing and packaging will drive digital in the future.

” Peter Rego of Heidelberg, also a sponsor of the event, said that while digital is economical for short runs, in India offset becomes competitive only .

Nevertheless, he argued for innovation including web- to-print to take hold in India as a way of improving efficiencies of print marketing and sales. Rego also made clear that offset printing has a long life ahead of it but that it may require an industrialized approach to make it work cost effectively.

Not only does the entire production workflow need to be integrated and include a variety of technologies and processes, but also more automation is needed to bring additional finishing processes inline.

Print has to become more interactive where QR codes, RFID and other methods could be used to bring print into the realm of video, virtual reality and even 3D printing.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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