IPPStar surveys printers in Delhi-NCR

Economic reforms and investment outlook of small and medium printers

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IppStar (www.ippstar.org) has been surveying the Indian print, publishing and packaging industry since 1979. Over the years, it has conducted more than 5,000 face to face interviews and many publishers, printers, and converters have been interviewed several times over the past 17 years. In early January 2017, we conducted a minsurvey of small and medium printers in five areas in the Delhi NCR region to ascertain their general outlook and also their opinion of some of the economic measures such as demonetization, and some of the impending reforms such as GST (uniform goods and services tax) and lower bank lending rates.

What the survey reveals is that while small and medium commercial printers are somewhat reluctant to give their views on all the questions at this time, they are generally hopeful about the positive effectives of demonetization, GST and bank lending rates coming down. Slightly more than 50% of our sample say that they have been negatively affected in the short term by demonetization. Nevertheless, more than two-thirds, or 67% are optimistic as far as the long term benefits of this attempt to bring greater accountability and tax compliance to the industry. However, 20% of the small and medium printers feel that there will be some negative effect or consequences, while the rest are either unable to evaluate or unwilling to hazard a guess at this point.

As far as GST, the overwhelming majority (more than 70%) are optimistic that a more uniform way of taxation and one that will work across the whole country will have a positive effect on the print market. Here only 1% feel are apprehensive that GST will have a negative effect on their business. 

On the prospect of lower bank lending rates for business more than 78% of the printers interviewed feel that this is likely and that it will stimulate investment. However, 22% of our respondents are either unwilling to hazard a guess or feel negatively about lending rates actually having an effect on their business.

Both offset and digital printers planning to invest

Almost half of our sample of small and medium printers in the Delhi NCR are owners of or at least use both offset and digital presses – a result that surprised us but which shows that digital printing is now ubiquitous. It is an option that every offset commercial printer is aware of, and widely used whenever and wherever possible and viable. However, a significant number of printers comprising 38% of those surveyed, restrict themselves to only offset; while 15% of our sample consisted of printers who are only digital. 

A significant percentage of our sample was not willing to share its growth numbers over the past year, but of those printers who did share their own growth – the overwhelming majority or 70%, said there was growth while the other 30% said that the past year has been one of stagnation. Of the ones who admitted to growth in the past year, 38% said there was double digital growth and more than 10% claimed growth above 20%.

High growth over the past 5 years

Our sample was more responsive and positive when asked about growth over the past five years. Almost half of the printers who experienced growth, said that this was in double digits annually, while 23% claimed more than 20% CAGR over the five years. At least one-third of the printers are planning to invest in the next couple of years. Half of the printers planning to invest are looking to purchase a printing press. About 73%, plan to buy new and used offset presses while 27% plan to buy a digital press. Almost all who are buying presses are also planning to buy postpress and binding equipment. 

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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