Media Expo 2017 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Highlighting the growth of printing industry in India

The inauguration ceremony of Media Expo 2017

The recently concluded Media Expo 2017, held from 22 to 24 September 2017 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi and organized by Messe Frankfurt, is the largest exhibition in India for advertising and signage solutions.

We at Indian Printer & Publisher met Messe Frankfurt’s managing director, Raj Manek, who lauded the efforts made by all Messe sister concerns to make the event a grand success. Messe Frankfurt acquired Media Expo in 2013, giving the print market in India a major boost ever since. Manek said that he has been closely observing the Indian market since the commencement of the event and has noticed a significant growth in the industry over the years. He feels that the digital printing format needs to penetrate more into the market. He also feels that the Indian print industry is poised for substantial growth and he wants to be a part of the growth dynamics by being involved in such shows.

Wide format printing and flex printing are a thriving business in the Indian market. The level, quality, content and the way companies display their equipment have all seen a rise ever since the initiation of this event. “There is a big gap between the Indian and Western markets. Indians are still adapting to modern technology, which makes growth potential of the Indian market quite huge. There is a lot of scope to explore newer ways to develop the infrastructure here,” said Manek.

Indians today are constantly seeking to upgrade to new technology. The traditional flex printing machines are improving, people are turning to digital printing and laser cutting widely, and machines are being overhauled on a regular basis indicating that the printing industry is determined to raise its standards.

He considers 3D printing as the next big thing in the printing industry and it is slowly making inroads in the Indian market. The only concerning factor is the cost involved and the return on investment. “The print industry is growing at a rate of 13.5-14% CAGR. This is extremely appreciable, especially when most of the major industries were hit by demonetization and GST. This makes me believe that Indians might be adapting to changes coming across in the industry better than the westerners,” Manek observed.

Among all, the digital printing segment is witnessing the maximum growth in the world. Digital and 3D printing are two of the most rapidly evolving printing segments worldwide. The Indian market is always on the lookout for cheaper alternatives, which makes it important for players to extend competitive prices, thus proliferating the sales of modern-day machines.

With a total of 19 shows in the country and around 22 conferences every year, Messe Frankfurt is a leading organizer in the country. The primary motto of Messe Frankfurt in India is to boost the economy and help the Indian companies export their machines to other countries. The company is working hard to eliminate all the challenges in the market and hopes to become an unparalleled show organizer in a couple of years.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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