Ramesh Kejriwal receives MMS Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

Ramesh Kejriwal

In a packed ceremony on Printer’s Day in Mumbai (24 February 2108), the Mumbai Mudrak Sangh (MMS) bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 to chairman of Parksons Packaging, Ramesh Kejriwal. The award was given to Kejriwal by chief guest Deepak Ghaisas, chairman of Gencoval Strategic Services.

In his acceptance speech, Kejriwal thanked Ghaisas, president AFMPI AMSG Ashokan, president MMS Tushar Dhote and the wider print fraternity. “It is a moment of great privilege and honor for me to receive this prestigious award from MMS. I heartily thank the jury of MMS for having bestowed this honor,” Kejriwal said.

Recalling his early years, he said that there were three main influences during his formative years. He learnt the importance of discipline from his teacher in school, value of honesty from his father and the role of humility in life from his mother. “It has been a great journey, and these were the three main guiding principles in my life,” he said.

Kejriwal joined the family business of Parksons Printers, which produced playing cards, in 1970. Since then he has set major benchmarks in the printing and packaging industry. He was instrumental in setting up Parksons Printers’ first greenfield factory in Andheri in 1977, an experience which, according to Kejriwal, subsequently helped him in setting up the several multi-location greenfield projects of Parksons Packaging across India.

In 1987, Parksons Printers successfully diversified into commercial printing. “I learnt that marketing skills required in commercial printing were very different from the skills needed in the printing cards segment. This was a very big learning for me which would later help in my future career,” shared Kejriwal.

In the mid-1990s, Parksons Printers began its diversification into packaging and that is when it moved in the folding carton segment and Parksons Packaging came into existence. This also when Kejriwal moved out of Mumbai for the first time. Parksons Packaging set up its first unit in Daman in 1998. Since then Parksons Packaging has emerged as a leading carton packaging company in India and now has factories across India, including Daman, Chakan in Maharashtra, Pantnagar Units I & II in Uttarakhand, Sri City in Andhra Pradesh and Guwahati in Assam.

Finally, pointing out three major successes in his professional career, Kejriwal said that the first one was the successful restructuring of the family business in 1997, when it was divided into three individual units: Parksons Graphics, Parksons Games & Sports, and Parksons Packaging. The second success which Kejriwal cited was the fact that Parksons Packaging now employs close to 2000 families. The third success he cited was that he has been able to establish impeccable credibility in business, which has generated tremendous goodwill for Parksons Packaging. Siddharth Kejriwal, son of Ramesh Kejriwal and who is also managing director of Parksons Packaging, said, “My brother and I are fortunate to have someone like him as our guide and mentor in life. His dedication, commitment, passion and focus towards work is an inspiration and example for all of us in the organization. He continues to be very active and full of energy at work and plays the role of a visionary in our organization.”

“Personally, I have learned life’s greatest lessons from him in the back seat of the car during the half hour journey back and forth from home to work every day for the past 25 years of my life. These continue to be the most precious moments for me where I get an opportunity to discuss everything under the sun with him and it has taught and enriched me in my life and the way I conduct myself. For that one single selfish reason, I would never want him to retire from work,” he said.

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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