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.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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