Esko opens packaging excellence center in Mumbai

John Winderam

Esko inaugurated its first packaging excellence center in India at Mumbai on 14 March 2018. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Esko customers, Esko employees and the media at the office of Danaher, which is Esko’s parent company.

The packaging excellence center, located in Danaher’s premises, is equipped with a Kongsberg X44 table, which is fully compatible for packaging, corrugated and signage applications, a CDI Spark 2530 plate maker and a range of Esko software.

“The aim of establishing the center in Mumbai is to be close to our customers. Almost 60% of our business is generated from western India. The concentration of packaging innovation in this part of the country is much higher than anywhere else,” said John Winderam, general manager, South East Asia and South Asia, Esko.

Winderam argued that the packaging excellence center is not merely a demo center, but much more. “We want to treat our packaging excellence center not just as a demonstration center but also as a resource hub where customers can come and experiment with ideas. They can get their operators trained here as well. So basically, we want to make the packaging excellence center more than just a room that has machines,” Windrem said, adding that customers have already shown interest in using the resources available at the packaging excellence center. Esko will also be spreading the word about its latest endeavor and expects to get a very good response.

Esko 2Arnab Maiti, sales director, South Asia, Esko lighting the ceremonial lamp

Winderam also outlined Esko’s plans in the near future to expand in the other parts of India. The company will be adding a second software support personnel in Mumbai. In Delhi, Esko has a software support personnel but no hardware support; so, it plans to recruit some there. Once this recruitment process is over, Esko will have strong software and hardware support in west, north and south India.

Asked if Esko is looking at other cities in India to have an on-ground support staff, Winderam shared that the company may look at Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, but it will all depend on the growth of customer base in these areas.

During the event, Arnab Maiti, sales director, South Asia, Esko made a short presentation on the evolution and growth of Esko in India. He strongly urged the customers and the industry to fully utilize the resources available at the packaging excellence center.

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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