Messe Frankfurt expands in India with new strategic alliances

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L-R: Raj Manek, managing director, Messe Frankfurt India and Rakesh Desai, head – Exhibition & Print Media Division, Gifts & Accessories
L-R: Raj Manek, managing director, Messe Frankfurt India and Rakesh Desai, head – Exhibition & Print Media Division, Gifts & Accessories

In a further bid to expand its footprint, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd, the German group’s Indian subsidiary, has announced its strategic alliance with Gifts & Accessories, the Exhibition Division of Netlink Solutions (India) Ltd., a public limited corporation listed with Bombay Stock Exchange for the Stationery & Write Show, Corporate Gifts Show and Houseware & Kitchenware Show. Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd., marking its 20th anniversary in India this year, now holds 22 trade fairs and 35 conferences in its portfolio.

The Stationery & Write Show is one of India’s largest exhibitions for stationery and writing instruments. With the two companies coming together for a strategic alliance, the 4th edition of this fair will now be named Stationery & Write Show presented by Paperworld. The concurrent Corporate Gifts Show will add to the innovative showcase corporate and promotional gifting as well as merchandising.

Talking about the continued growth strategy, Raj Manek, executive director and board member Messe Frankfurt Asia Holding Ltd. Said, “Messe Frankfurt is committed to investing in India and has completed two decades of serving Indian industries and promoting Indian brands across the globe. The strategic factors that led to the association are based on common business principles to provide enhanced exhibition experiences. While we aim to enhance the quality of the platform with new propositions for our domestic clients, the alliance will also open the doors for our international exhibitors to tap the growing market segments represented at the trade fair.”

Be it for stationery and writing instruments or corporate gifting, India is a very lucrative market for various brands worldwide simply because of its sheer size. While the writing instruments market is estimated at 1,600 to 2,400 million pieces a year and INR 22 billion (USD 32 million) in value, the Indian gift market is an INR 10 billion (USD 15 million), which is looking up to progress at a rate of 10%. A number of Indian and international players vying for their shares are looking at entering the Indian market. Messe Frankfurt will leverage its years of knowledge and expertise in this industry sector to support the further development of the show. The association of the two organizers is also expected to include joint marketing and customer engagement strategies.

The Stationery & Write Show, presented by Paperworld and Corporate Gifts Show, takes place annually in Mumbai and over the last three years has strategically bridged the gap between the key buyers and sellers of the industry – bringing them together under one roof. The 2018 edition featured over 375 exhibitors and 12,000 plus visitors. The 4th edition will be held from 9–12 January 2019 at the Bombay Exhibition Center, and is proposed to be larger, presenting the latest innovations, value-added products and the latest solutions in their respective segments.

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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