India Pavilion inaugurated at London Book Fair

India Pavilion highlights Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary

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Sadhana Rout, director general, Publications Division and Vikram Sahay, joint secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting inaugurated the India Pavilion at London Book Fair, which took place from 12 to 14 March at the London Olympia.

The India Pavilion laid special focus on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It displayed the digital version of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, apart from various other titles on culture, history and folklore of India. An interactive digital media experience on the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi, Statue of Unity and other major achievements of India was also available at the Pavilion.

A seminar on ‘Making of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi – Print and Electronic Versions’ – was also organized at the London Olympia.

Ravi Rama Krishna, additional director general, BOC and senior officials of the Indian High Commission in London were also present on the occasion.

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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