Team PAMEX tours across Kerala

Print Odyssey launched


The domestic promotion for PAMEX 2020 is in full swing. Team PAMEX was present at the 34th Annual Conference of Kerala Printers Association in Thrissur. More than 500 printers were present at the conference and many of them pre-registered to visit Pamex Exhibition, which is scheduled from 6-9 January 2020, in Mumbai.

On the sidelines of the conference, Team PAMEX launched Print Odyssey – a program to reach the printers at the grass root level. The aim of this Odyssey was to understand the need of the printers and to promote the exhibition. The Odyssey was inaugurated on 29 September 2019, by the chief guest TN Prathapan, an MP from Thrissur. The ceremony was performed by the traditional breaking of coconut on the auspicious first day of Navratri.

The next day, Team PAMEX including C Ravinder Reddy, vice president – South, AIFMP and Kamal Chopra, chairman, PAMEX headed to Muringoor. More than 25 printers assembled under one roof. Chopra addressed their concerns and suggested them to form clusters to reduce their production cost.

From Muringoor, the team headed to Kochi and visited Ernakulam City Mehkala. The printers facilitated the team and presented them with a list of issues they were facing. Reddy and Chopra addressed their concerns and provided the necessary solutions.

The next stop was Thrippunithura, where the printers talked about issues they faced regarding the recycling of polymer. With a lack of recycling plants nearby, printers are forced to send waste to Mumbai to correctly dispose it off. Chopra spoke to Parikh of Technova Industries to resolve the issue. He promised to give them a working solution within 15 days.

The final stop of the day was at the office of the Kerala Master Printers Association. A team of 15 printers was present during the presentation of PAMEX. Chopra spoke about the future of printing and had a lively discussion about 3D printing. The association promised to send a delegation to visit PAMEX and also take part in the WPCF conference.

On 1 October 2019, the team visited CMS Press situated in Kottayam. Established by Benjamin Bailey, the press opened its doors in 1821. It is the oldest printing press in Kerala. Bailey is known as the Father of Printing across the state.

A team of 20 printers assembled for the meeting, where they raised their issues regarding the different slabs of GST. Chopra spoke in detail about their issue and educated them about the different government programs they could avail to further the printing industry in the area.

The Odyssey headed towards Thiruvananthapuram while making pit stops at Adoor and Kottarakara. The final stop for the Print Odyssey was at the office of the Kerala Printers Association. A team of 20 printers was present. While addressing them, Chopra spoke of the need to evolve from “Ink on Paper” and embrace the change in the industry.

Reddy congratulated the new office bearers of the association and promised to hold a seminar in the local language where experts would be called in to address various issues such as GST, raw material procurement and disposal.

“With the beginning on the auspicious occasion of the first day of Navratri festival, Print Odyssey at Kerala was a fantastic experience. I would like to thank C Ravinder Reddy for his dedication and Ashok Kumar, treasurer of KPA for his untiring efforts towards the success of this event,” said Chopra.

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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