Narendra Paruchuri wins first Viren Chhabra Print Leadership Award

Narendra Paruchuri
Narendra Paruchuri, managing director of Pragati Offset and Michael Makin, president of the Printing Industries of America

Narendra Paruchuri, managing director of Pragati Offset and Pragati Pack in Hyderabad, was presented with the first Viren Chhabra Print Leadership Award at a ceremony on the evening of 8 January 2020 in Mumbai. The award was presented by Michael Makin, president of the Printing Industries of America for Paruchuri’s outstanding leadership of the industry.The event emphasized on the importance of situational leadership training for responsible businesses and society.

This leadership has encompassed unparalleled success in the global quality awards competitions and in service to the Indian industry and its print association members by open and transparent sharing of technology absorption for quality, environment and best practices, and realistic business goals. Paruchuri has also championed educational investment in the next generation in family printing businesses – as well as gender equality.

Paruchuri’s presentation at the ceremony traversed his more than 50 years in the industry from being a chemical engineer to becoming one of the best-known offset printers in the world. Accepting the award, he urged the printers to keep their eyes and hearts open to the future and their feet on the ground. He expressed his thanks to the AIFMP on being the first winner of the Viren Chhabra Print Leadership Award and being presented with the trophy, a citation, a shawl and a cheque for Rs. 1 lakh.

The award was instituted by the AIFMP in 2017, soon after the passing away of Viren Chhabra at the age of 90. Chhabra was employed by The Statesman newspaper for 42 years and was instrumental in building the printers associations and their federation and projecting the industry internationally.

The corpus for the Viren Chhabra Leadership award has been built up to a figure nearing Rs. 20 lakh with generous donations by the Chhabra family and by the Offset Printers Association based in Ludhiana, the Kerala Master Printers Association, TechNova Imaging Systems, Arvind Mardikar, the Karnataka Offset Printers Association, AMSG Ashokan and the Graphic Imaging and Processing Association based in Delhi.

Naresh Khanna

The citation

“All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) has the honour to present Narendra Paruchuri who has been recommended by the awards committee as an eminently qualified person for the conferment of the ‘Viren Chhabra Print Leadership Award’ for the year 2019 in recognition of his exceptional achievements and performances for the growth and welfare of the printing and packaging industry.

“Graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in 1975, Narendra joined Pragati Offset Pvt. Ltd., a commercial printing press started by his father Sri Paruchuri Hanumantha Rao in 1962. With his vision and commitments he has brought global recognition and respect for the Indian printing industry, having won several awards including the SAPPI International Printer of the Year thrice.

“He has truly been a pathfinder for the Indian printing industry, has developed unique technologies and processes in reproduction, printing and print enhancement. He is instrumental in spreading knowledge by way of presentations at seminars and demonstration of his scientific adoption of technology to all visitors. He runs a transparent business and does not believe in keeping trade secrets. Nevertheless, Narendra has managed to make his company a highly profitable venture.

“He has practiced the philosophy of being a part of the customers’ team and treating vendors as partners in progress. In business as well as personal life, he has displayed the highest level of ethical behaviour. By honouring Narendra Paruchuri, AIFMPA is acknowledging the debt of gratitude which the printers owe to him.”

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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