Offset Printers Association – The Print Yatra Project

A networking event to benefit the printing industry

From L to R: R N Dutta Baruah, joint secretary AIFMP, Ashwani Gupta, treasurer AIFMP, Dibajyoti Kalita, president AIFMP, Kamal Chopa and Shahjahan Kazi

In order to understand the style of working and the problems being faced by the printers of Eastern region, Kamal Chopra and Ashwani Gupta, treasurer at AIFMP visited Guwahati under the Print Yatra project of Offset Printers Association (OPA) on 6-7 February 2020 and was welcomed by RN Dutta Baruah, joint secretary AIFMP.

They visited Navanita Printers, one of the biggest printing units of the city with its own in-house pre-press and post-press facilities and was greeted by Dibyajoti Kalita president, AIFMP. They also visited other printing units and met leading printers and office bearers of the All Assam Press Owners Association. Shahjahan Kazi brought to notice the problems he was facing with a roller manufacturing company, which was promptly resolved. While discussing the problems, Kamal Chopra emphasized the need for working in close cooperation and build greater networking, while Ashwani Gupta felt that it was best to adopt the CDP scheme of the government of India for the development and growth of the printing and packaging sector of Guwahati.

Elaborating the purpose of their visit, Chopra said, Print Yatra is a very humble beginning of Offset Printers Association (OPA) to establish networking between 250,000 printers of India. Through this project OPA is motivating the printers to work jointly, form associations and come together for the overall benefit of the printing industry.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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