No injuries in Thomson Press fire in Faridabad

Publication paper warehouse gutted

Fire at Thomson Press India warehouse
Fire at paper warehouse of Thomson Press India in Faridabad in Delhi NCR Photo via social media

Several days ago, on 25 April 2020, a fire broke out and engulfed one of the paper store buildings of Thomson Press India in Faridabad in the Delhi NCR. Thomson Press is owned by the promoters of the Living Media group that publishes India Today and other magazines, there were no injuries or casualties in the fire apparently started by a short-circuit. Shown in a video available on social media the fire destroyed considerable quantities of publication papers and converting equipment.

Thomson is a leading commercial printer in the country and also a major exporter of printed books. It has been operating at a minimal level during the Covid-19 induced lockdown engaged in the production of the group’s own periodical and other urgent time-bound products for its customers.

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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  1. An unfortunate event at one of India’s leading printers and book exporters. Fortunately, no-one was hurt or injured and the damage seems to have been restricted mainly to raw materials.


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