Prof Kamal Chopra becomes first Indian to head World Print & Communication Forum (WPCF)

Says experience of chairing AIFMP will help in WPCF

Prof Kamal Chopra becomes first Indian to head World Print & Communication Forum (WPCF)

In a special first for the country, Prof Kamal Mohan Chopra has been appointed as the chairman of the World Print & Communication Forum (WPCF). On 8 December 2020, he took over the reins from the past president, Michael Mikken (USA). Speaking on the occasion, Raveendra Joshi, former president of AIFMP, said, “It is a proud moment for the nation and its printing industry, as for the first time an Indian will run this international organization.”

Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the WPCF is a collaborative platform for the world’s major transnational and national printing associations to work together, promote the development and prosperity of the global printing industry. WPCF also facilitates and encourages communication with other parts of the print value chain to further develop the print and communication market through international and cross-industry collaboration and knowledge sharing. The WPCF was officially founded in 2004 as a result of an initiative supported by the world’s major transnational and national printing associations. The founding members of the WPCF were Conlatingraf, representing South America; Intergraf, representing European interests; PIA, the Printing Industries of America for the North American continent; and national associations from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and South Africa.

Having chaired All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) India’s highest printing federation twice, Prof Chopra (72) is ready for the new test. “It is a proud moment for me and altogether a new challenge as well,” he said. He further added, “It’s a huge honor that can be bestowed upon an individual, having experienced chairing at AIFMP has given me some valuable experience. I hope it will prove to be beneficial for me in WPCF as well.”

The owner of one of the top printing presses – Foil Printers in Ludhiana, Chopra has been a jack of all trades in the printing industry. He is an inspirational figure for everyone, not only in the printing industry, but in general as well. Having been an honorary professor in three international universities and Governor’s nominee in the board of a national university, his life has been penned down in his biographies, namely “Life in Print” and “Imprint of a Printer,” releasing shortly. These books detail his journey from humble beginnings to rare honors like ‘President of India Award’ and ‘Hon. Professor at world’s leading printing institute in China.’

“The feeling of being the first Indian to reach this level is unmatchable. I hope this will bring more opportunities for Indians in this industry at this level. I will try my best to be a good representative for the nation and work sincerely towards the responsibility assigned to me,” concluded Prof Chopra.

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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