Alon Bar-Shany appointed chairman of Highcon board

Alon Bar-Shany

Highcon recently announced that following the successful flotation of the company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: HICN), raising $45 million in an oversubscribed offering, the company has made several appointments to bolster its board of directors and executive management team with leading industry figures.

The board of directors of Highcon approved the nomination of Alon Bar-Shany, former general manager of HP Indigo, to the role of chairman of the board. During his tenure at HP Indigo as the general manager, Bar-Shany was recognized for having grown the company by over $1 billion in revenues. Prior to that, he ran the HP Indigo business in EMEA, led the worldwide Indigo channel business, and was the chief financial officer of Indigo at the time of its acquisition by HP. Alon was also a member of the global DSCOOP board, working with customers to create a community focused on sharing and growth.

Alon is assuming the chairman role from Amichai Steimberg, who has held this position since mid-2020 during the Company’s successful IPO process, and who will be stepping down as planned.

Alon will be joining Highcon’s seasoned board of directors comprising Benny Landa, founder of Indigo and chairman of the Landa Group, Fiona Darmon, general partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Adina Shorr, previously chief executive officer of Object, Scodix, and CellGuide, and Giora Bitan, formerly chief financial officer at ECI, Scitex and a senior partner in several venture capital funds.

Furthermore, the company also announced a key industry hire welcoming Simon Lewis as the company’s new vice president of Marketing. Simon is well-known in the print industry. He started out 27 years ago at Scitex and has spent most of his career driving analog-to-digital transformations. For the past 14 years, he has been at HP Indigo, where, amongst other roles, he headed up their Strategic Marketing and served on the executive management board. Most recently, he was regional business manager in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Alon Bar-Shany said, “I am looking forward to joining the Highcon board and taking part in the ongoing digital transformation of the printing and packaging industry. Highcon has been a pioneer in the digitalization of the post-print part of the process, which, after the growing adoption of digital printing, is where many bottlenecks now occur. I have known Shlomo for 25 years, and in fact, he recruited me to Indigo. I have been following the company and its customers for quite a while and will be supporting Shlomo and the management team to ensure the success of Highcon customers, which will be a key driver for the Company’s growth.”

Shlomo Nimrodi, Highcon chief executive officer, added, “We would like first, to express our appreciation to Amichai Steimberg for his support during the past few months as we prepared and concluded the company’s successful IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. I am proud and happy to have Alon joining us in our digital transformation journey of the packaging industry. Alon’s industry expertise and reach, coupled with his experience in growing a capital equipment company, will be instrumental in executing our go-to-market strategy and scale-up. I am also delighted to welcome Simon to the Highcon team leading our marketing strategy and execution.

As we start the year ahead, with this new team of expert players, Highcon is now well poised for growth and the ability to drive the digital change that is essential to optimize supply chains and reduce the inefficiencies that face the conventional folding carton and corrugated packaging industry.”

Highcon develops, markets, sells and supports a portfolio of digital cutting and creasing machines that cover a wide range of formats, substrates, and applications. The Highcon technology is transforming the industry by providing cost-effective solutions to the increasing manufacturing inefficiencies facing folding carton and corrugated carton manufacturers as the result of the emerging market trends of eCommerce, shorter time to market, lower job sizes, and a drive to sustainability. Such requirements cannot be accommodated by the expensive and slow conventional die-making and setup process. The Highcon digital technology bridges the gap between agile production and design flexibility delivering improved responsiveness, JIT production, short runs, customization of structure and design, and the ability to perform a wide range of applications in-house. Highcon products are installed at customer sites around the world, including some multi-national companies, effectively supporting the needs of global and local brands”

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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