Active and intelligent injections for print and packaging

Smart Packaging Solutions for India and South Asia – 19 March – 12 noon to 6 pm

Active and intelligent injections for print and packaging
Smart Packaging Solutions Summit – 19 March – 12 noon to 6 pm

The real stagnation in Indian print and packaging precedes the pandemic that started a year ago. While labels and packaging have done well in the past year, and one hesitates to call it stagnation since huge capacity investments are in the pipeline, commercial printing has done less well. The actual conditions can be monitored not just based on hearsay and denial but in real-time because the consoles of the modern printing presses in the market are connected to the cloud – the IoT.

Some smaller printers do not want their presses connected for remote monitoring by the manufacturers or have bandwidth problems in their locations. The larger printers and converters are confident of the security of such connections and even keen to benefit from the ‘condition monitoring’ of their presses which can help with preventive maintenance and even remote diagnosis of breakdowns with the right parts and engineers dispatched quickly. The repair and recovery can also be monitored and compared to historical performance.

In the pandemic year from February 2020 to February 2021, we monitored the industry’s condition with a critical survey in May 2020 of all the segments in the supply chain and by checking both facts and anecdotes. When the lockdown of 25 March lifted gradually in June, and July 2020, packaging was more resilient (mainly food and pharma) than commercial printing, including newspapers, textbooks, and digital photobooks. This was confirmed by more than one press manufacturer who could remotely monitor their presses’ output impressions in the field.

Productivity is shockingly low

Recently, we were shocked to learn that the productivity of Indian printers is very low. Even among the best offset book and monocarton printers with brand new machines, the presses are running below 30% of their capacity. India’s best printers’ can improve their efficiency tremendously. Their return on capital can be leveraged to improve profitability and invest in what they need and not in what they think is the easiest thing to buy.

On another note, most Indian printers are notoriously deficient in creating demand – they don’t even see the importance of pushing the government to increase overall educational expenditure, especially the volumes of printing high–quality textbooks. In textbooks per child, India lags behind Bangladesh. 

Commercial printers do not seem to get it – that print is a part of a multi-channel, omnichannel (hybrid) information and knowledge environment. Digital cannot work without print. Without reading and writing, a child cannot be educated. Additionally, there can be no youth demographic dividend without investment in education. 

Brand owners and packaging professionals increasingly understand the need to be omnichannel and omni-format – with critical components being brand authentication, security, and customer engagement with the digital ecosphere from cellphones to the cloud. But commercial printers don’t seem to understand. There is a vast opportunity in transactional documents, secure documents, and even in health and safety documents that need to be digital and securely printed on paper.

Now that the Indian pharma industry has demonstrated its capacity as one of the most efficient vaccine producers globally, why can’t the print industry become the largest producer of secure documents in the world? There are politics and bottlenecks in both spheres, but how does the pharma industry take on the world? In contrast, the print industry languishes, and even its secure transactional document exports stagnate over the past five years!

The Smart Packaging Solutions for India and South Asia is a small injection – not a vaccination or immunity against obsolescence. It is a reminder that actionable and strategic knowledge drives business into the future and not merely self-congratulatory free webinars. To survive, you have to change and act, and you have to go after and pay for the strategic knowledge and networking that enables you to do this. Find out and register while you have the opportunity. Professionals from around the world are doing it!

Smart Packaging Solutions Virtual Congress -19 March 2021

The Smart Packaging Solutions for India and South Asia Virtual Congress on 19 March focuses on food and pharma supply chains, brand security, and sustainability. Organized jointly by IPPStar and the AIPIA, the virtual congress’s topics include brand authentication, condition monitoring, and active and intelligent packaging that contributes to the safe delivery of authenticated products leading to safety, security, and customer engagement. Please look at the agenda of the conference here, and for registration, please click here. You can also email Ruchi at or Umesh at Call us in Noida at 120-4546988 or 4326053 – Umesh at Xtension 30; Ruchi at Xtension 33; Gaurav at Xtension 23; and Mohit at Xtension 25.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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