Wan-Ifra’s tribute to Indian printing veteran

Roy Alex, newspaper printing and publishing industry veteran passed away in Mumbai

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Wan-Ifra
Roy Alex with one of his sons. Photo Newstech India website

Roy Alex, the newspaper printing and publishing industry veteran for nearly four decades, passed away in Mumbai, India, on 26 January 2022, after a brief illness. He was 67.

Alex was the owner and managing director of Newstech India, based in Mumbai and a provider of technology solutions to newspaper printing and publishing companies. Alex’s company represented several international suppliers including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (printing machine), IST Metz, Betz, DSC Chemicals, Protecmedia and others.

Alex was well-known in the industry, especially for his well-mannered attitude and friendly disposition. The news of his passing came as a shock to several of his friends and the numerous colleagues who knew him well.

An astute, first-generation businessman, he had historical ties with IDAB Wamac for manufacturing mailroom systems and with Betz for manufacturing ink pumping systems. Today his company in Mumbai continues to manufacture these products. He studied printing technology at the Government Institute of Printing Technology in Mumbai. After completing his studies, he worked for Technova for a few years and in the year 1982, sensing the demand for sophisticated printing solutions, he founded Newstech India, dealing with imported printing technology solutions.

A regular participant of Wan-Ifra conferences in India, Alex had participated in all the Wan-Ifra events in India up to the year 2020, a rare feat for a supplier company. Newstech India has been a loyal member of Wan-Ifra during most of that time. Several industry friends recalled how he was able to convince his newspaper customers to buy his product and services and his closeness to the inner circle of Indian newspaper managers.

Thomas Jacob, chief operating officer of Wan-Ifra and a friend of  Alex for more than three decades, said “Alex was a towering personality and well-respected by the newspaper community in India. His entrepreneurial skills and marketing savvy were legendary. He was a great supporter of Wan-Ifra, being the first technology company in India to join the organization, way back in 1997. With his death, his friends and family have lost a great human being, full of energy and optimism.”

Alex lived a full life and was always with zest. We have lost a good friend of Wan-Ifra and of the industry. He could not participate in the last Wan-Ifra Indian Printing Summit in 2021 and said to me that “I will be back next year’. That’s not to be now. He will be sorely missed.

Alex is survived by his wife and two sons. Both his sons were abroad and expected to carry forward the dad’s business.

 

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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