Line O Matic at PrintPack India – Hall 9B Stand F25-26

Stationery industry to recover by financial year-end

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Line O Matic
Line O Matic team at their stand at PrintPack India 2022. Photo IPP

Line O Matic is one of the leading global manufacturers of notebook-making machines and in recent years it has begun making converting machines primarily for A4 consumer or B2C markets and packaging machines so that these can efficiently reach the customer in ream packs. Unlike previous shows The company is highlighting its paper stationery, converting, and packaging machines at its stand F25-26 in Hall 9B Printpack India. A catalog of its range of products from simple to the fully automated line that includes shrink-wrapping of wire-bound notebooks and at this time likely to see mainly export demand is available at the stand as are the technical team for discussions. One of these automated lines has already been sold to a European customer.

Dilip Golani, senior manager of Marketing at Line O Matic said, “On the first day at PrintPack India, the footfall was less, and we also got a few inquiries. However, on the second day, the footfall is high and we are getting good numbers of visitors at our stand.”

After the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns when the schools and colleges were completely closed there was a deep contraction of the stationary industry. Line O Matic continued to help its existing customers even though some of the maintenance was offered remotely through online tools and to some extent exports continued. However, some of the newcomers to the industry even sold their stationary manufacturing lines in distress with the shrinkage in demand. 

Now that schools and colleges have reopened the demand for stationery has come back but is being met largely by the stocks that remained with suppliers and distribution channels in February and March of 2020. The supply of fresh notebooks and stationery is expected to resume in another six months and so is the demand for new notebook manufacturing machines from Line O Matic. Line O Matic sustained itself in the past two years with its diversification to converting and packaging machines well as its exports to 75 countries. While some customers have been discouraged by the recent volatility in paper prices and supplies, the company expects to make up most of its lost ground by the end of the financial year in March 2023.

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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