PrintPack India opens its doors again with great optimism

In-person event resumes after the pandemic drought

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PrintPack
India Expo Centre gets ready for PrintPack India 2022. Photo IPP

The 15th PrintPack India is set for its delayed biennial in-person celebration of the print and packaging industry. It takes place after more than two years of lockdowns in the mid-summer heat with the infection rates in steep decline and a historically successful vaccination drive that is now reaching all age groups. The celebration over the five days till 30 May heralds the deep desire of the industry to come back to its rhythm of expansion, innovation, and investment in new technology. 

On our visit the day before the event, we saw the stands still rising, being dolled up, with the machines under installation getting ready to be powered up. Running machines and live demos are the heart and soul of print industry marketing. After the rational and antiseptic information exchange and trade of the pandemic years, the industry is very keen to shed all traumas and engage, network, and meet in person. The emotional component of a business is reinforced by seeing and meeting one’s peers and suppliers showing you something new, and trying to tell you how it will lead to the success of your industry.  

The event has brought out the collective optimism of the Indian and overseas manufacturers who remain optimistic about the Indian hunger for print and the society and economy’s need for packaging. As a total of 426 Indian and foreign exhibitors participate the organizers ran out of space in the last many days ago. All fears of another wave of the pandemic and the heatwave in the Delhi NCR seem to have evaporated by the low number of infections and deaths (zero yesterday for the first time in months) and the cloudbursts and storms of the weekend which have brought a breath of cool air and hope even if the cool weather cannot be guaranteed to continue. 

The exhibition takes place in ten halls – from 1, 3, 5, 7, 9A, 9B, 9C, 9D, 14, and 15. Hall 5 and 7 are both dedicated to the label industry, while halls 14 & 15 are for corrugation and other halls are for mixed segments. Fewer exhibitors compared to the PrintPack 2019 perhaps because of less international participation and because the organizer, IPAMA, had to make the event safe for the exhibitors and visitors. However, it is a test for an industry that talks more than ever about local manufacturing and self-sufficiency – a test in which it is likely to succeed because of the huge number of visitors who are likely to come and who are anxious to revive their businesses and to contribute to the overall prosperity of the economy of which they are a key part. 

Several conferences and celebrations are a part of the show. Do come by and visit us in our stand in Hall 3 Stand B10 and share your news and views. We are of course publishing the Printpack Show Daily in print and with daily digital eZines on all the days of the show.

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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