Sustainability is the theme at hubergroup India stand at Printpack – Hall 9B Stall F33

Mineral oil free inks

Prasanta Sarkar, general manager –technical (offset inks), Hubergroup India. Photo IPP

Sustainability is the overarching theme at hubergroup’s stand at the 15the Printpack India. The company is talking about its mineral oil free inks namely Rapida Eco, Eco Perfect Dry, Packaging Plus, MGA Natura, and MGA Contact.

“Product safety and sustainability are the buzzwords in the industry. All the products that we are showcasing at Printpack are mineral oil free which are suitable for commercial as well as packaging applications,” says Prasanta Sarkar, general manager –technical (offset inks), hubergroup India.

Rapida Eco, Eco Perfect Dry, Packaging Plus, and MGA Natura are completely made in India at hubergroup’s Silvassa plant that came up in 2020. Sarkar says that demand for ‘green’ inks is expected to grow at a robust pace as greater number of printers are now opting for sustainable solutions.

“These inks are made in India and are of global standards. The inks are now easily available to printers in India. Also, the cost differential between the mineral oil-based inks and mineral oil free inks has narrowed to a great degree. Therefore, I see rapidly growing market for these inks in India, big printers have already adopted these inks aggressively. And I see smaller ones moving towards ‘green’ inks in the coming future,” Sarkar argues.   

Talking about MGA Contact, Sarkar says that it can be used to print on the inside of the food packaging and is extremely food safe. “We are offering four colors and additional three more colors – orange, green, and violet. With the seven-color system of MGA Contact customers can minimize dependency on the special colors. In tropical conditions like in India where we need proper protection of food items for packaging development, inks for direct food contact system may have limited scope,” Sarkar says.

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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