15th Printpack India overcomes challenges

Industry and economic revival beat the heat and Covid-19

The inauguration ceremony of the 15th Printpack India exhibition. Photo Ipama

Despite many obstructions in the execution of the project and postponement on two different occasions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns in the country, the Printpack exhibition booked a total area of 60,340 square meters for the just-concluded exhibition from 26 to 30 May 2022. 

It is not easy to travel in 45C, but the industry showed trust in the Printing Packaging & Allied Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (IPAMA), the organizers of the 15th Printpack India Exhibition at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida.

Rakesh Sodhi, president Ipama. Photo Ipama

“The overwhelming support received from the exhibitors has given us the strength to take up even more challenging jobs in the future. Thanks a lot, to the Industry Colleagues, Exhibitors, Visitors, Staff, and the Venue for the grand success of 15th Printpack India,” said Rakesh Sodhi, president Ipama in a press release from the organizers.

Visitors with the intent to grow their businesses responded by coming out in great numbers and the organizers say that there were many many visitors from overseas markets as well. We met visitors from as far away as Algeria. The organizers estimate that sales of Rs 2,000 crore (US$ 260 million) were transacted at the show in the first four days. 

487 companies participated with their latest technology-based machines and other related products. The exhibition included printing, packaging and flexible packaging, corrugation, label printing, screen, and textile printing, signage and LED curing, paper, and non-woven bags, pre-press, offset and digital printing, post-press, finishing, book-binding, stationery, converting equipment, and a range of business services and software. The exhibition was comprehensive with old and new suppliers of consumables and spares and allied machines.

The IPAMA organizers have expressed their appreciation of the efforts of the machine and consumable manufacturers who took part in the exhibition. Its General Council members also thanked the visitors and audience for their efforts in attending and participating in the show.

It is a wholly creditable performance by the organizers who took great trouble organizing the exhibition with space for bigger stands and walkways and making provisions for the safety of the exhibitors and visitors. The operation of the event was smooth including registration, access, parking, and the availability of masks and water at the hall entrances. In a difficult time with many ambiguities and doubts, it takes courage and self-belief to organize and smoothly run an exhibition of this scale. All credit and congratulations to the organizers and to the exhibitors and visitors – who overcame several challenges to signal the revival of the industry and the Indian economy.

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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